Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pencasting Galaxy Zoo Science at dotastro

As any of you who are on Twitter (or elsewhere on the web) may have noticed, for most of this week I was at the dotAstronomy conference in Oxford. If you're not on Twitter yet see #dotastro and you might as well get started on Twitter by following everyone who was at the conference. That would really be a great starting point if you're interested in astronomy! (I was actually quite alarmed given the company there to be the 4th most often Tweeter at the conference.)

Anyway, dotAstronomy was an amazing conference, full of amazing people, and I've returned to Portsmouth on an awesome high, but a bit overwhelmed over where to start blogging about it. So I decided rather than try to review the whole conference, I would instead just review snippets which I thought were interesting. I started this on the Galaxy Zoo blog, by writing (a version) of this post about pencasting.

Pencasting was a totally new idea for me, and I have to say I immediately loved it and wanted to join in. So I spent a small amount of my time on the "hack day" making a "pencast" describing our most recent Galaxy Zoo science result (the observation that bars are more common in redder spiral galaxies). A pencast is a drawing that you make while describing what you're doing. The special pen and paper you use record both the drawing an audio which you can then put online for others to watch. Check it out and see what you think.
My Galaxy Zoo pencast:
(Link to this on the Livescribe website)

You can also see it along with more astronomy related pencasts see the dotAstronomy Pencast Gallery. And stay tuned. I really liked this technology, so you may be seeing more of it.

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