March 07, 2013

Educator Interview: Joe Stavish

After having completed a few interviews with expert users, we wanted to go back and understand the novice student perspective more throughly. We decided to meet again with Joe Stavish, Powdermill Nature Reserves Educator. Joe was able to give us more details about the challenges that students face, how our tool could be used effectively in the classroom, and what features would be valuable for him to have as an educator.

[Download Interview Protocol]

Classroom overview
  • Currently, classroom programs only exist alongside field studies
  • 25-30 students
  • 3rd-12th grade, although most are upper middle school
  • Majority of the time, this program is happening after an in-class stream insect study

Learning outcomes
  • Understand adaptations: movement, respiratory, feeding, why have different insects developed differently?
  • Lifecycle, complete or in-complete
  • Stream ecology, and how insect collection plays a part

Challenges students face
  • Don't see or sort out the small insects
  • A lot of time is spent collecting from substrate, inefficient
  • Hard to keep kids on track, they just want to play in the stream

What would you want to see in a digital teaching tool?
  • See all insects of one order on screen together to be able to talk about the differences
  • Compare insects of different orders
  • Magnify key adaptations
  • Nice to see video, a lot of kids notice the different motions of the insects, gills, movement, etc.
  • Compare sizes
  • Tally insects found on the computer rather than by hand
  • Take photo of insect found in feild and upload to crowd source ID
  • The conditions in which each insect lives, temperature, chemical factors, PTV
  • Where insect was collected
  • What the adult form looks like, to explain lifecycle

What Technology?
  • In class - Project as a group
  • When in the feild - Laptop or tablet


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