Dear Go-Lab teachers,
I am happy to present to you the first 2018 Go-Lab newsletter. Announcing new features, labs and other goodies. Now, the Christmas holiday period being over we see the use of the Go-Lab ecosystem steeply rising again.
One of the assets of Go-Lab is that it presents many labs from different resources in one place. Our number of labs keeps growing and currently has reached the number of 517 labs. And it will continue to grow, extending your possibilities for using labs in your classroom. As recent extensions we are now adding labs from The Learning Sciences Group from Mumbai India, the CoMPASS project from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the Chemcollective collection from Carnegie Mellon. We are excited to be able to include these labs which again enriches the Golabz collection. Unfortunately, we also will have to remove a (very) few labs from Golabz because they are not functioning anymore and are not updated and maintained by their owners. In the next newsletter we will announce which labs need to be removed.
On January 1, 2018, the new GO-GA project started that will introduce Go-Lab in a number of African countries, starting with Kenya, Nigeria, and Benin. One the first visible results will be that Go-Lab will be available in Swahili. Also, a cooperation with National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) has been established. NTNU will act as the hub for Go-Lab in Taiwan, they will train Taiwanese teachers with Go-Lab and they will make a number of their labs available for the Golabz website.
We always try to add new functionality to Go-Lab. One of the new apps we are currently testing is the Peer Assessment app. With this app students can give feedback to products (e.g., concept maps, hypotheses) from other students. A learning effect is expected both from giving feedback and receiving feedback. The preliminary data from a first study with this new app indeed suggest that giving feedback helps to raise students ‘knowledge gains. The app allows you to activate the feedback mechanism in specific apps (like the concept map) and determine which students can give feedback to each other. You can also configure the questions students have to answer. The peer feedback tool is planned to be operational before this summer.
Due to new European regulations we had to change the way our Learning Analytic (LA) work. Until recently, LA was turned on by default and if you didn’t want to use it (this means removing AngeLA from your member list in Graasp), now we changed from this opt-out scheme to an opt-in approach. If you intend to use an app that uses data from students (e.g., the reflection tool) you are prompted to activate AngeLA. Concerning LA apps, the planning is to redesign the whole set of LA apps as to make them really one family and also make them more user-friendly. More about this in upcoming newsletters.
To ensure stability and increase speed of our authoring platform Graasp.eu was migrated on January 31st on powerful servers in a new EPFL data center and is now ready to handle the increasing community of teachers and students enjoying inquiry learning with online labs.
A new cool feature in Golabz is the search on “owner”. Now, if you select an ILS, lab, or app and you click on the name of the owner you will see all resources (labs, apps, ILSs) from this person or organization. So, for example, it now very easy to see all PhET labs, just by clicking on PhET as an owner of one of their labs. As another a new feature of Golabz you can no see the actual number of labs, apps, and ILSs at the bottom of the Golabs landing page.
In Go-Lab (and the Next-Lab project) we see you, the teacher, as key member of the team. We like our communications to be a two-way channel and we would really like to receive news from you. Share with us your success stories while you implement ILSs in your classrooms, difficulties you might experience, suggestions etc. We want to highlight your efforts and make sure that you have all necessary conditions to a successful experience for you and your students while experiencing Go-Lab. In case you have specific stories to share, pls contact Rosa Doran (NUCLIO) at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The third edition of the annual STEM Discovery Week is celebrated 23 to 29 April 2018, raising awareness about studies and careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Everyone is encouraged to share what they are doing to support studies and careers in STEM and have them displayed on the STEM Discovery Week map of activities! Those who organize STEM activities in the course of April 2018, may also enter the STEM Discovery Week competitions and win prizes and awards from international projects and organizations in STEM education! Go-Lab users will also be able to take part in a special competition and submit the ILSs they will create and implement in their classrooms during that time. One lucky winner will be invited, with all expenses paid, to attend one of the upcoming Go-Lab spring/summer/autumn schools. If you already have an activity in mind or scheduled, you can submit it to the STEM Discovery Map of activities using our online form. For more information, follow all latest developments at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sdw2018
You can download the newsletter here.
Best regards and much Go-Lab fun!
Ton de Jong