About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1261-1269
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1279

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain

BIODIVERSITY AND COMPUTER APPLICATIONS: A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY

H. Gash, P. Humby, S. Austin, S. O'Reilly, T. McCloughlin

Dublin City University/Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (IRELAND)
This work concerns the problem refinement of a European project concerning learning about biodiversity through 'serious games'. The project has three 'strands' as its methodology: i) to determine what existing resources are 'out there' and determine their suitability; ii) to up-skill serving teachers in game coding using a freely available system such as Scratchâ„¢; and iii) to work collaboratively in national groups to design a professionally produced game.

The problem refinement concerns whether the world-important concept of biodiversity is given sufficient treatment from an educational technology perspective evidenced by teachers' use of apps which factor-in some aspect of biodiversity. To that end an online questionnaire was developed which probed the teachers for their background, use of apps, usefulness of apps and in which subject in the STEM constellation, apps were used through frequency indicators. The majority of the teachers in the convenience sample 'almost never' used apps to increase motivation, develop science concepts whether through drilling or otherwise, nor in formative assessment.

The results indicate the need to move away from app-use as an extra, and to embed digital technology within the 'standard' lesson. On the one hand, the results cannot be surprising; however, given that midway through the second decade of the 21st century 'traditional' didactics hold sway with ICT viewed as an 'add-on', little wonder teachers feel overloaded with the 'extra' workload. The results also indicate that biology, and biodiversity in particular, is poorly served by the use of digital technology in the classroom, the majority of teachers felt that apps were irrelevant to teaching concepts relating to the environment, ecosystems, and biodiversity. If this indeed the case, then investment in schools in digital technology has been a fundamental waste, since of anything a child learns, her relationship with the environment and life around him is fundamental. Lack of understanding of this 'primitive' will condemn much of the planet to adverse climatic phenomena including a significant mega-extinction unless all the resources at a teacher's disposal are put to full use to allay ignorance of the environment and active in environmental and biodiversity education

This work follows on the foot of the EU funded SOPHIA project in which 3 of us participated and which was included a serious games approach.
@InProceedings{GASH2016BIO,
author = {Gash, H. and Humby, P. and Austin, S. and O'Reilly, S. and McCloughlin, T.},
title = {BIODIVERSITY AND COMPUTER APPLICATIONS: A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.1279},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.1279},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {1261-1269}}
TY - CONF
AU - H. Gash AU - P. Humby AU - S. Austin AU - S. O'Reilly AU - T. McCloughlin
TI - BIODIVERSITY AND COMPUTER APPLICATIONS: A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.1279
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 1261
EP - 1269
ER -
H. Gash, P. Humby, S. Austin, S. O'Reilly, T. McCloughlin (2016) BIODIVERSITY AND COMPUTER APPLICATIONS: A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 1261-1269.
User:
Pass: