GeoSciTeach workshop – 31.3.2011

The GeoSciTeach project has progressed with both the design and development of the GeoSciTeach Android application for Android smartphones.
Teacher trainees at the workshop had the opportunity to try out the latest version of the app on G1 Google Android smartphones. Initial activity was in a lab setting where participants were walked through the Mockingbird.com mock-up which we are using in development. An early version of full activity is already present on the application and so participants had an opportunity to do some ‘imagineering’ in Russell square. We gave the teacher trainees the question “How do plants maximise photosynthesis” and asked them to explore the full range of actions and types of data that could be collected using the smartphones general applications as well as GeoSciTeach.
In the following session we discussed the current design, and talked about suggestions for improvements and additions such as ways in which collected data could be linked to other internet services and sites, and ways data could be
visualised or re-represented. Other issues arose concerning
children’s use of mobile phones during the study, such as how children would be managed in their use of the smartphone, whilst integrating and maximising geo-spatial ideas. Feedback on the application and use in schools is being encouraged through the use of blogging and tweeting. Design suggestions will now be incorporated into the next iteration of the app. The Android phones once set-up to send and receive each iteration as it is updated via Android marketplace will
enable trainee teachers to download each new iteration of the app, giving them the opportunity to try out the app, and provide feedback through blog and tweet posts, and contribute to further design developments in a dynamic way.

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