February 12, 2009 Edutopia webinar: "A New Day for Learning: How to Cultivate Full-Time Learners"


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Host: Milton Chen, executive director, The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Presenters: Hillary Salmons, executive director, Providence After School Alliance (PASA), and Karen Dvornich, continuing education coordinator, NatureMapping

Discussion and exploration of A New Day for Learning, which showcases model programs that engage students in the array of learning opportunities inside, and outside of, the classroom. You'll walk away from the webinar with lesson plans, best practices, and tips you can implement in your school, your school district, or your community.

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  • Some of you may be already familiar with NatureMapping through the Adopt-a-Farmer – Leapin Lizards project. I’m going to give you are brief history of NatureMapping and explain why ALL teachers from all subject levels should become involved.
  • Margaret Tudor and myself began the NatureMapping in 1992. Both of us had different reasons, but we agreed on the following 4 goals I needed data for the statewide biodiversity project I was involved in. I knew schools could help by reporting what they saw and where they saw it. We so realized that many people wanted to help, but needed training on different skill sets, so we developed materials and a set of progressive workshops. I thought schools would be perfect, because their schoolyards could become long-term monitoring sites. But the data had to get back to the communities so they could develop a report card of their wildlife…and we would show them how.
  • In 1991 I was tasked to find all the wildlife records for 640 species in Washington State. I collected over 360,000 records mainly from museums and long-term research projects like the Breeding Bird Survey. I only used 62% of the data because of a lack of good geographic information. Records would say Mt. Rainier or King County. But what amazed me the most was the lack of data. Look, one-half of the mammals, amphibians, and reptiles had less than 100 records collected over the past 196 years. With all the birders out there watching birds, there were still 72 species that had no documented sightings….seen, yes, but documented where, no. I knew there were plenty of people out there collecting observations and I set out looking for them, asking them for help because we needed data to make good range maps for the animals. These maps are used for land management decisions and we wanted the best maps possible.
  • Margaret was very involved in the environmental education in our state. She wanted students to do “real science” and do it outdoors. These weren’t field trips, but synchronized field investigation. Students had specific tasks, worked with local agencies, and wrote and drew their observations in their journals. When a field scientist or astronomer, for that matter, begins a research project, he or she just watches and records what is seen. This is called descriptive analysis. When enough data are collected a scientist can begin to make comparisons and look for correlations. Rarely do field scientists begin with hypotheses and work with control variables. It is pretty hard to control the ocean or moon! But science hasn’t been taught without control variables…so how could we expect teachers to know what to do in outdoor field studies? Furthermore, state testing didn’t include the “ologies” – biology, entomology, ornithology etc nor technology….so as we know, many teachers didn’t teach something that wasn’t being tested. But, NatureMapping is more than just science. It is for students involved in changes in their community or artists…this is taken from a 10th grader’s journal.
  • NatureMapping is asking for help to learn about biological diversity and communities have to do this together.
  • NatureTracker is our data collection software that is loaded onto a Pocket PC with built-in GPS unit. The screens are icon driven to allow for fast and consistent recording. Data are displayed as individual records, tables and points over a map. These data can be exported to GIS software for more analyses.
  • Our website has been going through a dramatic update and it continues adding new materials. Another change has been to develop a separate CA website which will be coming online very soon.
  • We wrote and updated our activities with protocols and finally put the activities on the Washington NatureMapping website.
  • The Student Guide allows practice and skill-building for students.
  • We are developing “fact sheets” or an online field guide for students. The fact sheets you see here are for grades 7-12. There are another set written for K-6. A high school Spanish class has been translating the sheets into Spanish.
  • Even with all of this work, we realized last year that we needed to get to down to the basics for some of the activities. At the same time the George Lucas Education Foundation approached us to do the exact same thing! Not only does the Overview Page link to the NatureMapping website, but there are links embedded in the lessons themselves providing additional materials.
  • We also developed a “Lesson Library” for educators coming into the NatureMapping site first that links them back to the GLEF site. But, wait, there is still more!
  • Within the Lesson Library are materials that are referenced in the Lesson that may not be on the GLEF site or additional materials to help you with the lessons. We will go over Part 3 in Lesson 5 to explain.
  • So let’s begin at the New Day for Learning page. Notice the materials call for a compass wheel, and compass and there are no links.
  • Reading down the lesson we come to Part 3: Mapping the Schoolyard with GPS units. Read the 4 steps. Notice we tried to provide guidance for grades K-8.
  • You go to the Lesson Library to see what materials are available. There are pdf’s of a compass wheel and instructions for using a compass, and the link back to Lesson 5. The How to Additional Exercise – refers to the section of the lesson the materials listed below it are used and in some lessons, like this one, some extra exercises, graphics or photos. Notice the “mapping the schoolyard” pdf
  • The field of biomimicry is growing….learning from nature for our long-term survival. Biologists don’t usually care for mechanical things, but life does compute, manufacture, does chemistry, builds structures and design systems Pharmacists watch how animals use different plants for medication. And can you imagine what we can learn from the Anna’s hummingbird that crosses the Gulf of Mexico on 1/10 th ounce of fuel or prairie dog colonies that maintain a constant temperature and air flow without air conditioners or heaters?
  • This pdf is a series of 3 pictures showing 4 th graders work. Each student was assigned an object in the schoolyard. They walked the grounds without a GPS and then made and placed their object on a schoolyard map.
  • Learning about scale became real to the students. Notice the bleachers are taller than the school.
  • The students went back out with GPS units and their teacher drew grid lines on the paper and labeled them. The students learned how to move meter sticks in a straight line and find their latitude and longitude.
  • The Lessons are not hard, but they have a lot of details. We have decided to separate all the parts of the Lessons into separate Lessons and include all the materials into one book. There has been more than one time we could have used the Teacher Activities in places without electricity. So we have decided to create a NatureMapping Teacher/Student Activity kit. Tentatively the kit will be available to purchase in March and the Lesson book by the end of summer.
  • NatureMapping has been developing a network of partners….informal education organizations that meet NatureMapping’s criteria. We don’t have them in every state yet…we only really begun 3 years ago with the Center idea. But you can find the ones we do have on the NatureMapping website under “Centers” or through the US map.
  • February 12, 2009 Edutopia webinar: "A New Day for Learning: How to Cultivate Full-Time Learners"

    1. 1. A New Day for Learning: How to Cultivate Full-Time Learners Webinar ID: 293-685-843 / Dial-in: 773-945-1011 / Code: 416-992-838
    2. 2. Webinar Protocols <ul><li>Audio </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Listen online, or dial in: (718) 709-0655; code: 475-685-373. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attendees are muted. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Useful Information </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Webinar ID: 240-568-238. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use the Questions panel to submit questions. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Recordings </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recordings of the webinar will be emailed to all attendees. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Problems? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Call 1 (800) 263-6317 (U.S. & Canada). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Email [email_address] . </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Dr. Milton Chen Executive Director, Edutopia The George Lucas Educational Foundation of Milton
    4. 4. Karen Dvornich Cofounder and National Director NatureMapping
    5. 5. NatureMapping changes the way we look at the world
    6. 6. NatureMapping Cofounders Margaret Tudor Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife & Pacific Education Institute Karen Dvornich Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Washington <ul><li>Map and measure biodiversity with the help of schools and general public. Tell us, “What do you see, and where do you see it?” </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the skills necessary to collect and apply communities’ research data for local conservation efforts. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate NatureMapping into schools so they become long-term wildlife monitors. </li></ul><ul><li>Help communities develop their biodiversity “report cards.” </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>1991 Biodiversity data (1800s–1996): </li></ul><ul><li>Collected over 360,000 records </li></ul><ul><li>Used 62% of expert data </li></ul><ul><li>Mammals (126 species): 50% species < 100 records </li></ul><ul><li>Amphibians (27 species): 50% species < 100 records </li></ul><ul><li>Reptiles (25 species): 50% species < 100 records </li></ul><ul><li>Birds (403 species): 72 species with 0 records </li></ul>
    8. 8. Environmental Education <ul><li>Tools for field investigation, not field trips </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive, comparative, correlative; rarely control variables </li></ul><ul><li>Science hasn’t been taught in that context </li></ul><ul><li>State testing did not include the “ologies,” including technology </li></ul><ul><li>But NatureMapping is more than science </li></ul>
    9. 9. NatureMapping links diverse groups together through active participation in science and the use of emerging technologies … retired natural-resource professionals … business
    10. 10. Technological Tools: NatureTracker GIS
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    16. 16.
    17. 17. Lesson library…
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20.
    21. 21. Biomimicry
    22. 22. Lesson 5: Mapping the Schoolyard
    23. 23. Lesson 5: Mapping the Schoolyard Three rows of bleachers are taller than the school
    24. 24. Lesson 5: Mapping the Schoolyard Students use 20-second grid lines for locating the exact latitude and longitude of their schoolyard “object”
    25. 25. In Case You Don’t Have Electricity <ul><li>NatureMapping Lessons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>~20 lessons with photos and graphics available as a book for grades K-6, available September 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NatureMapping Teacher and Student Activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A kit with materials, available March 2009 </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. How can NatureMapping expand to schools throughout the country AND provide support to teachers and communities in local field-research projects?
    27. 27. NatureMapping Certified Learning Centers <ul><li>Teachers receive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>training. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>materials. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>support. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facilitators at NatureMapping Learning Centers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>conduct workshops in their regions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>act as a resource to local schools. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>facilitate local research projects. </li></ul></ul>(Nature centers; zoos, aquariums, and museums; national, state, and city parks, Audubon centers, conservation districts, etc.)
    28. 28. Hillary Salmons Executive Director Providence After School Alliance (PASA)
    29. 29. Q&A <ul><li>Please use the Questions pane on the right to submit any questions you may have. </li></ul><ul><li>We will choose the most common questions to address. </li></ul><ul><li>For all unanswered questions, we encourage you to continue the discussion online at edutopia.org/webinar-discussion-feb12 . </li></ul>
    30. 30. Contact Information <ul><li>NatureMapping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Karen Dvornich, National Director, [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PASA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hillary Salmons, Executive Director, [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build SF </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will Fowler, Program Director, [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alan Sandler, Executive Director, [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Citizen Schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eric Schwarz, President & CEO, [email_address] </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. Thank You for Attending <ul><li>Let us know what you think by filling out the survey. </li></ul><ul><li>If you know other educators who would like to be a part of this, refer them to edutopia.org/join . </li></ul><ul><li>Upcoming webinar in April on multiple intelligences. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Thank You <ul><li>The New Day for Learning content is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. </li></ul><ul><li>For more information, please visit mott.org . </li></ul>