Why not connect your students to experts for research?

Version 1

    With Earth Day being the focus for April, it's a great time to consider connecting your students with experts on sustainable practices.  Whether your students are researching how to protect an endangered animal or investigating building materials that are good for the environment, there is an expert (someone who does that work for a living) who could connect with your classroom for a question and answer session.

     

    STEP 1

    Consider the essential question - How would connecting with an expert provide authentic learning for students?  Consider the real world connections, the opportunity for student curiosities to be explored, the passions that could be shared, and the career opportunities to be discovered.

     

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    STEP 2

    Investigate the curriculum you are covering in class.  What careers connect with the curriculum? Are there organizations that are passionate about this content? It's important to pull together a list of two to four potential candidates in order to find the right fit for your classroom.

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    STEP 3

    Have students develop 3 questions that cannot be answered in a Google Search.  The goal is for the expert to share information that is specific to your students' curiosities.  If the answer can be "Googled" then the question needs to be revised.

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    STEP 4

    Begin the research to find an expert.  I prefer to start in Twitter rather than a basic Google search as it's a bit easier to find someone quickly.  Here are the steps:

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    STEP 5

    Send the Tweet - OR if the profile has a link to a webpage, send an email through the "Contact Us" Page.

     

    Sample Tweet:

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    Sample Email Script:

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    We've had great success reaching out to organizations and experts using these steps, and I hope they work for you, as well.