Pre-college educators face many challenges when integrating marine topics with other subject areas. They find it difficult to fit in new topics such as oceans because their time and effort is focused on meeting learning standards and district / state assessments. COSEE-OS scientists who teach at the university level have likewise noted that they and their peers are often not well prepared to teach science using an interdisciplinary approach. In most cases, the result is a curriculum of discrete topics that doesn't provide students with a framework in which to view the "big picture."
To help alleviate this problem, COSEE–OS resources have been selected to showcase fundamental science concepts which can be mapped within a "big picture context." Our primary mode of dissemination to broad audiences is the Ocean Climate Interactive (OCI). This flash-based application allows users to explore concepts and their relationships through a variety of assets - videos, images, news articles, and teaching resources - within a profile that gives breadth and depth to the learning experience. The OCI, when used in conjuction with our Concept Map Builder, constitutes part of the COSEE-OS suite of ocean-climate multimedia known as the Concept Linked Integrated Media Builder (CLIMB).
The OCI was created from a series of concept maps developed by scientist-educator teams. After several iterations, the overarching map was parsed into three distinct "views" - the Earth-Sun View, the Earth View, and the CloseUp View - which showcase various concepts, each of which is linked to other concepts, subconcepts, and a multitude of assets. Educators can use the OCI in their classrooms as an easy-to-access resource for engaging material; students can browse the concepts and their assets to learn more about them in a way that invites further exploration.
As beta versions of the COSEE-OS ocean-climate multimedia continue to be developed, COSEE-OS will work with focus groups to discover how the various interfaces / interactions should be integrated to optimize the educational experience for formal and informal education audiences. Preliminary survey results indicate that providing "customized journeys" – e.g., tools that allow learners to pull topics from a "shopping list," see how these topics are tied within a concept map, and then progress through the connected ideas in a stepwise manner – may be a powerful way to reach new audiences with ocean systems content.
Please see our tutorials to learn how to navigate the OCI or visit the OCI interface to begin using this tool.