FAQ - Teaching With EveryDay Earth

What Learning Approaches does EveryDay Earth utilize?

EveryDay Earth incorporates a 5E learning framework, in an interactive, inquiry-based design for self-led learners or group-led learners.  

Each day, kids that actually go outside and play in the dirt or roll in the grass are learning in a fundamental, tactile way. They learn about their environment by interacting with that environment and having the experiences of their choosing.

Recreating that experience in a purely online world is currently impossible. However we can supplement those experiences by taking them as many varied and fascinating places in their own experiential world that we can, to "bring it home" for kids.

By featuring nearby places, we broaden the child's ability to interact with and appreciate the dynamic and varied nature of "their own backyards"  and further expand their potential to learn and appreciate the complexities of Earth.

By providing choices in an interactive format, in a "pick your exploration" style approach, kids can learn about what interests them without missing key information.

EveryDay Earth builds off this general concept;  like a field trip, we take the user to amazing places near their world,  and interact with that place in the manner of their choosing.

What style of inquiry-based learning is used?

If you are familiar with Inquiry-based learning, you will know there are three principle types- structured, guided and open inquiry.

"EveryDay Earth" is an example of structured inquiry, in which teachers or thought leaders help learners understand the question and provide access to the data or materials to answer it, but do not give them the answer. Learners explore the program gathering data, watching experiments, looking at rock kit rocks , minerals and fossils...  and they have to choose the best claim to explain whats happening with a key question or situation.  Completion of this step allows the learner to "win a crystal of Estemite" and continue on their adventure! 

Guided inquiry involves a leader posing a question, with the student putting together a method and data themselves to answer the questions. Since EveryDay Earth involves a narrative and interactive storyline, it is not truely open world. 

Finally, open inquiry has no structure; learners are put in a situation and must formulate their own questions, and determine their own ways of answering them! Though one day EveryDay Earth may offer an open world sandbox-type "mode" one day, today the program is structured with lessons that reflect national and Oklahoma state science education standards.

 

How Does EveryDay Earth handle Scientific Inquiy?

EveryDay Earth is a program made by scientists, for budding young scientists. We are attempting to distill the experience of field study of the Earth into a fun and entertaining, as well as effective learning program. 

As such, each lesson centers on 1-2 main investigations relating to a specific performance expectation. Upon arrival at a destination, our heroes disembark their "Terravator" and are paced within a new scene. 

Here they begin to observe and notice interesting things around them, aided by their onscreen agents and teacher in discussion. Some observations are given as context for the learner, while others can be discussed in the classroom together. 

After observations are made, the students are led to key questions which link to the forthcoming investigation(s). These questions will be provided by the teacher or guide, and supported by the program. (The program is meant to work with teachers! It expects active participation in defining the question, even though the program can be executed as self-led.)

The students can then explore the scene and choose their own paths to investigate and gather data. Some data will be relevant, others will not be.  Some pathways may take them into dead-ends or false assumptions! These links take the student to sub-locations and expose them to data, experiments and demonstrations that lead to "clues" (evidence" that can be used to help make a "Claim" or hypothesis)

The program is designed in such a way where information is not bypassed - even though it seems random - in fact you must pass through all critical data points to be allowed to make the claim!

Once key data is collected, the learner finds themselves with choices of which claim to make. Picking the right claim will advance them to a summary of the main concepts and expansion. Picking the wrong claim? Well, we learn from our mistakes, so we will walk the student through the clues and show them how it fits the best possible answer.

After the main concept has been cemented in the Explain section, one or more cases studies may expand on that topic in the Expand section! 

When the fun is over, if lucky our learner finds a crystal of estemite, and files their debriefing (the Evaluate part!) then the adventure may continue onto the next lesson!

Do I have to do the lessons in order!

No way!

The Missions and Lessons in EveryDay Earth do contain a movie-like narrative, that you can get by watching the lessons in order.

HOWEVER, we understand that is not feasible for many classrooms!  So each lesson is designed to work individually, and support specific lessons. We employ this Modular approach to all of our missions and lessons.

Say you want to show an investigation in weathering by ice and/or introduce the concept of glaciers. You can simply use the Index page and skip ahead (listed by topic and standard) to that lesson! (It's Mission 2 Lesson 1 by the way :) )