As the school year begins, we would like to hear from you about uses that you may have for this blog in your classroom. We think that the material here lends itself particularly well to use as supplemental readings─providing intellectual enrichment to students who desire it. The blog has been mentioned in class syllabi, usually under "Further reading" or "Interesting material" or some such heading. And indeed, this accurately depicts one of its uses.
But we would like to encourage you to consider various other uses, as well. We know of several more active ways in which the blog has been utilized already.
For example, Mark Martin writes:
One of the assignments in my course (juniors and seniors) is to read a specific "microbiologically relevant" paper closely, and prepare a two page summary. The student groups (two to a group) work on reading the papers and preparing the summary/outline. Then they present it to the class, complete with illustrations and a catchy title.
How to find good papers to assign to the students? Well, I need interesting, current "gosh wow" papers involving microbiology. And I see plenty of those kinds of papers on STC! So please keep up the good work! Your blog is indeed a powerful resource for microbiology education.
In a graduate microbiology course which I co-directed, the students had the option to select the following as one of their exam questions: Write a piece about the Planctomycetes for the blog. Four did just that. We edited their work, striving to preserve their "voice," and posted the result here.
Another blog that has a specific pedagogical purpose is the MicrobeWiki. To quote from their blog:
Educators: You may assign MicrobeWiki page creation and editing as projects for your students. We create a template page for your assignment, which you may edit to meet your needs.
We would be delighted if you would send us your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions about the use of microbiological blogs, including ours. We will post your comments here for our readers to also share.