Added my rubric and reflections on it in Pathbrite.
This week I did much more work on understanding Communities of Practice by reading Wenger Trayner’s site.
I also put up my first prototype at the garden. Here’s a sketch; the prototype at the garden, and the explanation inside. There is a notebook and some pens in the box. I wanted to use materials I already had so I found tupperware and a bungee cord to hang the box to the fence. Will check on it later this week to see if it was successful. Also need to think about getting feedback from gardeners who may have noticed it.
Upcoming: need to reflect on art installations I’ve visited and begin the annotated bibliography.
For my project plan I used Trello but I’d like to put a plug in for Asana. I wanted to use Asana because the interface looked cleaner and I could view my project plan in calendar form or by lists! Unfortunately, it looks like you cannot make your project fully public. It’s geared more towards teams, so I’d have to send out email links to everyone I’d want to share with. Decided that wouldn’t be great for this project so I’m sticking with Trello for now.
What is “done”? For this project, “done” will be a flexible term; rather than concentrating on presenting a neatly boxed, completed learning experience I will concentrate on the process of creating and designing. I will turn in my different prototypes, along with my reflections, feedback, and research on each. The reason I’ve decided to go this route is because I often become stuck in the designing process and never put something into the world. Concentrating on the creating and experimenting will allow me to get feedback (maybe) and change direction if it is not working. My main prototype is creating a physical space at the garden where people can interact, even if they are not there at the same time. I’ll try different variations of this, and probably add/subtract elements to see what happens.
I’d like to create rapid prototypes more often; maybe 2-3 per week, even if I do not necessarily make them. This is just to get me in the practice of creating more often. I may also focus more on my last prototype (creating stations at garden work days) by getting more detailed about how the experience should go. I plan to end the project by the end of May, mostly because I’ll be leaving my community garden because I’ll be moving to a nearby town. I won’t be able to maintain the garden or visit but maybe eventually I can start again when I’m settled at my new spot.
I decided to go with creating a face to face experience for my 2nd prototype. This one occurred much more naturally and I had no trouble figuring out how the learning experience would be organized.
Learners would be able to visit different stations situated throughout the garden which would have timely (monthly) topics. Each station would have expert(s) who would lead the learners through games or demonstrations of the topics. Below I brainstormed some prospective, timely, monthly topics. These demonstrations/hands on activities would take place during garden work days. Stations are mostly based around the idea engage, explore, explain, and apply. Lastly, instead of creating the app around the experience, I plan to use an existing photo based app (Instagram) to create community. If gardeners have questions or later want to share observations, they can post on Instagram with a specific tag. I think a journal/whiteboard/bulletin board or a tiny library might be good physical additions to have at the garden. Have not quite figured out what that could be yet. I still need to look up examples of participatory art. See here for zoomable photos.
Comparable product 1:
Leafsnap is an app that identifies tree species when a user snaps a picture and submits it. It’s an electronic field guide specific to the northeast and growing to include other parts of the country.
I like the game section of the app. The user chooses the correct plant species based on four picture choices. You have one minute to do as many as possible. The more one plays the game the more one is able to get better at identification (not memorization) by looking at the visual cues. Another game has the user categorize floating leaves into species in one minute.
I also like the categorization; the user can search for specific trees by common or scientific name.
It does not seem as there are ways to interact with other members; as it is solely for identification. It would be nice to connect users with each other.
I could incorporate the in-time usefulness. The user can upload a picture anytime; can take a picture and receive a response quickly. It also uses experts to source the content.
Comparable product 2:
Figure 1 is an app for healthcare providers. Medical professionals post cases and receive feedback from other professionals on what they might be missing (the paging feature) or what they could have done/
The organization of this app is top-notch. Cases are searchable/viewable by anatomy or specialty. Users have the option of ‘paging’ and expert in real time. The content is visual so the user receives a lot of information up front and can click the photo to read further or ask questions/post feedback. The ones who can participate are experts or learners; possibly patients. There is a really strong community of practice; users are engaged.
This is a really good app so it’s hard to find fault with it, however, I noticed that sometimes the categorization (generated by users) is incorrect. That may have to do with the amount of time a post has been up and how many people have seen it/categorized it. Maybe it would be helpful to only have the medical professionals able to tag. I wonder if there would be a way to connect patients to each other as well for crowd-sourcing.
I think the organization/categorization could be useful in many other subjects, including gardening. What subjects/categories would be the most useful for gardeners. How would one ‘page’ and expert. Maybe there are ways to make this a ‘blended’ format so that users are connected both on and offline.