A lot of the assignments for pre-service teacher students are done just for their own personal development or for sharing with a particular class. These tasks are important. However, every now and then, I think there should also be tasks that are useful for a wider audience. In his Ted Talk, Dave Eggers argues that assignments were work products are published (e.g. in a book) have benefits.
This semester is the third semester I use GeoConcepts in my teaching. Initiated together with Rod Lane (Australia), it started as a wiki. Then it was hosted as a wordpress blog. Since we now have a blog-platform at my university, it has moved to http://blogs.fhnw.ch/GeoConcepts/ .
With GeoConcepts, the pre-service students don’t just learn about blogging and creating good summaries, which are useful skills to have as a teacher. They also extend their pedagogical content knowledge by learning about students’ pre-concepts. Moreover, they have to think about what the studies they look at mean practically for their teaching. By summarizing the main results of pre-concept studies and the consequences for teaching, they also make the research more accessible for others. After all, there are so many pre-concept and conceptual change studies coming out each year, that it is hard for teachers to keep up to date. Yet, knowing about students’ pre-concepts is important (see e.g. Reinfried & Haubrich 2015).
The blog is still in the initial phases. The more contributions there are, the more useful it will become, both for teachers and for researchers. At the moment the posts are in German only, but of course the blog can easily become multi-lingual.