quinta-feira, 12 de abril de 2018

Europeana DSI-3: Astronomy, Art & Technology Through The Ages

First run of the Europeana DSI-3 project in our classroom. We've chosen a 7th year class of about 30 pupils. Our goal is to go beyond implementing Europeana learning scenarios, we'll try to use the learning scenario as a theme for the students projects, using the visual resources of the digital library as references for 3D modeling and printing projects. Specifically, we want students to use Europeana and the learning scenario to find photos, drawings and paintings of objects pertaining to the theme, to be used as visual reference guides for 3D modeling.

But before any termoplastic melting, we have to introduce the digital library, learning scenario and specific goals. In order to do that, we've planned an oriented research activity. We began with an overview of the Europeana project, and a quick tutorial on how to use the search tools on the site, as well as changing languages. After this introduction, we presented the chosen learning scenario: Astronomy, Art & Technology Through The Ages, created by Ana Paiva.

From all the possible learning scenarios available within this project, we felt that this was the one wich applies better to our ICT class, with its focus on creative use of digital tools, 3D modeling and printing.

Students were encouraged to do the activity in two ways: first, using Ana Paiva's curated links to search for digital assets within the theme. After these links, they were encouraged to search Europeana with a set of keywords associated with the theme. These were defined by brainstorming ideas associated with astronomy and technology.

To finish the task, students had to send, via email, to the teacher the following data: digital resource title, type of resoursce (photo, painting, drawing, etc.), author if applicable, small description of the resource, it's url, an annexed image of the resource, and student's identification. We prefer this method to filling a document template, because we're encouraging forma use of digital communications platforms in work contexts.

The class was lively and productive. Students engaged very enthusiastically with Europeana. However, we encountered a problem. Most of the resources available either within the curated links or keyword search are not very useful as visual references for drawing and 3D modeling. We were unable to find rich visual resources on technological objects. Most of Europeana results are either bibliographical or types of representation that are not useful as visual references for our future projects. We will have to go beyond Europeana, to ESA and NASA repositories, for it. That was predicted in the learning scenario.

That being said, it should be noted that we are bending the learning scenario to our classroom context. The scenario is very straightforward in art, art history, science, science history or history contexts. For ICT, applying the scenario is a great way to explore digital search techniques, copyright and correct identification of researched resources.

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