FAQ - Teaching With EveryDay Earth

What Learning Approaches does EveryDay Earth utilize?

EveryDay Earth is a non-traditional learning program, in that it is based on location-based inquiry-based learning.  

Every day, kids that go outside and play in the dirt or roll in the grass are learning. They learn about their environment by interacting with that environment. By traveling to many places, we broaden the child's ability to interact with many environments, and further expanding their potential to learn!

EveryDay Earth builds off this concept, as a location-based example of inquiry learning. Like a field trip, we take the user places, and interact with that place, in a manner of their choosing.

What is Inquiry-based Learning?

Inquiry-based learning is a form of learning that engages the learner as an active participant! Our interactive videos are better than regular videos because they require the student to pay attention, take notes, and think about what they are seeing. The also get to choose how they interact with the scene - in this case, as our rookie scientists!

Instead of the teacher telling a student what they should know, students are encouraged to explore the material, ask questions and share ideas about what is going on in the scene!

Evidence suggests that inquiry-based learning is very effective and can be fun and motivating to a child. They are in control of the investigation and can choose the pattern and pace of learning. Exploring the program much as they would if they were in the wilderness themselves, seeing a mountain or stream for the first time!

Is the program structured, guided, or open inquiry?

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 rock,  and they have to choose the best claims or hypotheses to explain how the landscape came to be. 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 concept one day, today the program is structured inquiry, with lessons that reflect National 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 ifeld work into a fun, interactive program. 

As such, each lesson centers on 1-2 main themes relating to a national science standard. Upon arrival at a destination, our heroes disembark their Terravator and are paced with a scene. 

Here the begin to observe and notice the unusual or interesting things around them. 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 primary questions which link to the concept being taught. These questions will be provided by the teacher or guide, supported by the program. (Remember  - the program is meant to work with teachers! It expects active participation in defining the question.

The students can then explore the scene and choose their own paths to investigate. These links take them into sometime multiple layers of links which 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, one or more cases studies may expand on that topic! 

When the fun is over, if lucky our learner finds a crystal of estemite, which allows the adventure to continue onto th enext 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.

Our mission maps also allow learners to take a location-based adventure by choosing places around Oklahoma and seeing what lessons are taught there.

 

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 :)