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Digital technologies and future-oriented science education

Rachel Bolstad, Cathy Buntting

This document was developed in 2013 to support teachers and others to engage with findings from the e-in-science research project, carried out by the University of Waikato and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research under contract to the Ministry of Education.

This discussion document reflects the ideas and experiences of a large number of people who helped us to think about the present and future of “e-in-science”, including primary and secondary school teachers, secondary and tertiary students, teacher educators and education researchers, science communicators, working scientists and software engineers.

Their questions and wonderings are included as prompts to help stimulate your own thinking and conversations. We have also drawn on an extensive body of science education research and theory. This recognises that we cannot think about using digital technologies in future-oriented science in a vacuum. Rather, there are broader changes—in education more generally, and in the practices of contemporary science—that also need to be considered.

We have tried to avoid cluttering the text with too many footnotes and references but, where possible, we have suggested sources if you wish to read more about these ideas. Because we will all engage differently with the ideas in this document, it is deliberately nonlinear—although you can read it from beginning to end, you could also dip in and out of sections according to your interests. We have tried to use visual organisers and images as much as possible, and to openly represent the different voices of the people who worked together to make this work possible (in the speech bubbles throughout the document, for example). Through these design choices, we hope to share some of the richness of the conversations that took place during this research, and invite you to add your own thoughts and experiences into the mix.

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Professional learning resource
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