Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

A Classroom Framed by The Sky, The Earth, and Everything in Between

The future of science education is mobile and participatory. WildLab lets learners see their world in a whole new way. The WildLab leverages mobile technology to engage learners in citizen science activities that promote STEM learning and encourage local environmental stewardship. From its home page:

We envision a classroom framed by the sky, the earth, and everything in between.

WildLab – Bird

With funding from the MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with HASTAC, the WildLab piloted a program in NYC schools that engaged learners in real scientific data collection. Using iPhones, over 500 5th- through 12th-grade students collected thousands of GPS-tagged bird sightings in green spaces near their classrooms. These sightings were then sent to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in scientific research.

citizen scienceOutcomes

Students enjoyed the WildLab program, found the iPhone app helpful, easy, and fun, demonstrated increased content knowledge, and had increased interest in studying science and pursuing careers in science after the 5-session program.

Every teacher that participated said they would participate again if offered the opportunity. The program connected the students’ environment to the global climate issues we all face, through data.

Use it!

Want to use the WildLab in your school? Go ahead, it’s free. If you would like us to provide iPhones, or come to your school or greenspace to facilitate your outdoor explorations, contact us and we’ll help figure out what’s right for you.

The application, called “The WildLab Edu” is available in the iTunes app store. Learn more and see it here.

If you want an Android version, it’s coming.

Bird Curriculum Outlines

Want to share your program or activity with other educators?
Send it to us, and we’ll add it to the educational materials supporting the mobile phone app and Web site.

See our growing list of schools and collaborators here.

It’s noted that the collaborative models can be tailored to many different citizen science activities on diverse mobile platforms. You could contact them to discuss how to develop your mobile strategy for your purpose.

Also there is another treasure from Cornell University : The Macaulay Library , the world’s largest and oldest scientific archive of biodiversity audio and video recordings.

Our mission is to collect and preserve recordings of each species’ behavior and natural history, to facilitate the ability of others to collect and preserve such recordings, and to actively promote the use of these recordings for diverse purposes spanning scientific research, education, conservation, and the arts. Teachers use our sounds, videos, and curricula to illustrate the natural world and create exciting interactive learning opportunities.

The Education department at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has developed a curriculum for elementary, middle and high school. The lessons use rich media including sounds and videos from the Macaulay Library to spark student interest in understanding the physics underlying biological adaptations. More information can be found at the Physics of Animal Behavior homepage. Physics of Animal Behavior Curriculum resources for elementary, middle, and high school.

Why do birds do what they do? How can we tell what they are doing? This online course uses video, online discussions, and tutorials to help you develop skills and learn concepts that will increase your enjoyment and understanding of birds.

According to the news release several days ago : The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has just finished digitizing its huge archive of wildlife sounds and made it available online. The library’s holdings total more than 7,000 hours of sounds, the result of an 80-year collaboration between the scientific community and the library’s “volunteer collaborators.

science education

David Cook Wildlife Photography/flickr


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2 Responses »


  1. A Classroom Framed by The Sky, The Earth, and Everything in Between | Personal [e-]Learning Environments |
  2. Free Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE) | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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