Prof. Avi Hofstein
Dr. Sherman Rosenfled, Dr. Yael Shwartz, Dr. Ron Blonder
The project ran successfully between 2003-2006. Connect created a network of museums, science centers and schools across Europe, to develop, apply and evaluate learning schemes that build on the strengths of formal and informal strategies. It explored the integration of physical and computational media for the design of interactive learning environments to support learning about complex scientific phenomena in informal settings, e.g. science centers and museums. The project technological outcome is an advanced learning environment, the Virtual Science Thematic Park, developed upon emerging technology that allows for ubiquitous access to educational and scientific resources. Objectives:
- Develop an innovative pedagogical framework that attempts to blend formal and informal learning and to situate learning in real-world contexts.
- Implement this framework in an attractive learning environment, the Virtual Science Thematic Park, using advanced information and communication technologies.
- Develop a systematic evaluation methodology, to assure maximal usability and optimal adaptation to the local environments and to identify the impact of the proposed approach and its educational potential in different (educational and cultural) settings.
- Enable students to become independent learners and to adopt and use the scientific approach as a tool throughout their lives.
- Enhance the cooperation between teachers, pedagogical experts, staff of science museums, and researchers who develop new educational technologies and activities.
- Provide platforms for "learning to learn" situations and a range of teaching approaches that will encourage experimental, theoretical, and multi-disciplinary skills.
- Create virtual learning communities of students and educators, enhancing communication and collaboration within these communities.