by Thilina Heenatigala

There are many sources of educational resources for astronomy across the world. The quality of these resources is highly variable making the effectiveness to the end-user an unknown quantity. They are not maintained or updated regularly and have a limited content review. To address these issues and more, a group of experts with the help of the community launched astroEDU.


What is astroEDU?

  • astroEDU makes the best astronomy activities accessible to educators around the world.
  • astroEDU is an open-access platform for peer-reviewed astronomy education activities.
  • astroEDU is a platform for educators to discover, review, distribute, improve, and remix educational astronomy activities.

Why peer reviewed educational activities?

astroEDU assigns two reviewers; an astronomer and an educator to review the activity. This process increases the quality of the scientific content, educational implementation and credibility of the activities.

What does astroEDU expect to achieve?

astroEDU tries to solve some past issues with educational activities in astronomy: Many of the educational activities are difficult to find, difficult to use. The number of existing activities is large, but their quality is often difficult to judge. Through peer-review astroEDU is improving standards of quality, visibility and providing credibility to astronomy educational activities.

What incentive is there for the activitiy creators?

The same way that peer-reviewed scholarly articles are the base for performance evaluation of scholars, astroEDU will provide a new metric to assess the quality of the work developed by educators. The activities will also be given higher visibility with much wider distribution through the partner networks and the official seal of the IAU.


Which license does astroEDU use?

One of the main goals of the astroEDU is to promote the use of excellent activities worldwide. That is the reason why all the astroEDU activities will be licensed through the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

What about other languages?

At the moment astroEDU is a prototype to test the infrastructure and procedures. We already accept activity submission in different languages, although the astroEDU on-line platform is only available in English for now. However, language support will follow as soon as astroEDU leaves the prototype phase.

Could you be a reviewer?

If you are an educator or research astronomer who would be willing to review submitted activities, please get in touch.



GAM2013 blog Thilina imageThilina Heenatigala is an astronomy educator with a passion to communicate. He coordinated the Global Astronomy Month in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Currently works as the assistant editor of IAU astroEDU and as communication coordinator of Galileo Teacher Training Program. He also serves as a member of Astronomy for Public task force at IAU Office of Astronomy for Development. Apart from astronomy, he enjoys fashion, photography, social media and traveling. Follow him on Twitter @ThilinaH / Facebook / Google+ or his blog Universe Café to keep updated on his latest astronomy adventures.


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