Internet ramblings

NdGT’s thoughts on scientific literacy

"Science is true, no matter what you believe in." Watch this 4 minute clip of NdGT discussing how America seems to  be going backwards in its scientific literacy: (16) Science in America - Neil deGrasse Tyson - YouTube  

Science Teacher Leadership Program, Uncategorized

Fungal Interactions

Today I attended a lunchtime seminar at Lincoln University by two visiting researchers from the USA: Professor Jim Trappe and Dr Todd Elliott.  Prof Trappe is a renowned mycorrhizal ecologist, and Dr Elliott is toted as a "world traveler, naturalist, photographer, species discoverer, artist and primitive skills trainer". Whatever that last attribute means. Dr Elliott… Continue reading Fungal Interactions

Science Teacher Leadership Program, Uncategorized

The Wren Conundrum

New Zealand wrens, the Acanthisittidae, are an odd bunch. They don't seem to fit into the traditional bird phylogenetic tree, and they certainly aren't particularly similar to the old world wrens Certhioidea. Studies have shown that they are more "basal" (as Dr Jamie Wood puts it), or a sister group to the Eupasseres (all the other… Continue reading The Wren Conundrum

Science Teacher Leadership Program, Uncategorized

Out and About With the Soils Technician

Ashley Dene Farm is a research farm 15km east of Lincoln, owned by Lincoln University for over a hundred years. Last year (2016), a research and development station was created on the site and is used by Lincoln Hub partners for agricultural research. These include Landcare Research, AgResearch, DairyNZ, Lincoln University, and Plant & Food Research. Graeme Rogers… Continue reading Out and About With the Soils Technician

Science Teacher Leadership Program


At the start of February I began a 5-6 month placement with Landcare Research. I have been extremely lucky to have been accepted onto the Science Teacher Leadership Program, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand. Phase 1 of the scheme involves me being placed into a research organisation so that I can get… Continue reading Sciencing


What Puts the Pseudo in Pseudoteaching?

Really interesting concept – pseudoteaching. I fear I have been very much guilty of this by using multimedia in my lessons, and assuming that it helps ALL students understand scientific ideas better. However, it appears that if a student wrongly believes that they understand, watching a video merely reinforces their misconception.


Today we have a guest post from Derek Muller, a physics educator who runs the science video blog Veritasium.  Derek is @veritasium on Twitter.

I have made some great pseudoteaching – but it was all in the name of research, let me assure you.

My interests in physics, education, and film converged in a doctoral dissertation at the University of Sydney starting in 2004. Since nearly all forms of education involve multimedia presentations in some form (e.g. a lecture with pictures, an illustrated text, an animation with narration, etc.), I proposed that, by studying this confined unit, we can learn some of the fundamental mechanics of teaching and learning which are at play in broader contexts. My central research question was:  how does one design effective multimedia to teach physics?

I made an eight-minute video on Newton’s First and Second Laws and it had all the hallmarks of…

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EdTech, Uncategorized

Starting the journey into EdTech

EdTech, or Educational Technology, has become somewhat of a buzzword of recent times. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find any school these days who doesn't have a strategy/mission/vision for the incorporation of technology into teaching and learning. In my opinion, this is a good thing as long as the tech used is carefully… Continue reading Starting the journey into EdTech