A new development in adventure learning (AL) is the concept of a user-driven adventure learning environment (UDALE), in which learners create and share self-initiated AL projects online. Such environments allow learners to share their own AL projects with the world in a pedagogically meaningful way. They also allow learners to act as teachers and facilitators, strengthening their knowledge of a subject and a geographical area as they communicate to others about it, and practice their social networking skills as they interact with others online around a topic that is important to them.
One of the challenges to date with implementing UDALE has been that there are no existing online environments or tools that provide the optimal structure and scaffolding needed for teachers and learners to be able to easily create and share an AL project. That is about to change with the introduction of the WeExplore online learning environment from the LT Media Lab.
The AL principles, practice, and community models.
WeExplore is a new project that will provide the opportunity for learners to become explorers in their respective geographic locations and to then share their explorations with the world through a socially networked AL environment. Teams of students, guided by a teacher or other adult sponsor, will work together to generate an AL project centered on a specific location and environmental or social issue. They will share their project online via this unique, custom-designed environment that will scaffold them through the process of creating their AL project. Learners will be able to follow along with teams whose projects interest them, and to “like” and comment on different components of those projects.
WeExplore is supported in part by a grant from the Best Buy Children’s Foundation.