George Mason University Students create the first Do Now U post 'How Would You Balance Wildlife Conservation with Economic Growth?' Click to learn more and join the conversation online. #DoNowUGrouse

Science Goes Social: KQED and NCSCE Partner on Do Now U

NCSCE and KQED are partnering on a new pilot project, Do Now U. Do Now U will engage undergraduate students in online discussions about current scientific issues through the innovative use of social media.

Six SENCER professors from six different institutions, including Duke University, George Mason University, Indiana State University, Lipscomb University, Southern Connecticut State University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, have joined the Do Now U pilot project to engage student groups in creating and contributing to posts centered around the broad theme of “health.” Each Do Now U post will start with a topical question. The student groups will then create blog posts that include digital media and related links to educate the public about the issue. Other students and members of the public will then be able to participate in a peer-to-peer conversation through the KQED website and Twitter.

Do Now U aims to improve students’ science communication skills and digital literacy by going to where students already spend a lot of time—social media. With Do Now U, students connect with others to learn, share their thoughts, respond to each other’s ideas, craft multimedia arguments, and search for online publications to support their claims.

Do Now U expands upon KQED’s successful project, Do Now, a weekly activity that allows high school students to engage in discussions about society, science, arts, and pop culture.

About KQED

KQED is a public media station located in San Francisco, California. They provide citizens with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions; convene community dialogue; bring art and science to everyone; and engage audiences to share their stories. They help students and teachers thrive in 21st century classrooms, and take people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

KQED Education offers powerful tools for using media for teaching and learning, specializing in STEM, Arts and News content. KQED Education serves educators in schools, colleges, universities and informal learning environments.

Join the Conversation!

Do you need a warm up exercise or extra credit assignment for your course? Do you want to expand your class discussion beyond the walls of your lecture hall? Incorporate a Do Now U post in your lesson plan. Do Now U is designed for everyone to participate in the discussion. Look for upcoming Do Now U topics in the NCSCE eNews and follow @NCSCE, @SENCERnet, @KQEDedspace, and @KQEDscience on Twitter.

KQED has produced online resources to assist educators in incorporating Do Now U and social media in their courses. Learn how you and your students can participate in Do Now U posts by visiting KQED’s About Do Now page, or the blog from last summer’s #TeachDoNow online course. For Twitter101, social media safety tips, and online “netiquette,” visit KQED’s Guide to Using Twitter in Your Teaching Practice.

If you are interested in having your students produce a Do Now U post, contact Hailey Chenevert at to learn more about becoming involved.

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