Today I presented the Cachalot application at the National Marine Educators Association conference at Northeastern University in Boston. This is a very interesting meeting, focused primarily at the middle/high school level. I think that there are possibilities for Cachalot in those environments as well, so it has been really useful seeing some of the talks that make use of new technology.
Heather here. I have been working on the Cachalot app for about a month now and have some exciting updates. My official title is Student Content Manager but as I see it, my job is something of an artist, a recruiter, a cheerleader, an author and a content manager all rolled into one.
Artist: I first had to create a set of proposals that I could send out to the best and brightest marine megafauna experts. But I knew that these couldn’t be just your run of the mill proposals. They needed to be flashy! So my goal was simple, make them so cool and so appealing that basically no one could even think about saying no!
Recruiter and Cheerleader: So after getting my “beautiful” proposals done (yes someone said they were beautiful, no it wasn’t my mother) my task became Cachalot recruiter and this is where the cheerleading comes in. I have had to write e-mails about the project and pitch the project in a way that gets everyone else excited about it. I have sent tens of e-mails out to the best and the brightest marine megafuana experts to get their help with the set of 52 species profiles to be part of the public part of the Cachalot app. I am asking them to help me write the text portion and provide me with photos, videos and animations. And it seems my art-work, recruiting skills and cheerleading is paying off! Everyone who has responded thus far has been thrilled about it. The experts have called the app cool and interesting and have thanked me for asking them to be a part of it! As Dave would say, Awesomesauce!
Author and Content Manager: As the information from my fearless experts starts rolling in I will become an author as I take what they give me and “massage” the information into something “less sciency.” I will take out science jargon, use simple examples and generally make the profiles easy and fun to read.
As if all of that wasn’t exciting enough Dave is getting ready to use the application in his summer Marine Mammals course. The course starts July 11th and runs through to the middle of August.
And we’re preparing to launch the official application soon! So stay tuned…
[image title=”Andrea Novicki, our CIT Mentor!” size=”small” align=”left” icon=”zoom” lightbox=”true” autoHeight=”true”]http://sites.nicholas.duke.edu/digital/files/2011/02/AndreaNovicki.jpg[/image]Andrea Novicki recently posted a story about our project on the CIT website – see here.
Andrea points out the great synergism between the Nicholas School and the Computer Science Department – it’s a great relationship for developing the application, a true win-win for both academic units, and for students. Of course she was the matchmaker in this case.
[image title=”The Chronicle” size=”small” align=”right” icon=”link” link=”http://dukechronicle.com/article/professors-integrate-ipads-classroom-learning” autoHeight=”true”]http://sites.nicholas.duke.edu/digital/files/2011/02/Chronicleheader.png[/image]Last week the Chronicle published an article addressing the use of iPads in Duke classrooms. While we are not quite there yet, they did cover our project briefly, highlighting one reason why we are moving in this direction – namely the fact that the use of iOS devices in classrooms is on the rise, and represents a target audience ready to use their iDevice in Marine Megafauna.
Here is a link to the story: