Future professor? Perhaps. Prepared? Not a chance.
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  • What do Blogs Have to do with Rocks?

    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 sarahann No comments

    I’m in geology. With any luck, someday I will teach geology to myriads of young minds who do not yet know just how wonderful rocks can be. But when teaching about a world that is 4.6 billion years old, how do you incorporate media that has been in common use for (arguably) less than 5 years?

    When I first had to write a blog for a class, I was resistant. And to be perfectly honest, I’m still not sure that I agree with blogs as an effective online “conversation.” Sure, people can leave comments, but only after reading a full article. That would be like a “conversation” in which I delivered a 5-minute monologue, and then asked, “Questions?”.

    I more agree with Gardo’s interpretation of a blog as an essay. An attempt. So what shall I ask my students to attempt? There aren’t many opinions involved when it comes to learning the 15 most common minerals found on Earth.

    But a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s where blogging comes in. Generally, people get into geology because they want to be outside. However, the epic field trips experienced by upper classmen are usually not available to introductory students. So if I can’t bring the students to the outcrop, perhaps I can bring the outcrop to the students.

    One of the things that I have found is that students seem to enjoy seeming pictures of famous places, followed by an explanation of why the geology of the area is so important to their fame. Perhaps one option would be to have students post pictures of their travels, and point out some of the geology that they didn’t know they were experiencing at the time. We’ll call it social geology.

    So, questions?