Yes, my title reflects a pun. A “Zero” was a plane used by the Japanese in WWII. And my Networked Learning Space for my UC Denver course is focused on building a Networked Learning Space for the WWII Aviation History Museum in Colorado Springs, a growing museum that just earned Congressional recognition.
I created the site in Google Communities, having looked at other options and deciding that Google tools, with their ease of use, would be the most appropriate tool for reaching school teachers and students of STEM topics.
I’ve started to curate some of the topics that the museum has already begun to promote in its mission: its Link instrument aviation trainer, and technologies developed and used during WWII, like Plexiglass and Formica. The real focus is to find content that is relevant to both the war, and STEM learning. There are a number of relevant technologies and sciences that advanced during the war, but finding them, and making them interesting to young students is a challenge.
My bigger struggle will be to build the site and build a coalition among the museum docents to use the site to draw students and teachers to the museum. We don’t want them to learn just from visiting the site. We want to tease them to coming and touching and playing with the displays and technologies.
I feel like I will have a long way to go to build the audience for the WWII Aviation Museum site for STEM learning, but I’m just beginning. And I want to find ways to build the voices that will make it interesting.