About Active Explorer

Mobile phones and tablets are powerful data collection devices, with sophisticated image, video, audio, text, sketch and GPS capturing capabilities. As these devices become ubiquitous, there is an unprecedented opportunity for children and youth to use them to explore the world around them.

But until now, educators who wished to take advantage of this opportunity were limited to the handful of projects created for them. Now, Active Explorer lets them take control of the technology and use their imaginations to create educational experiences tailored to their kids.

Logging in as Leaders, educators create Quests that guide young Explorers on a mobile phone mission. For a biology class, they might photograph ten different kinds of flowers, collect five animal calls, or chart the territory of an invasive plant. Other science students could use Active Explorer to document an experiment or engineering project. For history, they might visit and document five historic buildings or monuments in their town, or interview an older family member or friend about their recollections about a historic time period, event, or cultural phenomenon. An art teacher might have students collect images that depict texture, light, perspective or color. And a math teacher could have them document repeating patterns, ratios, and examples of rates of change.

But collecting data is just the beginning. Once Explorers have captured the assets on their Quest To Do list, they can visit their Active Explorer web page to see what they’ve collected and use it to create SmartWork: slide presentations, science posters, comic strips and ebooks that let them share what they’ve learned with their fellow Explorers and Leader.

As Active Explorer grows, we will add more data capture options, more analytical tools on the Explorer pages, and more SmartWork options for the creation of videos, podcasts, animations and other fun, creative ways for children and youth to interpret and share what they have discovered.