I found this week’s readings quite beneficial as I am currently trying to create online lessons that strike the delicate balance between autonomous discovery and structured guidance in the zone of proximal development. As Linn, Clark & Slotta (2003) state “if steps are too precise, resembling a recipe, then students will fail to engage in inquiry. If steps are too broad, then students will flounder and become distracted.” Looking through the WISE library I came across a lesson called String Instruments which I decided to enhance by applying 3 of the main ideas from WISE. These 3 ideas ”Support Autonomous Learning”, “Promote the Personal Relevance of Science and “making ideas visible to students” (Slotta & Linn. 2009), are key concepts when developing a WISE project. The goal of this WISE lesson is to teach students what sound is and ask them to create their own musical instrument, I decided to incorporate the digital music creation tool Sonic Pi. Sonic Pi is a sound programming environment developed specifically to teach programming concepts where sound synthesis provides the medium for learning how to program, We would use it on our Raspberry Pi’s alongside the “Ruler Model” that the WISE lesson utilizes, to draw comparisons between the analog and digital nature of sound in our world.
Dr. Jim Slotta’s WISE article states” Simulations and interactive models are perhaps the most powerful form of scientific visualization, because they represent complex ideas and causal relationships in a temporal, “playable” form.” (Slotta & Linn. 2009). Amplitude, Frequency, Pitch and Duration are all explained through the use of a ruler attached to a desk. I added a brief tutorial for those 4 lessons to show how the same principle can be applied in a digital setting through Sonic Pi. Rather than just using a ruler the students can fully manipulate and control their sounds waves in Sonic Pi. Creative boundaries are expanded through the digital tools. As well the numerous branches that digital tools affords “supports autonomous learning by enabling students to carry out projects without having to constantly seek guidance from teachers or peers.”Linn, Clark & Slotta (2003). Few things are more personal than music. The lesson presents an element of creation in a physical sense through building a string instrument. Then adding a digital element will build on the process of the students sense of “owning” their learning, instilling a personal connection with the the lesson. I would take this lesson even farther by perhaps getting them to combine the physical with the digital using a Makey Makey like my students are doing here https://twitter.com/OpenSourceLab20/status/879782267484160000
James D. Slotta and Marcia C. Linn. 2009. WISE Science: Web-Based Inquiry in the Classroom. Teachers College Press, New York, NY, USA
Linn, M., Clark, D., & Slotta, J. (2003). Wise design for knowledge integration. Science Education, 87(4), 517-538.