Learning 21st century science in context with mobile technologies

Anastopoulou, Stamatina; Sharples, Mike; Wright, Michael; Martin, Hazel; Ainsworth, Shaaron; Benford, Steve; Crook, Charles; Greenhalgh, Chris and O'Malley, Claire (2008). Learning 21st century science in context with mobile technologies. In: Proceedings of the mLearn 2008 Conference, 7-10 Oct 2008, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, UK.

URL: http://www.mlearn2008.org/


The paper describes a project to support personal inquiry learning with handheld and desktop technology between formal and informal settings. It presents a trial of the technology and learning across a school classroom, sports hall, and library. The main aim of the study was to incorporate inquiry learning activities within an extended school science environment in order to investigate opportunities for technological mediations and to extract initial recommendations for the design of mobile technology to link inquiry learning across different contexts. A critical incident analysis was carried out to identify learning breakdowns and breakthroughs that led to design implications. The main findings are the opportunities that a combination of mobile and fixed technology bring to: manage the formation of groups, display live visualisations of student and teacher data on a shared screen to facilitate motivation and personal relevance, incorporate broader technical support, provide context-specific guidance on the sequence, reasons and aims of learning activities, offer opportunities to micro-sites for reflection and learning in the field, to explicitly support appropriation of data within inquiry and show the relation between specific activities and the general inquiry process.

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