OGGM-Edu in classes and workshops

OGGM-Edu is still in an early development stage and has not yet been used as standalone platform for classes or workshops - but we encourage you to try it out!

We use notebooks frequently for our own lectures, and we are big fans! They allow to convey knowledge in interactive, “try as you learn” practicals, and they encourage active learning.

Here are a few recommendations based on our own experience:

Spend at least two hours explaining the notebook and jupyterlab environments. Showing their basic features first, then let the students play with a simple and short notebook. In a second session (after an hour or so), summarize the usual pitfalls:

  • recognize that notebooks are actual files (not something magical on browser)

  • aknowledge that the order of execution of cells matter

  • aknowledge that errors in cell execution are OK and can be recovered from

  • show how to restart with a fresh notebook

  • encourage the use of keyboard shortcuts (such as [shift+enter] and [ctrl+m] + key)

On Binder: avoid bad surprises by explaining to your class that the sessions are temporary. Show your students how to download and upload files to JupyterLab so that they feel comfortable saving their work from time to time.

Whatever your learning goals are, always plan less than that. You might find this blog post and this free online book about teaching with jupyter notebooks useful as well.

If you plan to teach about programming aspects as well as about glaciology, focus on the content more than on the method. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the “fun” aspect of notebooks and the programming challenges often distract students from what they are actually doing: glaciology and climatology. We’ve seen students googling about how to change a colormap before even trying to analyse the plot they just produced.

If you have the chance to have more experienced students in the room, organize peer-mentoring in groups of 2 or 3. Students are often better in mentoring each other than we are.