Have Your Science Questions Answered!

We all have misconceptions about how the physical and natural world works.

And there can be science questions that students don’t feel comfortable asking in class or would like to ask outside of class.  Such as “Do tree’s breathe?”, “ What is the difference between strength and hardness?”, “Where do puddles go to?”, “Why doesn’t a twig conduct electricity?”

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 8.45.01 AM

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Science site where younger students could get help with their questions?

The good news is there is a site, The Science Master, and it’s been set up on Edublogs to provide a safe learning environment for students.

About the Science Master

The Science Master has been designed for children/pupils to ask questions that they might feel that they cannot ask in a class environment. To some of us asking questions in a public forum can be quite a daunting experience.

IScientist s it safe? It’s an Edublogs site. The children/pupils are not asked for an email address, or their real name. They are just asked for a name and some idea of their age. They find their answer by following the website as answers will be linked to the information supplied. The site will obviously only offer answers to real questions (all questions are checked before publication).

However these questions to the Science Master will not, in most cases, get a direct answer. The Science Master and his friends will try to give the questioner(s) a pathway that will help them investigate the question at their own level of understanding and arrive at possible solutions. They are the scientists.

Using the Science Master

Students ask their questions here, check all Answers here and have an option to Ask another question or leave a comment on responses to questions.

Simple ask a question form

They can comment on their own investigations and other readers can add their comments (including the Science Master). This is the blogging environment.

Here’s the answer to a question asked by a student!

Example of an Answer

Final Thoughts from the Science Master

“I have been using Edublogs in a variety of ways for the last 10 years so when I was invited to develop the Aston Tower, Science Master site Edublogs became my first choice as a tool to build what then, and still is, a fairly unique site.

The kids loved it, criticized it, and helped develop it, as well as apparently enjoying it!

I hope you do the same!”

PSA: Don’t Let Salami and Google Images Get You In Hot Water

This is a true story.

Three years ago, an eleven-year-old blogger here on Edublogs wrote a post about his favorite lunch food – salami.

As part of his post, he used Google Images to find a quick photo of salami that he then uploaded to his blog.

Fast forward to now.

Our Edublogs support team just received a lengthy cease and desist letter from a large law firm that represents the photographer of the salami photo. The formal letter describes all sorts of legal problems for Edublogs and the author of the blog should we not immediately remove the photo in question.

We get these letters daily, but what stood out about this one is that the photo was several years old and not particularly interesting or unique. Most of the complaints we get come from the use of things like maps and curriculum documents.

This tasty looking photo looked a lot like this one:

photo of salami

*For the record, we have permission to share this photo from a stock image site that we pay for.

What does this mean for teachers and students?

It is important to know that even the most innocent of actions can lead to bigger problems down the road.

Using Google Images or copying a photo from most websites is much like plagiarism. Hopefully, by educating each other, we can avoid mistakes like this one and promote fair use of photos and other media on the web.

If you are looking to learn more about copyright, creative commons, and where to find images you can actually use, check out this recent Teacher Challenge post here.

At any rate, we thought this might be a funny example to share.

P.S. When researching for this post, I discovered that when you search for ‘Edublogs Salami’ on Google, you get over 42,000 results. What are our users writing about!? :)

Happy blogging!

Happy 7th Birthday Edublogs! Nearly 2 Million Blogs and Counting!

It is officially July 31st, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia – where exactly 7 years ago today our fearless founder, James Farmer, flipped the switch and Edublogs was born!

We thought you might enjoy a screenshot from The Wayback Machine of what our first site looked like just a few weeks after launch:

And two years later, with 100,000 blogs in 2007, our main site looked like this:

The best part of all is that to us, we feel like we are just getting started.

With over 1.3 million blogs here on Edublogs.org, and over half-a-million more on our Edublogs Campus networks, we will breaking the 2 million blog barrier very soon!

From all of us here on the Edublogs team, we truly appreciate all of the support we’ve received over the years from all of our users.

And we look forward to bringing blogging into more and more classrooms in the years to come!

Happy blogging!

New Dashboard Tools for Better Blogging and Student Management

We’ve got a huge amount of new blogging toys coming your way here in 2012!

To help lay the ground work for the even better stuff yet to come, you will now notice two snazzy new boxes greeting you when you first login to your blog’s dashboard.


There is more!

Go to Dashboard > My Blogs and you will see a list of all blogs you belong to, improved management tools, and a filter to only show blogs that need your attention to moderate comments or posts!

And one more thing!

We’ve done a ton of work on many of the more behind-the-scenes type of things that will help ensure a happy and fun blogging experience for all.

Part of that work includes a better payment and account management system for Edublogs Pro – which many of you may notice, we now can accept credit cards without the need for PayPal accounts! We’re also happy to work with your school to accept Purchase Orders or checks too!

This is something we’ve heard from many of our users needed improvement, so we’re happy to make the checkout and Edublogs Pro subscription management process even better.

Stay tuned!

Just a sneak-peek at what our team is working hard to bring you in the coming weeks and months:

  • better student moderation and management tools
  • more beautiful and customizable themes
  • an improved mobile blogging experience
  • and much, much more!

What do you think?!

Feel free to contact us or leave a comment below with your thoughts on the above or if you have ideas of your own on how we could be better.

Happy blogging!

Edublogs Weekly: Skype in the classroom launched

The big education news over the weekend was that Skype launched it’s “Skype in the classroom” website which is now ready for use!

skype

The new free directory promises to make it easy to connect with educators around the globe that are interested in using skype to connect with guest speakers, set up language exchanges, and facilitate class discussions no matter how far apart the classes may be.

And we know this will be successful judging by the thousands of educators each month that visit our own ‘Skype Other Classrooms‘ page – one of our most popular resources for sure!

It only took us about 3 minutes to add ourselves to the directory. Once you submit your class, you can search by location, age, and topic. The filtering in the directory looks great!

Leave a comment below if you register for the site so fellow Edublogs users can more easily find you. :)

notepadFeatured Post of the Week!

Blogger Megan Cashing is a 3rd grade teacher who keeps up with her blog, Teaching: what works and what doesn’t.

Over the past few weeks, she has some excellent and thought provoking posts about homework found here.

Leave her a comment and let her know what you think about homework too after reading the posts.

Have a post that you would like us to consider for post of the week? Send out a tweet using the hashtag #ebshare so we’re sure to see it!

Upcoming Webinars & Live Events

Join us for this week’s live events!

Thursday the 3rd @ 4pm PST – Edublogs Serendipity – PD Out Of A Blue Sky

Join us in our fortnightly unconference sessions. Bring along the burning issues and hot topics YOU would like to discuss. The topic is chosen by poll at the start of the session.

If you’re interested in suggesting a topic, or even better, being a presenter, leave a comment and let us know!

Learn more about our live events here!

We hope to see you there and have a great week!

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