The list below includes features that I found valuable in my oceanography course at UCSB.
- Has all of the data needed for students to study plate boundary types, plate motion from sefloor ages and hot spots
- Easy to capture and annotate images of the plots
- Plots real time earthquakes from the USGS realtime data feeds
- Lots of content (presentations about plate tectonics, volcanos and Earth interior)
- Student inquiry activities included
- Software updates are automatically installed
- Customization of content is supported
- Lots of animations and videos
Content Modules: Instruction about the solid Earth is supported by Powerpoint-like slide shows that include animations, links to web sites, and printable maps and resources (see the table of contents on the next page). Lab activities, homework assignments, and background materials are included. Each slide contains text, an image or movie, and links to other slide shows, pdf documents, or web pages. The dropdown menus and slide shows are editable by the instructor. So it is possible to present the student with a package that seamlessly reflects teacher modifications. The slide show presenter supports multiple media types, including quicktime movies, still images, pdf documents, and web pages.
To take best advantage of the depth of content and exploration that is supported, learners should be able to work in both a lab environment and at their own computer. The system can be configured for use in either situation. Synchronization between environments is accomplished by transferring the changes using inexpensive and widely available flash drives. The LWD system supports a secure system for transferring this information.