Hi!, my name is Laura and I’m a Learning Technologies Coach for Science. Let me tell you about a cool project I’ve been working on during this Fall semester.
The project was meant for first year biology students and consisted on implementing a real time observation activity of the Fruit Flies’ life cycle. Fruit flies….those annoying but amazing little insects that most of us brush aside, have been responsible for some of the greatest discoveries in modern science. They go through their entire life cycle in about 15 days! That’s why they are an ideal model organism and a great learning tool.
What did we do?
The project required the creation of a reliable live stream video that would be accessible to 400 students daily during the Flies’ life cycle (around 15 days). The activity was designed to be accessed through the D2L site of the course.
How did we do?
The instructor prepared the experimental set up for the flies and I set up a desktop computer to be used for the streaming. The live streaming was done daily through YouTube during 5/6 hours and integrated into D2L. In that way, the last 3 hours of the streaming were saved and stored in the YouTube Biol205 channel every day.
How did it go?
It was a UToday story last October!. The activity turned out to be really cool, lots of views from students and lots of ideas on how to improve it started flourishing right after the activity was launched.
We faced many challenges with the technology. The most difficult one was finding the appropriate camera. We needed to be able to capture good quality images from the the starting tiny larvae all the way up to the flies. Thanks to a great tech advice we found what we needed: Logitech HD Pro Webcam c920. Great inexpensive web-cam with manual focus control through software.
As a coach, I learned a lot of things by working closely with the instructor in this project, by facing different kind of challenges, by pushing things to the limit and trying to do the best we can, and …. I learned things I didn’t know about flies.
It was a great experience, I enjoyed a lot by doing it and I got the chance to see a hatching event live! 🙂