TAG | test
After Henning´s Diploma Thesis and Thomas ongoing Ph.D. thesis that both fit the context of GeospatialLearning@PrimarySchool, I will soon begin writing my master´s thesis for my degree in Geoinformatics. In fact I am already doing preparatory work, literature research as well as preparing practical parts.
The topic of my thesis will be USING OPEN GEODATA TO CREATE MAPS FOR KIDS. I guess, even though the topic is pretty self-explanatory, I will try to explain my project a bit more. It mostly consists of two parts, a theoretical foundation on the one hand and a practical implementation on the other hand. The idea is to explore the spatial perception of kids and its representation on a (digital) map. So how do kids perceive their environment and how could this be represented best, using digital maps? To support the findings in literature, i am trying to deploy a series of paper based tests with children to get a better idea of how the perfect map for kids should look like. The result of the literature work will in the end be implemented into a custom renderer that takes the raw data from the openstreetmap database and creates a digital map (served as WMS) that is suitable for kids.
The idea for this topic was merely born while working on different projects (e.g. within this study project) within the context of creating software to be used by kids to strengthen their spatial thinking. Even though all these projects were designed very child-friendly and intuitive, they always relied on either google maps or the standard rendered openstreetmaps, which are both very good products, but do not account for the special demands that kids might have towards such a map. So I decided to investigate further into that issue.
A first series of tests will be performed later that month in the School Padre Emilio Miotti in Brazil, where I am currently staying. This is done to also ensure the intercultural aspect of the final map. First results and more information are to come soon. If you have questions or remarks, please dont hesitate to get in touch with me. During my stay here, I work with the NIED in a project that promotes cooperation between research and schools, based on the deployment of XO-laptops . The NIED uses the approach of participatory design to ensure the incoorporation of all project partners.
After holding the workshop in Sao Jose dos Campos, the team from the Institute for Geoinformatics, Münster headed to Campinas to perform a series of tests on spatial ability of children at the school “Padre Emilio Miotti” in Campinas. These tests and activities were made in cooperation and with the support of the NIED, an institute of UNICAMP. We would like them to thank them for help and support.
The tests conducted there followed the same pattern as the tests performed in Kigali, Rwanda last year and at St. Mauritz school in Muenster. First a pre-test to assess the spatial abilities was performed by the children, then they used the Geo-Activity (developed by Henning) on OLPC´s XO laptops. The main goal of this activity is to foster the spatial learning of kids. This was then verified by a second round of post-tests with the kids. The results of this testing will be incorporated into Thomas Ph.D. Thesis.
The activity is now deployed onto a significant number of XO-laptops at this school, and at the end of June, Philippe Rieffel will participate in an event to teach the teachers how to use this software in the future. To ensure the future use and to thank the school and NIED for their support, the GL@PS left 6 GPS-receivers at the school, which are necessary to use the software, since the XO 1.5 does not have a build in GPS chip.
Philippe will stay with NIED for some more time to work on the software deployment as well as to do research for his upcoming Master´s Thesis (more on this will be posted soon).
Some Impressions from the work at school:
The study project ArcGIS Server – Client/Server Setup and Development for Geospatial Learning (introduced here) finished with some nice developments and results. The groups developed different applications and conducted usabillity-testing at a school in Muenster. The results of these tests were incorporated into the applications.The individual applications were developed as lightweight web based applications and were based on different frameworks. Topics that were covered by the developed applications were:
If you are interested in the individual implementations of the projects, get in touch with us, we will put you in contact with the authors.
The magazin Arc Aktuell by esri will also feature this study project in their upcoming issue.
The new issue has just been released, more on this here.
On the 11th of June, a group of students from the ifgi and some staff members from GL@PrimarySchool conducted another field test in a school around Muenster. The students are involved through the frame of a seminar, which is offered this semester by the GL@PrimarySchool staff. The topic of this seminar is ‘Geospatial learning with OLPC’, in this context, the students planned and conducted some usability tests for the XO-laptops, handheld-GPS and paper maps as well. The group was as well accompanied by 2 guys that were doing some recording for our upcoming GL@PrimarySchool image movie; stay tuned for further news on this. (weiterlesen…)
As mentioned in a blogposting before, we visited the Bodelschwinghschule (Primary School in Münster) last Thursday and Friday to make our first usability test for our activity software. Our little test candidates were attending the forth class (highest class degree at a Primary School here in Germany), so they represented a good mean for our target group (kids from 8–12 years).
After a short introduction what Geoinformatics is about, we took out two pupils for each test cycle — one laptop per child ;o). During the test the rest of the class performed Google Earth exercises on a customized Wii-Balance Board.
The test design was focused on the geocaching plugin. We placed some geocaches on the schoolground in the morning. At the beginning of the test we described the task as performing a treasure hunt.
Giving one laptop per child, we observed how the kids were using the laptop and the tools of the activity. The first view was a quite big extent of the world (including Africa and Europe). The current position was marked on the map, so the first task to solve was doing pan and zoom action to get to the extent of their schoolground — a quite hard task for children in that age, though, meaning to overbridge several zoom steps (world, Europe, Germany, NRW, Münster, quarter, schoolground).
During the test we pinned down our observations, e.g. how long it took to perform zoom or pan action, finding the cache itself, respectively. After the test we went over a general questionare, to get an idea of the map use and computer experiences, etc. the kids already have.
On Friday we decided to take two kids per laptop (four kids per cycle) due to time reasons. At the end 16 of 22 children had the chance to test the software. Its a pity that not every child had the chance using the XO laptop, though all the children were very excited to use it. In the end we did a usual geocaching (with a normal GPS handheld device) with all the children, so hopefully no one was sad.
The results of our test will be available soon.