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The view from the Saint Michael's College campus in September 14

Digital_Coyote | St. Mike's Natural Area | Streams Project | Biology in elementary schools | Null Models

Date & Time : 27, February 2024 16:56

What's new?

In Fall 2015, a new group of UVM undergraduate computer programers took up the task of updating the IPhone app. Collaborators at UVM are now working on polishing up the code prior to launching it on the ITunes AppStore. In the meantime, Nicole has been working on the insect templates with two goals in mind: 1. to accomodate the new IPhone app features, and 2. to provide family-level templates for all insects.

Older news

My collaborators developed an Iphone app that synchronizes with the Streams Project resources on WikiEducator. It means that students can bring photo galleries of insects to field sites where there is no internet access. The About tab on the App gives atribution to WikiEducator and mentions the Creative Commons licensing. Luis Miguel Morillas wrote a script to move hundreds of ecological data sets to Wiki Educator for educational use (see Null Model link above).

Our paper on the Digital Coyote project came out in 2014 linking back to Wikieducator.

Why I'm here

Contact-new.svg Declan McCabe
Employer:Saint Michael's College(Vermont; USA).
Occupation:Associate Professor of Biology
Nationality:American of late
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Wikieducator simultaneously serves the greater good and meets the learning objectives of my course. Serving the greater good is made clear by Wikieducator's statement of purpose and is eminently compatible Saint Michael's College mission. The primary learning objectives of my Biology in Elementary Schools course include fostering the integration of biology into elementary school curricula by encouraging collaborative development of hands-on teaching materials. Any wiki would facilitate collaboration, but this wiki is specifically geared toward building and sharing educational materials. I see this site as a long-term repository for my student's work, and a place where they may be built upon by others.

Why I'm really here

I work with a talented bunch of young teachers. They work really hard to develop ideas that they can carry with them to their future classrooms. In the process, they spread excitement for learning and for science to a larger group of children than I could ever hope to reach. I hope that in some small way, we can be the spark that ignites the fire in the belly of even one future scientist.

Biology in Elementary schools in the future
In May 2010 I discontinued my Biology in Elementary Schools course to offer other courses. My WikiEducator efforts have since focused on the streams project and the the Digital Coyote resource. The Biology in Elementary school resources assembled by my students continue to be well visited on WE and it is great to see their hard work being put to use. I may at some point get back to working on these resources but in the mean time they seem to have taken on a life of their own and I periodically hear from teachers who use them.

Why I'm back!!
I am moving my Streams Project site here. We just established the first dozen river-specific insect identification sites and will expand from there. Preserved insect photos taken by my students have been donated to Wikimedia Commons and I'm working out the details to share spectacular full-color photographs of live insects taken by a blogger in Virgina. The two photo sets should provide coverage for much of Eastern North America and provide a new resource for teachers.

I started a new project based on a learning opportunity in my Evolution course. I have accumulated a collection of coyote skulls so that students can examine geographical variation in morphology and size. Two of the thoughts that occured to me during the process were:

  1. Some skulls are delciate and will not stand up to repeated handling, and
  2. Few teachers can access a collection of skulls for their teaching.

Making a digital archive will solve both problems. Introducing Digital_Coyote.

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Streams Project

I'm in the process of migrating my web-site based project over to Wikieducator. The end goal is to provide river-specific web sites as identification aids for teachers. The components of this project have the potential to be useful for other purposes.

About Me

When I'm not teaching General Biology, a course on Biological Reading and Writing, and an upper level course in Community Ecology or senior seminar in biology, I work on the Streams Project. I'm a community ecologist and most of my research is in freshwater environments. I work on aquatic invertebrates including zebra mussels. I have a particular fondness for caddisflies. My current project as of 2010 is called the streams project and it combines high school outreach, citizen science, and undergraduate research. My focus in this large collaborative effort is on macroinvertebrates and includes developing tailored web sites for streams being studies by high school partners.

I live with my wife and three wonderful children near the Winooski River in Vermont.

My interests

I'm interested in:

  • Most things biological
  • Maps
  • Camping
  • Working with my son's cub scout group where I try out some of the teaching ideas my students share here.

Other things

Help:Contents A nice editing sheet developed by some Boy scouts: Editing_tips

My Website and contact particulars

My infrequently edited website. My more useful site where I share about three hundred data sets previously published (by others) on species presence and absence on islands. The data include source citations and a link to some free software that can be used to do null model analysis. It may be of interest to teachers of community ecology.


Tools I need to keep track of before I forget about them:

Grading templates

Streams Project tools

Preload pages

  • BES The page that lays out lesson plans for my BES course; must remember to change the year template to 10 before Spring 2010.
  • BMS This page is for my biology Senior Seminar experiment.
  • Template:Wiki_101 A simple layout including some wiki basics (needs some TLC that it's not getting today).
  • Template:Stream_page_maker Layout for Stream page

Other tools

special characters

My primary Wikieducator project

Biology in elementary schools is my student's ongoing wiki project. A new group of students will work on this project each year between January and early May.

Project history

I spent the Spring Semester of 2007 working with a group of future teachers from our Education Department on teaching ideas for science in Elementary schools. They uploaded their ideas to a wiki. A desire to build a long-term teaching resource for my students brought me in several steps to the wiki. Initially I intended to simply have students build a binder of ideas to be distributed after the semester. However, remembering my various moves from city to city, school to school, at the student stage of my life, I felt that the binders would in some cases have been lost before use. So I considered building a traditional web site. Because my students work in teams I wanted to avoid the version creep inherent in working from several computers. The wiki site cures that problem and offers several other advantages.

I have moved all of the content to Wikieducator and thirty six student teachers worked here in Wikieducator in the Spring of 2008 with a brand new set of ideas. Here is what we have so far. All hands-on science ideas on the site have been tested by elementary school students from our partner schools at least once.

Thirty four hard-working students and I developed content here in Spring 2009 and an additional 36 students made their mark in Spring 2010. The 2010 group may be the last time the class is offered at least for some time. I am rotating into other duties and can't be in two places at once. Regardless of the future of the class, the materials assembled by more than 120 student teachers will remain here as a lasting contribution to the WE community.

Other projects

Time-lapse lake turnover video

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My sandbox

How I made this user page

I copied the code from User:Dennis (thanks Dennis) who knows how to do these things! Then I played with it in the sand box until my content replaced his. And Dennis, when he improved his site, actually came over here and did the same for me. Thanks again; I think you'd just have to call that the wiki spirit. This little box, I learned from Gladys!

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