Building off a 2014 Spark-level grant, the Hive Mapping Cooperative (HMC) is developing shared systems for teens to collect, analyze, visualize, and share georeferenced data using free and open source tools for mobile data collection, data visualization, and digital mapping. With these tools, we aim to enhance cross-program, teen-driven inquiry into human ecology and urban ecosystems.
In Spring 2015, HMC will convene biweekly meetings with core partners to review challenges and successes from summer 2014 HMC pilots and identify additional challenges and opportunities. Developers, educators, and teens will co-design a streamlined suite of collaborative data collection and visualization tools, and clear workflows for summer teen program participants and educators. HMC will launch prototype systems in 2015 summer programs, evaluating and modifying technological and curricular aspects of the project during and between program cycles through April 2016. Core concepts will be documented with recognition that digital tools will evolve over time. A workshop for ASM instructors in January 2016 will explore integration across content areas.
HMC seeks to utilize data collection, visualization, and sharing technologies to increase meaningful collaborative youth-driven inquiry across programs. Teens will create and collaborate within and across programs in an open, peer-supported network to produce and refine research protocols, visualizations and maps. Partners already convene cross-program youth meetups throughout the year for teens to connect, learn about each others programs, and identify areas of shared purpose. However, those shared programmatic connections rarely continue beyond in-person meetings; digital tools and systems to be utilized have the potential to maintain those relationships through regular contributions to other teens’ projects.
Through this project, teens will have access to flexible digital technologies and a networked system to develop, share, and contribute to inquiry projects across programs. With open access to teen-designed research protocols and data, there is the potential for youth to inspire and be inspired by their peers following divergent paths of inquiry, and enlist peers in collecting/interpreting data and developing narratives around locally-relevant issues and topics.
The tools and systems used by HMC will be open to any teen interested in issues or questions that have spatio-temporal components and could be used by youth pursuing either interest-driven pathways or as a part of a formal program. Chicago teens and program providers will have an accessible suite of digital tools to collect media-rich spatial data, generate dynamic maps and visualization, and collaborate across programs on youth-led inquiry and narratives.