As an interdisciplinary team of educational researchers we explored pre-service
science teachers’ perspectives on using digital technologies and social media to
address socially relevant issues in science teaching. The rationale for teaching socially
relevant science was embedded in the concept of renaiscience, thus underscoring the
need for science to be perceived as a human activity. We drew on generational theory
to consider the educational significance of digital technologies and social media. Two
different activities were used to elicit the pre-service science teachers’ perspectives.
First, we invited them to reflect on a digital animation that we had produced, and
they highlighted the advantages of digital animation as a medium to communicate
a socially relevant message more appealingly to the Millennial generation. We then
engaged these pre-service teachers in a structured concept-mapping activity to
consider how digital technologies and social media might be used to address social
challenges in South Africa. They drew our attention to the affordances of digital
technologies and social media as a means to facilitate critical thinking, cater for
diverse learning styles, and make high-quality scientific knowledge more accessible.
They highlighted that teaching socially relevant science using digital resources can be
cheap, convenient, collaborative, and creative.