Initial Publication Date: April 8, 2020



I hope you're all tolerating the coronavirus restrictions well. This is certainly not how I expected to spend my spring, but I'm making the best of it and even having some fun with my teaching. For a while now, I've wanted to learn the free OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) video production tools so I could make a couple of instructional videos for my classes. Now I've made LOTS of instructional videos and know OBS pretty darn well. If you're bored with standard teaching videos, you can even add special effects to your videos with Hit Film Express (also free). I'm also teaching my students how to use Python to analyze large meteorological data sets using Jupyter Notebooks — one of my favorite new tools. And it's working! Their questions are making me a better instructor too.

If you're still struggling with the transition to online teaching or you want some new ideas, SERC has great online teaching materials and strategies at Teaching Geosciences Online: There are some great online teaching resources there, including a Quick Transition to Online Teaching guide here: I know that even with the best resources, what we're doing right now is probably not "best practices in teaching online" but we can get a little closer to "best practices" with some tools and information.

My advice: Hang in there, be patient with yourself and your students, and be flexible when you can. Also, be sure to take care of yourself. YOU should be on your list of priorities too. I have a hard time remembering this sometimes...

If you're bored, you can always browse our collection of ITT issues online. Or if you're completely overworked (I can relate!) previous ITT issues are a great way to take a break for a few minutes. The collection can be found at: I've found great ideas to incorporate in my classes when things return to normal.

This issue of ITT is the first of a two-part look at the National Science Foundation's IUSE: GEOPAths (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into the Earth, Ocean, Polar and Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences) program. One article focuses on creating authentic research experiences in the classroom and the other on creating a geoscience careers course. Both articles are innovative ways to get students into the pipeline for geoscience careers.

We also have a wonderful article on "How to Make a Rock Cycle Exhibit" at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL, not the easiest place to find rocks. This was definitely a labor of love.

Until next time, stay safe and healthy! —Redina