Visualizing the planet surface

Based on these scenarios: Homework and schoolwork “flip”, Home-school communications, Digitally mapping local biodiversity

Inspiration for these learning activity packages: Observe and design

Design learning brief: Design a guided walk that highlights aspect of the local environment. The guide should focus on [local animal species / historical monuments / geographical features]. It should be designed to serve [community members / tourists]. The final design should be [a geocache or a series of geocaches / a location-aware smartphone game / a Google map with points of interest and suggested routes / a printed guide map / QR-codes placed in the environment / something else].

1st lesson (design brief): In my biology course I customize the design brief to focus on my current curriculum topic, which is migratory species. I give the brief to my students and discuss with them the various species that migrate to our area. I then use TeamUp to collect specific ideas, let students vote their favorites, and form design teams. Each team sets up a blog, customizes the design brief to their needs, and approves it with me. I instruct them to record a reflection of their initial work in TeamUp and assign writing the first two blog posts as homework, as well as researching their topic further.

2nd lesson (observation): Each team plans their observation trip, including location, time, duration, and goals they have. They also plan future workshops so I can help them contact people they need for them. Students loan sensors and smartphones with suitable, pre-installed geolocation apps from the school. They record their plan on the classroom wall. During the week they do their observation trips, collect material on their team shared space, and process those in preparation of the next lesson.

3rd lesson (observation and product design): Teams collaborate on their findings and generate initial design ideas. They assign tasks to each team member, decide on the medium, and start their first paper prototype. They finish the class with a reflection. During the week they contribute to their design by learning more about the topic (eg. identifying the species they’ve photographed) and adding ideas. I support the teams by arranging Skype calls to local university students who can help in species identification.

4th lesson (product design and participatory design): Teams present their prototypes to others in a gallery walk, giving and receiving ideas. They then prepare for their participatory design workshop by thinking about who they should invite to the workshop (parents, acquaintances, friends). Teams organize the workshops in school grounds after class, present their designs to participants, and listen to their reactions and suggestions. During the week the team rethinks their design and looks online for other similar services to get more inspiration.

5th and 6th lesson (product design and participatory design): Since I have a long course, I allow for another round of design and another participatory design workshop.

7th lesson (final product design): Before class, each team posts a final presentation of their design to their blog, including a demo video and pictures. Teams present their prototypes during class. The local tourist office representative is present for the final presentations.

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This post is also available in: Turkish

One Response to Visualizing the planet surface

  1. Adil Tugyan says:

    I can use this scenario in my English classes at school .we have an old histotical castle 5 km away from the centre so my students can create a digital map and use QR codes placed on specific places.we can even use Online photo gallery Artsteps to show outside and inside of the castle with brief information ,here students can use their English skills practicing past tenses. After they have completed all the stages then they can share their findings, creations designs to their classmates to get feedbacks and have some information exchange and finally the prototypes can be presented to a representative from tourism information office to evaluate them.

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