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Blogging while brown about science
 

Blogging while brown about science

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My talk about STEM Blogging and using social media to share STEM with under-served audiences

My talk about STEM Blogging and using social media to share STEM with under-served audiences

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  • Blogs that attract the most traffic tend to cover topics that are incendiary, provoking, and/or largely entertaining. Blogs that inspire creativity, promote innovation, or informed decision-making aren’t nearly as popular.
  • Why am I here? To share my reasons why I Blog for Science! Just to set the stage and to be completely fair to social media communities, this lack of STEM coverage, is a carry over from traditional media. And among special audience media sources it’s altogether absent. When was the last time you’ve read an article from the Science Section of a Black Newspaper or Magazine? What about online news services such as AOL Black Voices? You haven’t. Because such a section does not exist. Other than Black Achievement stories or an article about disparities in the African-American community, you can depend on these (very popular) news sources to provide routine science-related news.
  • So my goals are Three-fold Initiate a dialogue about STEM education in formal and informal settings with other bloggers/media consumers My strategies of how I managed to become one of the more popular African-American science/nature bloggers on the web encourage communities of color to become more engaged in science/nature activities (online and in real life). Who are under-represented audiences? Audiences who have been under-served in education and outreach in STEM. Audiences who have consistently tested lower in Science and Math achievement over the years. Audiences who self-identify as averse to science and math education and careers. It varies somewhat but for most disciplines it includes: Women and girls, African-Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, people from low socio-economic groups, people from families with high illiteracy, high-school drop-out, and/or no college attendance rates. For the purposes of this talk (and my primary target audience for outreach), I’ll be focusing on the African-American community as an example under-represented group. I will discuss using online tools to engage under-represented audiences in STEM, including scientific literacy and research participation (undergrad, Citizen Science, Science fairs, etc). Plus, I'm excited to get STEM on the forefront. 
  • Questions to ponder how is science communicated to the African-American community This question has been addressed. It’s not being systematically or wholistically addressed via traditional media methods, even when you take specialty media into consideration. But the problems of scientific illiteracy still exists, so that leads me to: What is the best way to communicate science to this community? I think the internet may provide the best answers to these questions. As my science blogging friend Daniel, so eloquently states, science blogging is the future of science communication . Blogs allow readers to interact directly with scientists and researchers. Blogs offer a rare look into the minds and labs of scientists and engineers at different career levels – student, post-doc, and professor. The immediacy of the internet allows quick dissemination of information about new discoveries and technologies that before were only shared among researchers.
  • I think the internet may provide the best answers to these questions. As my science blogging friend Daniel, so eloquently states, science blogging is the future of science communication . Blogs allow readers to interact directly with scientists and researchers. Blogs offer a rare look into the minds and labs of scientists and engineers at different career levels – student, post-doc, and professor. The immediacy of the internet allows quick dissemination of information about new discoveries and technologies that before were only shared among researchers.
  • These are strategies that can be employed to grow your blog no matter the topic. Grow= attract new readers to your blog and increase readership (and participation). Community: Identifying which online communities your blog (or your interests) falls within or intersects helps establish your blog in this great wide, un physical cyberspace. My blog communities includes blogs by people of color, specifically Black Blogs, Science Blogs (including STEM Diversity Blogs), Nature Blogs, Education Blogs, Women Blogs. Comments: Making comments on other’s blogs and inviting comments on your blog are how you engage your readers and build a community for your blog. Also commenting on blogs a bit outside of your community (when you have something important to offer, exposes your blog to new audiences. Carnivals (and Memes): thematic blog ‘magazines’ that compile posts from various authors who address a single topic. Often roves from one location to another so it is a great way to build cross-links and get very new audiences to your blog. Cross-posts: perhaps the most important tool for me to expand my readership and grow my voice. Posting my articles (and later writing) for other blog communities as a guest or contributor introduces new audiences to your voice and unique perspective. In my case, my ability to weigh in on science, education, and environmental topics. Contests: Blog Awards, popular votes contests are great ways to generate page views. Plus, in my case I really stood out (among African-American Blogs) for my interest in Connections:
  • Community: Identifying which online communities your blog (or your interests) falls within or intersects helps establish your blog in this great wide, un physical cyberspace. My blog communities includes blogs by people of color, specifically Black Blogs, Science Blogs (including STEM Diversity Blogs), Nature Blogs, Education Blogs, Women Blogs.
  • Comments: Making comments on other’s blogs and inviting comments on your blog are how you engage your readers and build a community for your blog. Also commenting on blogs a bit outside of your community (when you have something important to offer, exposes your blog to new audiences.
  • Carnivals : thematic blog ‘magazines’ that compile posts from various authors who address a single topic. Often roves from one location to another so it is a great way to build cross-links and get very new audiences to your blog.
  • Memes: unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through propagation of a digital file or hyperlink from one person to others And many more. The key is to find a way to connect the theme of your blog to theme.
  • Contests: Blog Awards, popular votes contests are great ways to generate page views. Plus, in my case I really stood out (among African-American Blogs)
  • Cross-posts: perhaps the most important tool for me to expand my readership and grow my voice. Posting my articles (and later writing) for other blog communities as a guest or contributor introduces new audiences to your voice and unique perspective. In my case, my ability to weigh in on science, education, and environmental topics.
  • Connections: Making real life connections are the most important thing to do to grow your blog. I’m an Experiential Educator, so getting out there – doing activities, sharing your experiences online, meeting people and connecting in person (and using social media tools to stay connected and build the connections) are key.
  • There is a great and growing community of STEM, Nature and Education related blogs that emphasize diversity and/or written by persons of color Use SM tools to make new online friends – STEM Bloggers and learn more about interesting topics. Use Twitter, Friend feed, and Facebook Fan pages. Communicate: Comment on blogs, Cross-link interesting STEM news stories and STEM blog articles, Share your personal experiences in a topic with a STEM blog community. Network: Solicit participation from field experts to comment or cross-post about hot topics; ask STEM bloggers questions for projects or queries for educational or career resources and opportunities (I get this all of the time from parents of kids who are super interested in STEM and want to cultivate their interests/talents) Experiment: do more science inquiry (especially K-12 students); participate in Citizen Science Projects, organize Family Math & Science programs inyour community, attend a Science Festival, and/or participate in research studies

Blogging while brown about science Blogging while brown about science Presentation Transcript