14 September 2010
It’s very exciting to be here and blogging from the new website.
It is fairly obvious that communication is central to an organisation such as ours and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to communicate better in future with different parts of the membership that we’ve reached less well in the past. Earlier in the year I asked some of our longer serving members to describe “What ASE means to me.” The answers I received appeared in Education in Science and are liberally sprinkled over this website. I realised from this exercise that the Honorary Members, to whom this question was initially directed, had engaged with ASE tentatively at first, possibly by going to a Region meeting or by writing for one of the journals. Following that, they had become more and more involved and had made many firm and valued friends over the years.
Things are different now. We live more of our lives online and we expect others to be there, but as teachers, we understand the value of face to face contact. If membership is to continue to be important to people, it needs to be rewarding in both aspects. So, we need to continue to improve the quality of our “real” encounters, such as the Annual Conference, and back them up with a meaningful, useful, easy to access web presence which welcomes those who don’t wish to, or don’t have the opportunity to, engage in other ways.
I am especially excited about the regional forums. This will allow busy and remote members to take part in regional discussions with other members without encountering travel difficulties. The forums will also allow those of us who represent ASE around meeting tables with politicians and civil servants to reflect accurately the feelings and experience of those involved with the everyday aspects of promoting excellence in the teaching and learning of science.
We’ve been working on this project for nearly a year now. It’s a complicated site because of the data and secure payment aspects, but we’ve finally made it. Huge thanks are due to the HQ team, the developers who had to collaborate with each other, and the membership. I hope you’ll try some of the new features, such as the online polling and the social media aspects as well as the bookshop and conference registration. Hopefully, the website will prove to be an easy to use and engaging tool for our membership and interested parties.
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