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Posted: Nov 29, 2013
Launch of astroEDU: Peer-reviewed open-access astronomy education activities platform
(Nanowerk News) A new platform for high-quality, peer-reviewed astronomy education activities has been launched by the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development at the ESA/Galileo Teachers Training Program Teacher Training Workshop, Leiden, Netherlands. astroEDU is a platform that allows educators to discover, review, distribute, improve and remix astronomy education activities, and offers a free peer-review service by professionals in education and science.
Hundreds of thousands of astronomy education activities exist, but their quality is highly variable. Using the familiar peer-review workflow of scientific publications, astroEDU is improving standards of quality, visibility and accessibility, while providing credibility to these astronomy education activities.
astroEDU targets activity guides, tutorials and other activities in the area of astronomy education, prepared by teachers, educators and education specialists. Each of the astroEDU activities has been peer-reviewed by an educator and an astronomer to ensure a high scientific and educational standard. All reviewed materials are then stored in a free online database, using a framework which enables broad distribution in a range of different formats from print-friendly PDFs to mobile device document formats.
The portal includes a simple, yet versatile search where users can look for the activities and filter the results according to their needs, for example, age, topic, school level, time taken, or cost. Edward Gomez, astroEDU managing editor, adds: "One of the main goals of the astroEDU project is to promote the use of excellent educational activities worldwide. We encourage educators to adapt the activities published on astroEDU according to their different linguistic and cultural needs."
astroEDU is currently available in English, although astroEDU currently welcomes submissions in any language. It is anticipated the platform will be offered in other languages in early 2014.
astroEDU is now seeking activity submissions, volunteers for referees and feedback to improve the platform.