A New Zoo Adventure in Learning
The Zoo is growing – Building new exhibits, bringing in new animals, and making space for all of you to gather, talk and work. We actually can’t quite share all the cool new critters we’ll have on display. What we can tell you is we are working to integrate the forums and science so that you only have to login once to get to both, and we are working to develop cool new toys for educators (teachers / Scout leaders / camp councilors) to help them use the Zoo to teach.
As we work to expand the Zoo, we want to know what you want to see! What are your ideas? We are looking specifically for ideas that will help you learn more about the science you’re already doing so well.
If you are using Galaxy Zoo to teach or have ideas on how it can help you learn let us know! What would make classifying easier and what things are you doing on your own to improve your experience that we could build tools to make it easier? And if you are an educator, please tell us how you have already used the Zoo, and what you hope to do in the future. What are your needs?
For example, in the next year we we will be launching a new “Group Login” feature that will allow anyone working with a group of students to automatically create a set of logins for the students that they can later customize with their own usernames and emails. The group leader – the teacher or after school program leader – will have to see the classifications done by all the students and can use these classifications to teach statistics and astronomy.
We will also be pulling into your sidebars and the space beneath the classifications window a glossary of terms, links to more and more detailed background information about the science being studied and data sets being used. We will also be looking for ways to help you share your favorite objects (including eventually sharing them on sites like Facebook!)
These examples are a taste of some of the things we’ve come up with. We also want to hear about what you’ve come up with. What do you need? What do you think would be fun? How can we help make the Zoo better for you?
So, whether you’re using the Zoo for yourself or in your classroom, we’re asking everyone to share their ideas with us. Hanny is working to go through the forum to find the things you’ve already mentioned and she is looking for teachers who are already using the Zoo so we can learn about what they are doing and how we can make their lives easier. Pamela is working to collect these ideas, and with the help of the Galaxy Zoo Team, transform them into reality. So every time you think: “wouldn’t it be cool to have.” please contact Hanny via: arkelhannyvan(at)gmail.com or Pamela at pgay(at)siue.edu and tell us your idea!
We’re both looking forward to working with each other, which is why we wrote this together, and to hearing from all of you!
Pamela L. Gay & Hanny Van Arkel