A Web application has been developed specifically to support the process of creating Future Classroom Scenarios, Learning Activities and Learning Stories. It also helps in the discovery of educational resources, as well as adapting Future Classroom Scenarios created by others. This tool has been called the "Scenario Development Environment" or SDE for short.
The SDE provides a simple editor, for creating Scenarios and Learning Activities and Stories, letting you share them with others, easing the task of working cooperatively. These resources, published in the SDE, may serve of inspiration for other teachers, who can borrow ideas from them.
The SDE's particular strength is that it makes the task of discovering educational resources quicker and easier. The user can choose the topic they want to gather resources about, and will be offered documentaries, places of interest, lectures, courses, biographies, and many other types of educational resources. Recommendations for a wide range of resources for studying and understanding any given topic are made accessible from a single place.
The exploratory search in the SDE, takes the user along a pathway where a particular topic leads to other related topics, and where a single educational resource will lead to the discovery of similar ones, in an on-going process of exploration and discovery. An example of exploratory search is shown by this search based on the Iliad by Homer in the SDE and how from there they can navigate towards:
- related books, such as the Odyssey
- places of interest, such as the Archaeological site of Troy
- artworks, such as The Wrath of Achilles
- events, such as the conference of The Supernatural in Literature and Film
- documentaries, such as The True Story of Troy
- courses, such as The Ancient Greek Hero
- articles on scientific dissemination, such as the one entitled "Homeric epics were written in 762 BCE, give or take, new study suggests."
The user can bookmark these resources for later use in the "bookmarks" section in the SDE. For example the learning resources found can be added to a Learning Story, as shown in the examples provided here.
Once a user starts interacting with the SDE by exploring, bookmarking educational resources, and so on, it becomes familiar with the topics they are interested in, provides increasingly more useful recommendations of educational resources. The SDE leverages state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence techniques to let search the Web for the most appropriate resources.
Another feature of this tool allows the user to make use of a Scenario or Learning Activity created by another teacher and adapt it with different resources. This is useful if, in the original Scenario or Learning Activity, students make use of proprietary software, not available in other schools, or maybe visit a museum that is in another country. The SDE provides alternative educational resource recommendations.