Victoria Szabo, Program Director, Information Science + Information Studies
Richard Lucic, Associate Department Chair and Associate Professor of the Practice, Computer Science, Information Science + Information Studies (ISIS) Curriculum Director
ISIS students explored handheld devices for collecting data to create annotated maps. Students investigated GPS-enabled camera technologies and tracking software to determine the best tools and practices to create maps for a remote community. They created a toolkit, with a variety of devices and documentation, and an associated website. This toolkit was used in DukeEngage project in Muhuru Bay, Kenya in the summer of 2009.
The ultimate goal of this project is to create information-rich maps to be used in school and community center planning, fund raising, outreach, and education, in collaborate with DukeEngage, WISER, and members of the local Kenyan community. Visit the area yourself at the Muhuru Bay Mapping Site. Or, use the documentation the students created as part of this project to make your own multimedia maps.
Victoria Szabo reflected on what the students learned:
Because this project had a practical output, we were able to measure the learning goals achieved by the quality of the final product, as described above. One of the real benefits of doing a project with actual social significance was the commitment students from the various aspects of the project made to making it work. We found that the ISIS students became very interested in the Muhuru project, not just the technology. Similarly, the students primarily interested in WISER, the ones who did the independent study project, while not starting out very technically proficient, found themselves highly motivated to learn how to use technology tools to represent research and share information. As digital media fluency is part of ISISʼs core mission, this was very satisfying to see. In addition, the students in the Capstone developed specialties that evolved over time, sometimes identifying themselves more as artists or promoters, and other times as technical specialists. This fluidity of self-representation helped ensure a successful collaborative experience, which is also critical to our programʼs mission. In addition, student project participant Virginia Rieck received a Duke 2009 Gender and Race Research Award for her work on “Mapping Metaphors in Muhuru Bay,” which she worked on as a research independent study in Fall 2009.
Victoria Szabo and Sherryl Broverman presented this project at the 2009 Educause conference. Victoria talked about this project at the 2009 CIT showcase, and about her current mapping projects at the 2010 CIT showcase.
Victoria talked about the unexpected benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration:
In terms of pleasant surprises, the best part was how satisfying it was to do a truly interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues from Duke Global Health I might never otherwise see. Instead of trying to adapt methods from another discipline from afar, I felt like we were really working to make something new together. Later, meeting the teachers and understanding how deeply committed they are to the WISER mission also helped me realize that we were doing something that at least in a broad sense had real, positive impact that went beyond the specifics of our project. The overall theme of women, empowerment, and technological literacy within a global culture is one I’d like to see us continue to evolve in the program, and which I hope to find ways to continue in my own work as well.
Project start date: 12/3/2008
Funding awarded: $10,040