- The University of San Diego has launched what it is calling the first interactive learning platform to use mapping technology to allow students and professors to connect their classroom to real-world discoveries in real time.
- The learning platform, called World Interactive Study Environment, or WISE, pairs Google Maps Street View with postings of photos, videos, conversations, and comments from students and professors.
- One example of how WISE can be used is with students studying abroad who visit famous or historical landmarks, with other students and professors responding to postings with their own thoughts and experiences.
This idea could be characterized as a marriage of social media with the classroom. Although WISE seems to be initially aimed at students studying abroad, it could conceivably be used for other classes where students are learning in the field, or through real-world experiences. One interesting aspect of the WISE platform is how it could be used to track student interests through their postings, allowing professors to cater to those interests through their teaching and to track trends in those interests as they change over time. Chris Wessells, the university’s vice provost and chief information officer, said that WISE addresses a key teaching challenge: connecting the millennial generation of students — who are “tethered to their mobile devices” — to complex classroom concepts.