There is little doubt that new technologies are changing the way we think and live. There is little consensus on how such advances will shape education, however. This day was meant to engage the teachers in a dialogue about the mobile, locative (GPS) technology around which we created our inquiry-based science curriculum.
We had a great conversation. Jared gave an opening talk (http://www.thewildlab.org/page/slides) that explained the WildLab's vision, mission, and goals for the Fall, the next year, and beyond. Gabriel then held a session, with feathers, bones, and binoculars, regarding "What is a Bird." He led everyone on a field session to the little park across the street to spot some urban birds.
Kuan toured everyone through the technologies that the students, teachers, and facilitators will be using in the program, and everyone got their hands on the iPhone app itself. Lara made sure everyone's questions about scheduling--an art unto itself--were answered.
Finally, Jennifer Fee, a special guest from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (http://www.birds.cornell.edu/), gave an insightful presentation regarding how the bird data students collect answer real scientific questions. The Lab is an amazing collection of scientists, educators, and artists, and their work has been an inspiration.
We did notice due hesitation and caution with respect to the use various social media, like Facebook, in documenting the project. That said, almost everyone in the room had an account or multiple accounts. In addition to investigating the use of locative mobile technology in education, we look to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media in new ways to publish and disseminate the scientific data collected by students.