Information and Material Sharing
Note: edited for live web references
The intended outcomes in regards to the network development and expansion include:
Building the network
- An entirely dispersed network of instructors each contributing small amounts of curriculum and evaluation of curriculum as they use it for their teaching needs.
- Courses taught entirely through the network or partially using network resources.
- A globally dispersed network of students each contributing use of the curriculum and critique of it as they use it in their different cultural and educational settings. This will not be unlike the Wikipedia model but will be specific to certain course subject matter.
- A forum that will strengthen the higher level discussions of how curriculum is articulated with commentary on individual projects, courses, etc.
- An opportunity for participation by non-North American faculty members within the discussion of the formulation of curriculum in North American universities AND the opportunity for non-North American faculty members to see the underlying thinking that is behind the educational process in North American institutions. For those of us who have participated in the Fulbright Exchange program, this is a critical process that can not be underestimated in value.
Members of the network are highly dispersed across disciplines, national borders, and pedagogical traditions, so it is not practical to physically get together at any one time or place using the grant resources. Instead we propose to have a mix of communication media and face-to-face meetings when sub-groups naturally converge.
The core participants realize the key to having more people use the technology is to inform potential users of its availability. In addition to the plan submitted in the proposal (p. 13, last paragraph), we commit to additional strategies through the 5-year plan:
1. Publish in scientific journals (years 1, 4, 5)
2. Invite diverse group of participants to join the network (years 2-5)
- Use physical mailings and e-mail mailings via list serves to attempt to contact every potential academic instructor in the US at the University level and targeted high school level groups (Native American schools, and others in regions with high densities of ethnic minority students.)
- Post notices about the FREE curriculum content and invitations to participate in unusual message boards found in virtual worlds such as Second Life and appropriate user networks such as Wiser Earth that include millions of users, many interested in emerging fields such as ethnobiology.
3. Participate in national and regional conferences (years 2-5) 4. Link the work to academic and popular sites (years 3-5)
- Add at least three ethnobiological case studies to the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Currently there are two ethnobotanical case studies in their database. One Co-PI who has already begun to prepare a case study as result of participation in the training offered by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science has committed to help pull in additional instructors to both participate in the training and submit case studies, and then figure out an effective way to involve instructors nationwide to use the case studies in their teaching.
- Use a WiserEarth working group to reach out to international audiences, and to enable instructors from a wide range of colleges and universities to access the materials, attend regularly scheduled webinars on the materials, and to link other folks into the network.
- Use of popular sites such Facebook and MySpace to reach out to incoming teachers (even University level) and students. Co-PI’s use Facebook and similar sites, and one has a Facebook group for the Ethnobotany Major at Frostburg University and commits to hosting groups on Facebook and MySpace and uploading events and pictures and networking opportunities.
5. Interactive webcasts from the AAAS Project 2061 on the Atlas for Science Literacy. (years 2-5)
- Link our work with aspects in existing knowledge maps and then creating a similar mapping system for understanding ethnobotany