ASU-led online portal advances digital learning in earth and space sciences

April 13, 2022

from Arizona State University Center for Education Through Inquiry (ETX Center) announced the launch of “infinity 2.0, the next generation NASA-funded online platform transforming learning in Earth and Space Sciences in K-16.

Infiniscope designs and implements innovative digital learning experiences that advance STEM education and creative tools that empower educators to use educational technology at their discretion.

ASU’s Infiniscope Project is transforming learning in the K-16 in Earth and Space Sciences.
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“ASU was designed to leverage technology and innovation to meet learners where they are with quality learning opportunities,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Infiniscope 2.0 represents a new chapter in our efforts to innovate, develop and deploy world-leading technologies to educate more learners at scale.”

This project, created by experts from ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate offer research-driven, AI-enabled activities aligned with NASA-derived simulations and virtual field trips. It also provides a technology platform that enables educators to collaborate, create and customize their own digital learning activities in a way that aligns with the most effective research findings. Launched in 2018, Infiniscope reaches a network of more than 4,500 educators serving tens of thousands of learners and is growing rapidly.

“One of NASA’s goals in this post-pandemic world is to create opportunities for better digital learning solutions that meet the collective needs of educators, scientists, and lifelong learners. The Infiniscope 2.0 collection is a stunning achievement and a joy to explore,” said Kristen Erickson, director of NASA Scientific Activation (SciAct) program.

Infiniscope 2.0 is the result of a multi-million dollar investment by NASA SciAct in a technology partnership between the ETX Center and the Open learning initiative at Carnegie Mellon University.

“This partnership has far-reaching goals to improve STEM education by empowering educators in a variety of ways, from delivering sophisticated digital learning experiences to providing the tools and training to create their own advanced digital content that meet the needs of their students best,” said President’s Professor Ariel AnbarDirector of the ETX Center.

“Growing the community of educators applying learning research findings is a core element of OLI’s mission,” said Norman Bier, director of the Open Learning Initiative. “I’m particularly excited about this opportunity to help more science teachers integrate evidence-based practices and technology into their classrooms.”

Key features of the portal include a searchable and sortable virtual home, exploration activities designed specifically for NASA data and subject matter experts, adaptive feedback, personalized pathways based on the needs of individual learners, and exploration activities such as simulations and virtual field trips that “Learning by Doing” – a hallmark of the ETX Center philosophy of “Education through Exploration”.

Science educators love Infiniscope because it brings science to life.

“The content of Infiniscope is rich. It contextualizes opportunities for students to solve problems, make sense of things, and really find out what’s going on,” said Craig Sipes, the STEAMRepresents science, technology, engineering, arts and media. Coordinator for Local District East of the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of more than 3,000 schools and districts nationwide using Infiniscope.

Video from Consumer to Creators: Infiniscope 2019

But Infiniscope is not just another internet portal. It is the gateway to an innovative new teaching community centered on a digital platform that enables a community of educators to collaborate, create, customize and share next-generation exploratory activities — not just to leverage what already exists.

This new version of Infiniscope is built on a new foundation of open-source technology that keeps costs down and makes it easier for educators to stay in control of what they create.

“The open-source design of Infiniscope 2.0 means we can provide a stable platform for educators that won’t be sold or disappear,” he said Jessica Swan, the ETX Center’s program manager for instructional communities. “Teachers are often concerned that free, high-quality digital resources will not remain openly available. We address these concerns head-on.”

The ETX Center-Open Learning Initiative partnership is made possible by Argos Formationa new company aiming to transform how technology is used for education, and by Unicon, an educational software development company. Argos helped develop, host and support the new open source technology stack.

“Argos Education is an end-to-end learning experience platform and courseware marketplace that enables educators and their staff to create distinctive educational experiences and deliver them in a way that perfectly suits their learners,” said Curtiss Barnes, co-founder and CEO of Argos Education. “The Infiniscope educator community is a wonderful example of the kind of sharing and creativity we encourage.”

Educators interested in learning more about Infiniscope are invited join the community. As new features roll out in the coming months, they can contribute their own adaptive lessons to the network and sign their students up for viewing the different paths they take as they move through an activity.

“Infiniscope 1.0 has taught us that there is an untapped need among the most dynamic educators,” said Anbar. “When it comes to using technology in their classroom, they don’t just want to take advantage of the great experiences that modern platforms can offer. They also want to create great experiences. With Infiniscope 2.0, we want to meet that demand—and transform STEM education the way we are doing it.”

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