Report on Ecological Reserve warden Garry Fletcher’s work with racerocks.com . June- December 2001
This past half year my focus has been on a number of areas related to the development of the racerocks.com site as an educational resource.
1. In June I had a student present a live webcast from us at Race Rocks at the AMTEC conference in Halifax. At the same time we were demonstrating this technique to two representatives from APPLE computers Educational Staff, Keith Mitchell,Internet and NewMedia Technology, Apple Learning Interchange from Texas and Jeff Orloff, Senior manager, Learning Products Education marketing and Solutions, from the head office in California.
2. In the first two weeks of June, I again had two students staying out at Race Rocks presenting some live webcasts and working on the development of Quick time archived video and Quick Time Virtual reality movies (see at) http://www.racerocks.com/racerock/archives/vrindex.htm
3. Development with Apple Learning Interchange of the Conference Room and The Discussion Forum for Race Rocks. In July, I worked with Keith Mitchell in the creation of these two interactive parts of the website. On the Meeting Room Conference site, we now are able to receive written questions from an audience and direct them around to different cameras while retaining the link with our mobile camera. We used this with a presentation for a conference at South Western University in August.
4. Apple Learning Interchange (ALI) now features Race Rocks for its educational materials on the QuickTime for Learning site. http://ali.apple.com/events/racerocks/ ALI has created a UNIT of PRACTICE on Race Rocks: These detailed ideas and examples for teaching with technology can help teachers integrate new media into their work. They collaborated with the National Science Foundation and the New American Schools Development Corporation to create a structured curriculum framework for sharing lessons, and named it Units of Practice (UOP).
One Unit of Practice made up by the staff of Apple Learning Interchange using our materials on the website is now available for teachers from a searchable educational database at http://ali.apple.com/ali/uops_display.php?findunit=7953
5. In July I was invited to UVic to address the Environmental Science Department’s summer school class on “Restoration of Marine Ecosystems”. I was asked to present our experiences as a Case Study , with the development of the technology and about the motivation and negotiations that led to the Race Rocks MPA.
6. In August , I was a guest speaker at the FairField Community Center in Victoria where the Western Canada Wilderness Committtee presented a public forum attended by over 150 people on Oceans Issues in British Columbia.
7. In August I made the first of two trips to Race Rocks with the SLELEMW Comm. Youth Project , a First Nations Environmental Stewardship project from Central Saanich.
They returned in September to meet some of our students and they made plans with us to work on the thirteen moons project ..
The following themes are being dealt with:
1.Marine Mammals and First Nations experience.
2.Fishing techniques used in the area.
3. The role of seaweeds in the diet and as a medicinal of First Nations.
4. First Nations Sustainable Use of Marine Resources.
They have agreed to help us produce a series of Quick Time videos for use with the thirteen moons theme. This project is started at http://www.racerocks.com/pearson/racerock/firstnations/13moons/13moons.htm
8. Inc early November, for Project week, I had 5 students staying at Race Rocks. We were able to do several live webcasts and they learned to put on prerecorded tape for webcasts in the evenings. They produced a good quantity of video footage which we are now in the process of making into archived video.
9. Six of our students helped me run projectors and computers for the Oceans Alive weekend event at the Royal B.C. Museum :On the weekend of November 24-25 , 8 students and Garry Fletcher participated in ” Ocean’s Alive-A Marine Life Weekend ” at the Royal B.C. Museum. Pearson College had been invited along with a dozen other marine interest groups to provide on-going displays over the two days of the weekend of projects designed to promote education and research in the local marine environment. For half of Saturday and all of Sunday, Michael Kiprop and Olend Kondakciu operated the mobile camera 4 at Race Rocks while Garry and the students ran four computers and two projectors with the four live video streams coming from Race Rocks. Thanks to the loan of two Apple computer G4 Powerbook , one from from Soho Computers and from Westworld Computers in Victoria, they were able to present some of the on-line resources of the colleges racerocks.com website to some of the 2300 members of the public who went through the turnstyles of the museum over the weekend. Initial problems of receiving webcasts inside on the museum’s network were solved by bringing in and installing in the rafters our own Apple Airport Base station which allowed wireless transmissions of four video streams to the museum hallways. Julia Clark and Virginie Lavallee , both second year Environmental Systems helped set up the equipment for the display and answer the public’s questions on Saturday morning while Damien Guihen of the racerocks activity helped Garry on the Saturday afternoon. For the Sunday presentations, Michael Cameron, Jafarr Saleh and Molly McKay, all members of the racerocks.com group each put in half a day for the presentations. It was a great opportunity to get out with the public to help promote the work we do at Race Rocks . We at the college now almost take for granted the 24 hour live webcasts from Race Rocks and the weekly live webcast of various college presentations such as International Affairs. There was surprise and amazement from many visitors however who never realized before that they could get such interesting live images of the sea lions and seabirds right in their own nearby Strait of Juan de Fuca. Two couples touring Victoria from Great Britain were excited to know that from home they could now see the wildlife of the local area live on the internet. For times of webcasts from the campus, see the link to the webcast schedule from the college home page.
Many school age children came by and were enthralled with the operation of the robotic camera at Race Rocks.
10. In order to maintain a daily connection with Race Rocks, we are now able to display the daily log written by the Race Rocks Guardians or our own faculty and students when they are at Race Rocks. Five of our students were there for project week in November and were able to contribute to the site. The development of this daily logging tool was done this fall with the help of one of our students in the raceerocks.com activity, Damien Guihen.
11. The racerocks.com Activity Group, which I now have10 students working in, meets every Tuesday afternoon. This group has progressed very well over the fall term in learning how to run live webcasts both from Race Rocks and from Pearson College campus. They now do the National days and the weekly International Affairs coverage by live webcast and they maintain a schedule for their webcasts at: http://www.pearson-college.uwc.ca/pearson/lbpcwebcast/video4.htm
12. In October, the racerocks.com Activity group conducted a successful webcast from race rocks, complete with underwater video as well, for a presentation I made in Vancouver at the B.C. technology education conference.
13. We facilitated the visit of Paul Kennedy who is putting together a series of programs on CBC IDEAS which deal with Oceans Issues in Canada. The racerocks .com group provided a demonstration live webcast for him —
He also did an extensive interview for the program which will air on CBC IDEAS in the spring.
14. In the special edition on Education and technology of the Fall 2001, Vol 41, no 3 issue of the Education Canada Journal , I had an article published called racerocks.com Education and research in Real Time. This is accessible also on our website at:
15. In the fall I worked with Dr. Anita Brinckmann- Voss and prepared 14 new pages for the website on hydroids of Race Rocks. Pictures were scanned from her collection of photomicrographs she has produced using the specimens provided by our divers at Race Rocks. This is the start of a set of pictures that we hope to get documented on the website that cover the species found as a result of our collaboration over the last 15 years. These pages are at http://www.racerocks.com/racerock/hydroid/photomic01/photomic.htm
15. I am working with a professor of Physics, Eddy Kestemont, Faculte des Sciences CP 224, Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium, giving advice on the installation of a site zap camera and the use of Sorenson Broadcaster. He writes:
My name is Eddy Kestemont and I am a professor of Physics and introductory
computer science at the “Universite libre de Bruxelles” (Free University of
Brussels in Belgium).
I have looked at your beautiful, impressive racerocks project and am very
interested by the material you have given students the possibility to watch
We have a project about remote experiments in Physics and some of the
hardware and software you use for your video streaming seems to fit with
our requirements: we would like to give students the possibility to view
and perform real undergraduate or K12 physics experiments, not simulations
but real experiments, viewing true hardware and looking at what really
happens in the lab; they also should have the possibility to interact,
adjust, modify some of the parameters of the experiment. We are completely
newbies in this field and would be very pleased if you
could take the time to answer some questions.—-
He goes on to ask a number of technical questions then ends with:
And many thanks again for your magnificent site.
16. In early December, we did a broadcast to an inner city school with an Hispanic population in Hollywood California. This was at the request of a grade three teacher , Maria Magana, who had been using our materials from the Pearson College biology website and had thought that her students could benefit from seeing our students in action. She says ” I have 21 Hispanic students, all below poverty, inner-city kids. I’d love to get them hooked on science by communicating with your students’ brain power.”– “I would really appreciate it since all my students are 3rd grade Latino children who would benefit from a real world contact with your future scientists. ”
Carolina from Chile and Juan Pablo from Costa Rica assisted me in the hour long webcast to the school on December 14. The feedback we got from the children was exceptional, indicating a real appreciation in the classroom for this kind of communication. Ms Magana sent the following after the webcast:
” Well, you made history today. Our school had never had a live webcast.
You were the first.— The students were mesmerized. They loved Carolina, Pablo, you and
all the plants, from the cacti to the algae to the stems you cut. The evidence
that it made a huge impression was seen back in class when I asked them
to write about what they learned. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such
long essays and such focused work!
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this for us.
Here are some quotes from their essays. I will send their
questions tomorrow. I think I’ll have to get a brochure from
Pearson College so I can send them to you in the future.
Thanks again, Maria”
17.This fall, several new curriculum related pages have been added to the resource materials available on Race Rocks. As these curriculum materials are built up, further opportunities are provided for schools accessing the site to use it as a Case Study resource.
A)RACE ROCKS INTRODUCTORY FIELD LAB
B) RACE ROCKS ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION
C) THE RACE ROCKS TAXONOMY- includes 44 student created pages as well.
D) Six new archived video have been added on the Archives Page this fall
E) Biology Syllabus – Race Rocks links were developed for the Ecology Unit in the International baccalaureate Syllabus:
F) The Race Rocks Environmental Data File was improved at
G) THE BIOTIC ASSOCIATIONS FILE was started
H)TAXALAB: RACE ROCKS : A PROJECT TO ESTABLISH A DIGITAL TAXONOMIC FILE