- In what ways would you teach an LfU-based activity to explore a concept in math or science? Draw on LfU and My World scholarship to support your pedagogical directions. Given its social and cognitive affordances, extend the discussion by describing how the activity and roles of the teacher and students are aligned with LfU principles.
My World seems like a very useful tool to teach geography using technology in a classroom. Similarly, Google Earth shows to have similar potentials as well. Both great tools to use when teaching LfU based activities. It is very easy to see how these tools would be effective in math or science lessons. I, myself, used Google Earth in ESL to teach a bit of geography as well before. It gives students a chance to “see” the world without having to actually physically go to the place. Especially useful, when I was teaching students about the Wonders of the World, Google Earth gave me a chance to show students real-life up to date photos in 2D and 3D of the great wonders which was better than regular photos, searchable online. I also used such tools to demonstrate the concept of distance to my ESL students before, when introducing countries to them, and where their country is located. To visually show them the relative distance. These tools serve the function of motivating and engaging students to learn from their own curiosity.
If I was to apply similar Learning for Use activities in math or science, I would likely use the tools as a database of current information that students can gather from to produce results. It seems like using such tools, serves the purpose of data analysing more than presenting a concept, to be a tool to help students make connections more than anything else. As Edelson stated “The LfU approach recognizes that for robust learning to occur, the learner must be motivated to learn the specific content or skills at hand based on a recognition of the usefulness of that content beyond the learning environment” (Edelson, 2014).
My science LfU lesson could possibly look at using the data provided by these tools to make comparisons to present a concept. For example, the size of a country in landmass, population, and location. Explore why certain areas on the globe would be more ideal for agriculture, and some not. Why population varies greatly between big cities? Have the students pick countries of their own interest to answer their own questions. My lesson would likely be climate/science related but would probably connect with socials studies as well. Teachers in the lesson would most likely be the facilitators or be a researcher like the students as well.
Bodzin, A. M., Anastasio, D., & Kulo, V. (2014). Designing Google Earth activities for learning Earth and environmental science. In Teaching science and investigating environmental issues with geospatial technology (pp. 213-232). Springer Netherlands.
Edelson, D.C. (2001). Learning-for-use: A framework for the design of technology-supported inquiry activities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,38(3), 355-385.