Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Scoutlier can be used to help groups of students engage in their own research. A class could work together to develop a question and decide what data they need to gather. In addition to whole-class work, this tool is also helpful for individual students working on their IB Extended Essay or AP Capstone Research Project.
Classes can also engage in citizen science projects already set up by Scoutlier through the Junior Researchers program. They can collect data on the size and salinity of ponds to determine the impact of rising sea levels on the marshes of Cape Cod. Or they can gather data on the Carmel River State Beach in California to help test out new artificial intelligence (AI) aerial vehicles that are detecting coastal change.Continue reading Show less
Scoutlier is a warehouse for middle and high school students to share pictures, observations, measurements, and videos (either on the web or through iOS and Android apps). The dashboard lets teachers view data live as students are posting. Once the class data set has been gathered, students can work together and look for patterns.
Within Scoutlier, an authoring tool allows teachers to make their own digital tasks and assign them using Google Classroom. Mobile Scoutlier apps can be used on students' own personal electronic devices. This makes it easy to take learning into the field to gather data.
Scoutlier is fairly simple for teachers to use. When users are first getting started, word bubbles provide cues for how to navigate the site. Scoutlier also capitalizes on Google Classroom, making the dissemination of assignments quick and easy. The sharing library allows teachers to view and copy assignments that other teachers have created. One available assignment asks students to gather data on human facial traits to look for genetic patterns; students answer a series of questions and take pictures of their test subjects.
Scoutlier can be a useful tool to aid in scientific inquiry; it's more flexible than citizen science sites (like Journey North), which ask students to gather data on predetermined questions. But it's similar to tools like Zydeco Inquiry in that it's limited to text, video, and photo observations. Other tools, like PocketLab, actually incorporate the existing sensors in students' mobile devices to allow for quantitative measurement.
Key Standards Supported
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.