Osiern’s Weblog

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Outline for Final Project

Posted by osiern on October 14, 2008

Abstract: The project creates a tool that would be used on a self-guided tour.  The tool would allow for a tour that consists of multiple forms of media. My central focus and what led to this idea is concept of place-based-learning.

Specifically using a class set of IPhones (40) a teacher with his or her students could walk around a trailed battlefield.  The battlefield would have waysides that could be read by the average visitor as they go along the trail, but using the IPhone the class would be able to access a tour that includes a narrative from a historian which would follow along the trail and the waysides.

At each wayside another piece of the story would be told along with primary resources such as letters, photographs, and newspaper clippings that were used by the historian to research and tell the story.  These items could be located outside the tour in their respective folders (see mock up in past blog).

Along the trail the class will also be able to see a map of the battle and using gps technology, they could locate themselves within the battle map.  Period music would also play at appropriate times during the tour, such as when walking or listening to a personal narrative.

For the teacher there are lesson plans that can be accessed online or on the IPhone during the tour.  These lesson plans support activities pre and post tour.  There are also “leading questions” provided to the teacher at each wayside and in conclusion to the tour.  All of the items on the self-guided tour can be accessed online in similar organization so that teachers and students can revisit the material they used, or want to use at a different time.

Need: Place-based-learning is important for students of any age to make a connection to the topic they are studying.  Battlefields especially are difficult to understand without actually seeing them or being there.  Using music, providing audio narratives of personal experiences, and providing visuals create an emotional attachment possibly even empathy, which drives in an interest to learn more about a topic.  Through the use of the battlefield and the technology of the IPhone we are able to combine various mediums touching upon multiple learning styles, deferentiating the learning experience.  A differentiated learning experience is useful and necessary for all students, but can be especially affective for those with special needs/gifts.  Finally, the multiple standards of learning are being addressed throughout the experience making it practical and useful for teachers.

Main Features/Functionality:

Most of this has been explained above or in previous blogs.  I have added the picture of the interface again below.

Audience: My audience is grades 3-12 students and teachers.  However this can be used for students of any age.  The primary resources will not be based on grade and can be used by the adult student of the Civil War.  Since the questions asked are “leading questions” these can also be thought provoking questions for adults as well.

Technologies I plan to use and avoid: I wanted to use the IPhone and not the ITouch or an IPod or cell phone.  I specifically chose the IPhone because of its internet and gps capabilities.  Apple also uses a very user intuitive model, which means I won’t have to spend time explaining how to use the technology.  However there are instructions in the welcome.

User Interactive Elements: A message board will be available to teachers on the website.  This will allow for quick feedback and trouble shooting.  I will also have an educators blog on the webpage (CWPT page) where I will discuss my thoughts on the tool and teachers can leave comments.

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