GeoSciTeacher (customisable app)

GeoSciTeacher is the app that enables teachers to customise different activities to be undertaken with GeoSciteach. It allows teachers to select and combine the software components available in a way that is suitable for their specific class and students and the science activity in question. For example, they may choose to use all the software components available (as in the exemplary activity), or select a subset that they consider will best help structure their students’ scientific activity (e.g. camera, measurement data, googleearth). Thus, the students’ collection of information exists within a walled-garden of selected scientific foci, chosen by teachers, allowing students the freedom to seek out and share information on the Internet from pre-identified sources. GeoSciTeacher is directly linked to the GeoSciTeach app, such that the new configuration will be automatically picked up by GeoSciTeach.

Since the majority of teachers have limited or no software development skills, GeoSciTeacher can follow an author-by-example approach, whereby author narratives of inquiry become based around tasks associated with particular locations. In this case authoring occurs by physically visiting locations and associating questions and other resources to the specific locality and by subsequently adapting the workflow of the app on the phone. This foregrounds the ‘spatial’ and ‘location’ focus of the activity, and provides an embodied context for the teacher to design the structure of the activity. Teachers can also configure activities on the mobile phone from any location, thus providing flexibility for those proficient with authoring while scaffolding the authoring process for others.

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