Facilitating Place-Based Learning in Outdoor Informal Environments with Mobile Computers

January 1st, 2014 | RESEARCH

This paper advocates for place-based education to guide research and design for mobile computers used in outdoor informal environments (e.g., backyards, nature centers and parks). By bringing together research on place-based education with research on location awareness, we developed three design guidelines to support learners to develop robust science-related understandings within local communities. The three empirically- derived design guidelines are: (1) Facilitate participation in disciplinary conversations and practices within personally-relevant places, (2) Amplifying observations to see the disciplinary-relevant aspects of a place, and (3) Extending experiences through exploring new perspectives, representations, conversations, or knowledge artifacts. Last, we link theory to practice by illustrating how the three guidelines were applied in one outdoor science learning project called Tree Investigators.


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Team Members

Heather Zimmerman, Author, Pennsylvania State University
Susan Land, Author, Pennsylvania State University


Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 8756-3894
Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1007/s11528-013-0724-3

Publication: TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning
Volume: 58
Number: 1
Page(s): 77

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Audience: Educators | Teachers | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science | General STEM | Nature of science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Media and Technology | Park | Outdoor | Garden Programs | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media