Outdoor study project
NarrativeVideo: Media Lab Helsinki, Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Ms Rossi, a science teacher, has been liaising with the geography teacher and they have noticed that their students need to develop a more in depth understanding of the local natural environment and wildlife. Ms Rossi has also noticed that although her class works well as individuals, they would benefit from more group learning. She decides to get the group to work collaboratively on a problem based activity to do with nature and the local environment. When deciding on a specific activity for the class she liaises with the geography teacher to ensure the chosen activity could also support learning in geography. She sets her class the challenge of finding out why the population of ladybirds has decreased in the school grounds over the last year.
Carmen, a student, goes outside with her group to collect real data to help the class’s investigation. Each group member has a different role and a different instrument to capture authentic data. Carmen uses her mobile phone to capture images of the areas where most ladybirds live, whilst others in the group record the temperature and survey habitats. Ms Rossi lets the students work together in groups so she can take the role of observer and coach. This helps her understand what skills the students need to practice. She notes down what skills the students need to develop to help her design future learning activities. She realises the group need more training on using instruments without disturbing wildlife, and also how to set specific group goals.
After gathering a series of photos Carmen comes back to class with her group and they share their data and findings with each other. They get some specific support from Ms Rossi on how to use a software package to draw conclusions from the group’s numerical data. Having drawn their conclusions, the group choose to create a short film from their photos and data to share their findings with other students in the class. They work together using laptops and a web tool to create a short digital film explaining what they found. Carmen and another student upload their photos while the rest of the group write a script to present their findings. They each record a part of the presentation script and use the automatic editing software on the web tool to create the film. This film is posted on the school’s learning platform for the class to view for homework, and also for students in a geography class, who are doing similar work, to comment on. The group also decide to post it on the public area of the learning platform so they can show their parents/carers when they get home.
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