The team has spent much of the time up until now doing preliminary work that all projects face. Being that us and our users will be on an arctic tundra adventure, the team came up with a great name, YETI. An nice acronym came out of this, Youth Education Tundra Initiative. The team sat down and defined their roles for the coming semester, and we feel like we have a well rounded team with two programmers, two artists, one designer and one producer.
We had an initial meeting with our advisors too. We made our introductions, and outlined exactly what we expect from the project. We discussed the past project, and the advisors had been kind enough to organise a meeting with the client the following Wednesday. Therefore, we needed to make an agenda and ready ourselves with any questions and information we thought we would like to know.
Throughout the first week, the team has been putting together a lot of information about the arctic tundra and the alpine tundra. We also familiarized ourselves with the environment by watching documentaries and listing some of the animals found in these areas. We’ve learnt that the seasons play a massive role in the Arctic, changing the habitat completely with the difference in daylight time during winter and summer. An interesting video of the Arctic Melt can be seen here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVzCOoQY28Y.
On Wednesday, 3 September, we visited Mountainview Elementary in Morgantown, West Virginia. We met Jennifer Smith, who is our contact and client, being the tech integration expert at Mountainview elementary. We spoke a little of how the last project was received, and the plans for the coming semester. We had a tour of the school, visiting different grades and being able to ask some questions of the students and teachers.
We did some interesting research after the visit, on just how tablets have been used in the past in education. There have been amazing initiatives in the past to assist students in learning with tablets, even students with very limited literacy have been able to learn independently. The teacher’s role also changes in with different applications for teaching, and we must keep this in mind in the future. The problems from tablets are mainly price and functionality related, and are mostly positive for improving education effectiveness.
We’ve also identified some unique features of the iPad to use for an arctic adventure, and have discussed everything from vibrations signifying an animal sniffing to pick up a scent, or mushing dogs on a dog sled. We’ll let you know more after our brainstorming next week.