I’m excited to announce a new blog authored by students in my Introduction to Biological Anthropology course here at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. The goals of this project are manifold, namely:  to familiarize students with the blogosphere, and open their eyes to the vast amounts of academic material available – much of it good but lots of it junk – through this and other social media;  to help them develop skills in scientific/academic literacy, and more importantly writing and communication; and  to show off to the rest of the internet how talented our students are here at NU.
The site is called “Biological Anthropology @ NU.edu.kz,” and can be found at nazarbioanthro.blogspot.com. You can follow the class on Twitter, too (@BioAnthNUeduKZ) to stay up to date on students’ posts. Assuming this pilot semester goes well, I hope to continue the blog and twitter feed for future semesters of this, and other, bio anthro courses at NU.
The first set of posts are going up as we speak: students’ first impressions and expectations for the course, sort of a literary ‘before’ half of a ‘before-and-after’ segment. This semester-long series will culminate in a set of abstracts for mini-grant proposals for research projects that students will devise and write themselves. So stay tuned over the next four months, as these incipient anthropologists post their thoughts, reactions and research on a wide range of topics in this highly interdisciplinary field!
I’m planning on doing a similar blogging project with another course this term, too (Critical Issues in the Humanities and Social Sciences). Details to follow…