February 12, 2013

Thoughts from #scio13

As usual, ScienceOnline was a terrific conference. It neatly combines so many of my interests: science, reading (because there are so many writers in attendance), social media, and good food.  Here are some of the sessions I enjoyed, along with links to a blog or Storify page (Storifies?) for more information.

These are roughly in conference order, and any omissions are inadvertent.

My first session was a pre-conference workshop "Monitoring and analyzing one's effectiveness on social media" (Storify) taught by Nature Communities staffers Lou Woodley and Laura Wheeler. Lou and Laura talked about some great tools for monitoring social media use. Two that I want to check out in more detail are
  • Topsy (which lets you search tweets back to 2010, among other things
  • Twiangulate (which lets you compare 2-3 twitter accounts for followers
Lou & Laura also prepared some amazing handouts, which will be available on the Nature website soon. I'll share them in the comments below when they are publicly available.

My next memorable session was "Narrative: What is it? How science writers use it?", facilitated by T. Delene Beeland and David Dobbs. This was the geekiest session for me, in which I got to see how science writing is made -- getting a behind-the-scenes look into how writers do their interviews and capture the little details which make all the difference. The best part was listening to Carl Zimmer talk about the research he had done for his recent piece in Wired ... which I had read days before (How Scientists Stalked a Lethal Superbug—With the Killer's Own DNA). 

The session I facilitated with Lali DeRosier, "#Hashtags in the Academy: Engaging Students with Social Media," was a great success. I've blogged about it and Storified it.

The converge sessions were all terrific, but I really enjoyed Baba Brinkman's evolution rap session. He demonstrated how to talk science in a wholly unexpected medium: rap. Check out his video Artificial Selection from his CD The Rap Guide to Evolution (which my library now owns)

There was more - so much more! but I'll stop now and blog more later.

February 01, 2013

"#Hashtags in the Academy" at #scio13 on Storify

@Lalsox and my session called #Hashtags in the academy: Engaging students with social media was a great success! We had lots of great conversation which generated some (unanswered) questions as well as some terrific ideas about using social media in the classroom.

Several attendees talked about using social media with their college / graduate students. Ideas like:

  • @Cotesia1 / Marianne Alleyne has her Insect Physiology students create a "twitter lecture" in 25 tweets. Here's her Storify of those lectures
  • @WhySharksMatter / David Shiffman has done a similar assignment with his marine biology students. Next time he teaches it, he promises to Storify them. 
  • @2footgiraffe / Adam Taylor set up #scistuchat to encourage his high school students to chat with scientists via Twitter.
  • @MelanieTbaum / Melanie Tannenbaum has just started using Twitter with her social psychology class: : @UIUCPsych201 Hashtag: #PSYC201.
There was additional discussion about students' digital footprint now and in the future and some unanswered questions. 

Take a peek at the Storify and feel free to comment on here or Twitter (using #tagacad). I'll add useful tweets to the Storify.