I’m taking 40 students to Fiji. Some say I’m crazy. Some say I’m the luckiest person in the world. I’ll go with the latter. Part of our program will include coral restoration projects and snorkelling. Students will potentially use video and images of marine life for projects we are doing including plant studies and dichotomous keys.
I decided to bring a GoPro on the trip, but I struggled to find a way to have it usefully attached during snorkelling. After much consideration I realized that someone else must have had this same problem – no company is making a snorkel mask adapter yet.
On thingiverse.com I found this snorkel adapter for the GoPro. After 3D printing it, I shared pictures of it with my students and as it turns out three of them are bringing GoPro cameras as well and so I printed a few extras.
In school, I believe the purpose and benefit of having a 3D printer is for the design and critical thinking aspect. Students can design, innovate and adapt current designs based on their knowledge of something. This printing of GoPro mounts required none of that. We simply printed someone else’s design. However, it sure is going to help my students learn biology in Fiji. So, while it may not be the ultimate goal, it sure is a great side effect of having a 3D printer at your disposal. Simply print off parts as needed.
For my grade 11 biology course I am running in Fiji (summer school) I created a pre-trip learning activity. Students were to watch the video Sharkwater if possible. If not, I gave a link to an article about the same topic of illegal shark hunting and finning.
I provided some prompts to students and held an online discussion in our closed course Moodle.
The discussion has been just awesome. Students are demonstrating amazing communication skills, critical thinking skills and are directing their own learning to find out about things we will be learning in our course (genetics, taxonomy, binomial nomenclature, ecology, indicator species, etc.). They are having an excellent debate about the use of force to prevent shark hunting and finning.
The discussion is awesome. The place for the discussion is all wrong. The discussion should have been public. We should have shared. We should have invited others who had seen the video to join in with us.
I have attempted to move the discussion to our class blog here, but it never works to move locations once a discussion like that has already started. I have learned my first lesson about this course already. I have some excellent communicators. I look forward to following their blogs are we travel through Fiji. I look forward to learning from them.
I’ve been a bad edublogger lately. I haven’t been blogging on this blog where I post things about my own learning.
I have only been posting on my other two blogs.
Classroom Science Blog: http://calderscience.edublogs.org
Biology in Fiji Blog: http://biologyinfiji.edublogs.org
For the month of July I’ll be posting on the Fiji blog only, as I travel Fiji with 40 biology students. Wish us luck.