Unit 1. Your Virtual WorldRevision Date: Jun 11, 2020 (Version 3.0)
Previous lessons in the "Your Virtual World" have investigated the impact of computer innovations on society. In this lesson, students will learn how using technology can enhance our abilities to solve larger and broader problems (problem solving). The lesson begins by examining reCAPTCHAs, which most students will be familiar with, but they may not realize how they solve two significant problems. It continues with solving problems at scale with distributed computing and crowdsourcing.
Student computer usage for this lesson is: required
For the Student
For the Teacher
Think-Pair-Share: Solving problems with reCAPTCHA
Say: Today we are going to examine Crowdsourcing a strategy for enlisting the work of many people to identify problems, solve problems and share solutions via the internet. And we are going to examine how computing technology facilitates the collection and creation of this information.
As a class, read the following from the paragraph from the NY Times article Crowdsourcing, For the Birds.
Tens of thousands of birders are now what the lab calls “biological sensors,” turning their sightings into digital data by reporting where, when and how many of which species they see. Mr. Martinka’s sighting of a dozen herons is a tiny bit of information, but such bits, gathered in the millions, provide scientists with a very big picture: perhaps the first crowdsourced, real-time view of bird populations around the world.
Watch the video What is Crowdsourcing?. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buyub6vIG3Q (2:50)
Point out distributed computing to solve big science problems:
Display some examples from a service like BOINC that lets you help cutting-edge science research using your computer. BOINC downloads scientific computing jobs to your computer and runs them invisibly in the background. It's easy and safe.
About 30 science projects use BOINC; examples include Einstein@Home, IBM World Community Grid, and SETI@home. These projects investigate diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research.
Citizen science is scientific research conducted at least in part by individuals from many different locations who contribute relevant data to research using their own computing devices. You don't need to be a scientist to contribute to citizen science.
Direct students to Akinator.com or 20Q and play an online game that aggregates human information. Teachers may have students do this independently or work together as a whole class.
Direct students to Kickstarter.com. Students choose what they think is worthy of funding and respond to the following
Watch Video: Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Explained (3:48) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-38uPkyH9vI
While students watch the video they take notes about crowdsourcing including:
Questions in the AP Classroom Question Bank may be used for summative purposes.
Sixty of the 80 questions are restricted to teacher access. The remaining 20 questions are from public resources.
Questions are identified by their initial phrases.
Both online newspapers and social media sites are
Which of the following is a true statement abou...
Students describe how people participate in a problem-solving process that scales using examples from citizen science (or another example of problem-solving.
The purpose of this activity is for students to contribute their knowledge to the aggregated collection of knowledge known as "Wikipedia."
"Picture Stitching" is the practice of blending hundreds of photos to create one huge detailed picture.
Stitched 365-gigapixel image of Mont Blanc created by stitching together 70,000 images http://www.in2white.com/# .
Can students imagine additional possible crowdsourcing or citizen science projects?
How does online collaboration improve problem solving abilities?
Sample assessment questions: