Field Day Lab
Jun 19, 2016 · 4 min read

7 Ways Teachers are Using Siftr to Get Students Outside

Siftr is a fun tool that helps people do field research. In just five minutes, you can create a Siftr, based on a theme with sub-categories that you specify. You and your fellow researchers, friends, students, neighbors can take photos, add captions and categories, and then upload them to a map. You’ll all be able to see the photos in real time and keep the conversation and discoveries going by commenting, liking, and sharing each others’ posts.

New Siftrs are created every day, and we’ve discovered they transcend subjects, grades, and even international borders. Siftr is especially popular with teachers. Here’s a collection of Siftrs by teachers of all ages and subjects.

These are all public Siftrs, so feel free to contribute while you’re checking them out!

Forest and Humans Trees

This Siftr is a celebration of trees! Used for an online class, students from all over the world uploaded pictures of their favorite trees. They used categories of Temperate — Coniferous, Temperate — Broadleaf, Tropical and Boreal.

Veroetry

2nd Grade Students in Verona, WI used this Siftr to write poetry! They were prompted to take a photo and then write a poem while spending time at that location. They also used Siftr to comment on each other’s poems.

Snow Challenge

In this Siftr, the students learn about the types of snow as well as the cultural experience of snow — in our culture as well as the Sami culture. Students were asked to use Sami words for the specific types of snow in their picture descriptions.

Snow Challenge Siftr

Contested Spaces

In this activity, students were asked to locate places and spaces that are contested. They were prompted to consider these questions: How do different people view and use this place? What uses cause conflict? How are these conflicts enacted and resolved? Who has power in this place? Who and what is excluded from this place?

This Siftr has been used by several different classes. Another Siftr on Contested Spaces looks at a specific area that has a history of contested use for women

This was is a contested space: “Art deemed harsh? Aside morning glories growing freely?”

Cloud Collector

In this Siftr, students learn about clouds by collecting pictures of them and then categorizing them correctly…Cumulonimbus…Cirrus…Cumulus…Stratus…Nimbostratus. As an additional task, they were asked to add observations about the wind and temperature in the description.

Cumulus Cloud
Cumulonimbus
Cirrus Cloud

Faces Photography

This photography class used a new Siftr each week for their assignment. One week they were asked to create a portrait or capture a candid that reveals a person and mood. They had to work composition, great light, motion, pattern and spontaneity into their photo. Siftr allowed this class to go out and take pictures separately, then easily project the results for an in-class discussion.

Nature Journal

In this Siftr, students were asked to collect photos for a nature journal they created. They used the camera to take observations at four levels — eye level, ground level, overhead and landscape. They used these pictures as inspiration for their paper journals. They also took pictures of their drawings and posted them for other students to check out. This was a fun example of combining the digital tool with a paper project.

field day lab

We design learning games at UW-Madison.

field day lab

We design learning games at UW-Madison. Field Day Lab is both a game studio and a research lab. The University of Wisconsin — Madison is ground zero for research on Games and Learning.

Field Day Lab

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Designing learning experiences that blur the lines between virtual and physical, formal and informal, play and work. Find us at fielddaylab.org

field day lab

We design learning games at UW-Madison. Field Day Lab is both a game studio and a research lab. The University of Wisconsin — Madison is ground zero for research on Games and Learning.