WallCology: Studying Ecology using a Distributed, Persistent Virtual Ecosystem in the Classroom
Authors: Uphoff, B., Bhatt, D., Lopez, B., Frack, Malcolm, P., Cain, V., Moher, T.
Publication: Paper Proposal for the 2008 Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association
This paper introduces a system for studying ecology that places a virtual ecosystem within the walls of a classroom. WallCology is designed to give students and teachers easy access to affordances which allow them to study ecological phenomena as ecologists would in the field. Using a set of computers as portals into the virtual ecosystem, students study creatures with different morphologies and behaviors moving about on pipes and walls. These portals, called WallScopes, are linked together using a remote server which allows the creatures to move within the larger virtual space based on their own environmental preferences. A two month pilot study of WallCology in an urban middle school classroom comprised of species differentiation and population estimation units demonstrated the feasibility of this approach.
Date: March 25, 2008 - March 27, 2008
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