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If you teach, you must master the host of powerful new communication tools—Web sites, online audio and video, e-newsletters, blogs, wikis, social networks, and webinars—in order to teach your students how to use them, not to mention avoiding the embarrassment of being an outdated "technosaur" to them.

Also, by making you a better communicator, the research communication skills covered in Explaining Research can make you a better teacher, regardless of what you teach. Even though you may have taught many classes and given many seminars, quite likely you have had little or no formal training in pedagogical techniques. And you may not even have informal training, if you did not happen to have a mentor who was a good teacher.

(Next: Science and Engineering Lack a Culture of Explanation)