OGGM-Edu in classes and workshops

OGGM-Edu can readily be used in your classes and workshops - we encourage you to try it out! Depending on your own knowledge about glaciers, this can require little or some preparation.

Currently, we are working on making OGGM-Edu suitable for classes at the highschool level (using the web applications) and at the university level (using the programmable notebooks). You will find some help to get you started below.

Using the OGGM-Edu web apps at the highschool level

OGGM-Edu can be used to organize a 2 to 4 hours class, possibly even longer. Note that it will require teachers to gain some knowledge about glaciers first, either from these Other educational resources or from us.

A 2 to 4 hours class could be organized as such:

  1. General introduction to glaciers: what is a glacier, where do we find them, why are they important?

  2. Learn about the glaciers location and their climate with the World Glaciers Explorer app. Use the sample questions to encourage the students to explore the app themselves.

  3. Learn about different glacier types in the Glacier Gallery (beta).

  4. For more advanced classes, learn about glacier flow with the Glacier Simulator (beta). This app can be used for a number of different experiments, some of them can also be complemented with a glacier goo experiment.

Using the OGGM-Edu notebooks at the university level

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.

Our notebooks have been used for a one week workshop given to students in Peru. Read this blog post for more details.

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 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.