The team’s virtual activities also will give students the advantage of working with real-life scientific data. For example, Schmitz, an expert in geochronology, will use video recordings to take students into the field with him. As students make observations from the video, they will be asked to behave as a geologist would. They will have to decide the next steps they would take with the samples gathered in the field.

“We’re bringing the expertise and resources of the university out of the traditional classroom or laboratory to reach a broader audience through innovative use of technology,” Schmitz said.

The Boise State team will work in partnership with the Idaho Digital Learning Academy to test and evaluate the online activities they create. Eventually the activities will be available nationwide to students and teachers through digital libraries of teaching resources.


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