Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:25 AM


DUGGAN-HAAS, Don, PRI and its Museum of the Earth, 92 South Dr, Amherst, NY 14226, KISSEL, Richard A., Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520-8118, ABBOTT, Lon D., Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, UCB 399, Boulder, CO 80309, WALL, Alex F., Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, SAMUEL, Justin, Online Community Manager, Geological Society of America, PO Box 9140, 3300 Penrose Pl, Boulder, CO 80301 and ROSS, Robert, The Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850,

This presentation will be a blend of experimentation and reportage on nascent programming to both bring the field (live!) to the classroom and conference room, and to connect distant classrooms to one another. Smartphones and tablets provide the low cost tools to bring the field to the classroom in ReaL time and in the context of the Regional and Local (ReaL) Earth Inquiry Project, we are beginning to exploit these resources. We have successfully piloted using an iPad to do live broadcasts from the brink of Niagara Falls to classrooms around the country and during this session, we will report in from Field Trip 418: Ancient Denvers: A Journey through the Front Range’s Geologic History.

As a complement to this field trip, with K-12 teachers as part of the target audience, we are working to develop a Virtual Fieldwork Experience (VFE) of the field sites visited. The presentation will demonstrate the technology and discuss how it can be used to connect our program participants’ classroom to one another, and engage teachers and students in teaching one another about their local environments. VFE development can also cut across grade levels and subjects. The driving question for the ReaL Earth Inquiry Project is, “Why does this place look the way it does?” At the start of the project, we targeted specifically Earth science teachers, but in most places, the answer to this question involves understandings connected to, but stretching far beyond the Earth sciences. As the project moved ahead, biology and environmental science teachers have frequently been involved. In most places where people spend time, of course, the environment has been profoundly shaped by human activity.

Investigating why a place looks the way it does opens the opportunity for teachers and students to unearth the story of their environment in a way that interweaves the curriculum but also allows subject area teachers to focus on their content area. Most units in both Earth science and biology courses play out in some fairly direct way outside the schoolhouse door. Deep and connected learning across grade levels and subject areas resonates with the systems approach that is central to NGSS.