Public Lab Research note

Exploratory Lesson Activity for Image Sequencer

by carmen2x | April 20, 2022 18:21 20 Apr 18:21 | #30539 | #30539

Image Sequencer is a powerful open-source tool that can be used for image data manipulation. But, before we can expect students to use Image Sequencer for their work, there are several steps an instructor can take to help those students understand the capabilities of this tool, and how it may apply to their work.

Public Lab users in the past have used the combination of Near IR Cameras and Infragram to collect and share data on vegetation, specifically, the health of vegetation in a given area. Using NDVI, community scientists are able to collect valuable information on the plant life in the locations where they are doing research. While Infragram is a powerful tool for this purpose, Image Sequencer provides a few additional benefits and functions that students can use for other purposes as well as enhancing presentation and usability of the data that they collect. When working with remote sensing, and especially when working with cameras modified or created by community scientists, the initially collected images may not present immediately usable data. Image sequencer not only gives people less complex ways to edit photos, but it allows them to track the changes to the photos in the order that those changes are made, therefore strengthening the reliability of research for replication by others.

When introducing Image Sequencer, students may not be familiar with the known scientific applications of image processing available to collect data, nor may use cases be readily apparent to them for the completion of their own research. It is a powerful learning experience to allow students to have the space to mess about with the tool without the expectation of using it for academic purposes right away. Similar to an unboxing, an exploratory lesson of any new web- or computer-based application can not only strengthen understanding of the tool, but it can generate authentic student-led inquiry around the tool and its uses.

I've attached a guide for students and instructors to use for an activity that can guide students with some scaffolding around using the program. It's definitely a good idea, in my opinion, for instructors to play around with the software before introducing this activity to their students so that they can help with some of the functions, but it is not necessary for the instructor to feel like they are experts on the tool. One of the biggest barriers to exploratory learning is when teachers feel like they must be experts on the tools in order to support their students-- I think in this particular case, it is more important for the instructor to model learning about the tool than it is to already know it. In addition to this activity, keep an eye out for another post that will have an extension exploratory activity that supports students in documenting their processes as they utilize Image Sequencer.

Please share any feedback or experiences you have with this activity if you choose to use it. It is geared toward Middle school students, but can easily be applied to High School students as well.



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