Social media as scaffolding for everyday science learning

SINQ (an abbreviation of Scientific INQuiry) is an application for the Apple iPad (and other iOS devices), designed to help guide children in the development of scientific inquiry projects in the everyday contexts of their lives. It was a research project in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland, College Park led by June Ahn, a professor in the College of Information Studies and College of Education and Michael Gubbels, a Human-Computer Interaction M.S. student in the College of Information Studies. The project was chosen as a finalist at the Microsoft Research Social Media Expo at the iConference 2013. Publications and source code for SINQ are provided on this page. SINQ has been released for deployment within classrooms or educational groups.

Overview


This hybrid trailer and overview describe SINQ and the design and development processes that were used throughout the project.

Code


SINQ was built using open-source software. The technologies that do the heavy lifting are Python, Django, PostreSQL. The code and a guide for deployment are available on GitHub. Feel free to fork this project to play with the code or deploy it.

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The software component of this project was developed by @mokogobo with help from the contributors. The code, documentation, and related resources are available under the Apache License v2.0 lisence.

Additional Videos


Papers


Paper for IDC 2013.
Using Social Media and Learning Analytics to Understand How Children Engage in Scientific Inquiry
June Ahn, Michael Gubbels, Jason Yip, Elizabeth Bonsignore, Tamara Clegg
Paper for IDC 2013.
SINQ: Designing Social Media to Foster Everyday Scientific Thinking for Children
June Ahn, Jason Yip, Michael Gubbels
Paper for CSCL 2013.
When Face-to-Face Fails: Opportunities for Social Media to Foster Collaborative Learning
Tamara Clegg, Jason Yip, June Ahn, Elizabeth Bonsignore, Michael Gubbels, Becky Lewittes, Emily Rhodes
Paper for iConference 2013.
Scientific INQuiry (SINQ): Social Media for Everyday Science Learning
Michael Gubbels, Jason Yip, Jinyoung Kim, June Ahn
Work-in-progress paper for CHI 2012.
SINQ: Scientific INQuiry Learning using Social Media and the Crowd
June Ahn, Michael Gubbels, Jinyoung Kim, Johnny Wu

Posters


Poster for IDC 2013.
Scientific INQuiry (SINQ): Social Media for Everyday Science Learning
Michael Gubbels, Jason Yip, Jinyoung Kim, June Ahn
Poster for the Social Media Expo at iConference 2013.
Scientific INQuiry (SINQ): Social Media for Everyday Science Learning
Michael Gubbels, Jason Yip, Jinyoung Kim, June Ahn
Poster for CHI 2012.
SINQ: Scientific INQuiry Learning using Social Media and the Crowd
June Ahn, Michael Gubbels, Jinyoung Kim, Johnny Wu

Thanks


Many people have contributed to the SINQ project. The SINQ team consists of June Ahn, Ph.D. Michael Gubbels, Tammy Clegg, Ph.D., Jason Yip, Elizabeth Bonsignore, Jinyoung Kim, Johnny Wu, Emily Rhodes, and Charley Lewittes of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, College of Information Studies, and the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. The SINQ team thanks the children and facilitators of Kidsteam and Kitchen Chemistry. We also thank the Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD, the Real Food Farm in Baltimore, MD, and Microsoft FUSE Labs.