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The Landscaping Students

Identifying plants using mobile techniques


Coordinators:
Katriina Lahtinen, Teacher
Pauliina Venho, mLearning advisor
Pete Stockley, system specialist (mLearning)
Student Group: Crafts and Design (landscaping), Environmental design and construction program

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Goal:


The goal of this project is to build a trail that can aid in the identification of plants, located around the Omnia Espoo campus. For the purpose of the trail, the most commonly used and identifiable trees and shrubbery was chosen.

The trail be used by advanced and beginning landscaping students alike. Students can study in groups or individually as the follow the trail. The trail can also contain small tasks related to the plants and be used to support the program curriculum such as questions on plant care.

Devices:


Omnia-owned iPod Touches and iPads, student's own mobile devices, digital or SLR cameras.

Learning goals:


  1. Observing and identifying trees and plants during winter periods.
  2. Research and production of learning materials..
  3. Photographing and photo editing using mobile devices.
  4. Filming and film editing using mobile devices.
  5. Publishing photos and videos online.
  6. Plant identification using mobile devices -apps such as Leafsnap and Tree Key
  7. Trail / game creation.



The plant wiki and QR code trail around Omnia


Here is a link to the wiki created by the students (Finnish):
http://kasvimobiili.wikispaces.com/

This is an example of how the Popplet mind-mapping tool was used to identify a tree (Finnish):
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The planning process:



Tasks:


Selecting identifiable plants from the local environment
  • Drawing plans using CAD software
  • Route planning

Photographing plants and their identifying features (using iPod Touches and the Popplet app)
  • Habitus
  • Branches / shoots
  • Buds
  • Leaves
  • Trunk
  • Wood characteristics
  • Other identifying features(thorns, catkins, flowers)

Updating the plant wiki with the plant information
  • Plant location
  • Size and shape
  • Leaf size and shape
  • Flowering process
  • Autumn colouring
  • Maintenance and care instructions
  • Plant uses

Gathering information and creating text material

Creating maintenance and care videos

Publishing videos to YouTube and linking from the wiki

Creating, printing and laminating QR codes and placing them on the plants and trees

Feedback


Overall, the feedback was positive and the students enjoyed the mobile aspects of creating the plant wiki. During winter, it was not possible to complete all the outside tasks to a higher standard but these will continued by the following year students in Autumn.
The use of a wiki will ensure that the updating and completion processes are fast and easy.
The students commented on the poor quality of the cameras, particularly on the iPod Touch devices so a switch to the digital and SLR cameras was made. Due to the importance of imagery in this industry, it made sense to use a proper camera even though the photos were later edited on iPads.
The teacher had a lot of experience with her own iPad so she was able to guide students on how to use the device to edit the photos.
The short schedule of the project made it feel rushed and technical skills had to be learned very quickly. By loaning students the iPod touches, they became more familiar with the iOS operating system and therefore more familiar with how to use the iPads.

A Popplet displaying some of the positive and negative feedback (Finnish):

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Project Outline and Results


Project process outline (Finnish):



Pedagogical model (Finnish):

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Devices and Apps used:

Digital and SLR cameras.
Apple iPod Touches and iPads.
Printers and laminating machines

iMovie (video editing)
Photogene (photo editing)
StripDesign comic strip creator
QRafter (QR code creation and reading)
EveryTrail (trail creation)

Results:


Link to the QR code trail, why not give it a try!

You can also view the trail within the EveryTrail mobile app.
The tracks name is "Avip12 kasvirata” and can be found using the following search settings:

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Example of the created video materials (Finnish):



Student Feedback (Finnish):





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