This is a lab I use in ANT 2511 – Human Species here at UCF. I remember a lab like this from my own undergraduate days at the University of Arkansas. It still resonates with me today. In a nutshell, students follow an arboreal quadruped around campus for an hour recording it’s movements and activities in 10-minute increments. Since UCF has not been overrun by primates (other than humans, of course), we use a proxy animal – the friendly neighborhood squirrel (the eastern gray squirrel). It’s a fun exercise designed to give students a taste of primatology fieldwork. The lab is explored in detail below.
This lab provides a ‘hands-on’ opportunity to explore hominin evolution using 3D models. I’ve been using a version of this lab since the fall semester of 2017 at the University of Central Florida. The lab is divided into two parts. The first portion requires students to explore 3D models of hominin fossils created and uploaded to Sketchfab. The second portion requires them to use their notes from these comparisons and complete a quiz (which can be offered in-class or online). The lab is designed specifically for introductory courses with high enrollments. My sections typically have between 150-300 students.
I’m a long-time fan of games – card games, board games, and video games. I suppose this is an increasingly common thing as we live in a golden age for indie games. This is as true for board and card games as it is for video games. Recently, I began working on a game concept and design to simulate the ways human groups of differing social complexity might interact in time and space. Thus, Social Complexity: The Game was born. (more…)
The use of digital technologies for visualizing past environments is experiencing something of a renaissance. This is due to dropping costs of hardware and an increase in the intuitive usability of 3D/virtual environments. The ability to deliver interactive content via the internet (a.k.a. Web 2.0) provides new ways of sharing research wider audiences. These developments also provide exciting pedagogical potentials. This post discusses how my teaching of historical archaeology benefits from these emerging technologies. Specifically, the use of a virtual world environment to explore historical architecture as described in James Deetz’s In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life. (more…)