Sharples, M., Scanlon, E., Ainsworth, S., Anastopoulou, S., Collins, T., Crook, C., Jones, A., Kerawalla, L., Littleton, K., Mulholland, P., & O’Malley, C. (2014). Personal inquiry: Orchestrating science investigations within and beyond the classroom. Journal of the Learning Sciences. Doi: 10.1080/10508406.2014.944642
Mobile technology can be used to scaffold inquiry-based learning, enabling learners to work across settings and times, singly or in collaborative groups. It can expand learners’ opportunities to understand the nature of inquiry whilst they engage with the scientific content of a specific inquiry. This Sharples et al. paper reports on the use of the mobile computer-based inquiry toolkit nQuire. Teachers found the tool useful in helping students to make sense of data from varied settings.
DiGironimo, N. (2011). What is technology? Investigating student conceptions about the nature of technology. International Journal of Science Education, 33(10), 1337–1352.
A good understanding of the nature of technology arguably facilitates learners’ participation in a technology-rich, information-driven society. To support students’ engagement and assess their understanding, educators need a functional definition of technology. This paper offers a definition with a related framework for examining students’ understanding.
Ainsworth, S. (2006). DeFT: A conceptual framework for considering learning with multiple representations. Learning and Instruction, 16(3), 183–198.
Educators in informal science are exploring data visualization as a way to involve learners in analyzing and interpreting data. However, designing visualizations of data for learners can be challenging, especially when the visualizations show more than one type of data. The Ainsworth three-part DeFT framework can help practitioners design multiple external representations to support learning.
Stodden, V. (2010). Open science: Policy implications for the evolving phenomenon of user-led scientific innovation. Journal of Science Communication, 9(1), 1–8.
The internet allows sharing of digital data, code, and research articles so that not only scientific results but also the underlying supports and the paths of reasoning are publicly available. It is an opportunity for the public to learn about and participate in “computational and data-driven” citizen science. Informal science educators and communities can facilitate citizen engagement in this work by creating learning experiences that give citizens the skills needed to gain entry into the data of their interest, by working with professional societies to find and create outlets for this study, and by fostering collaboration between citizens and scientists.
Watermeyer, R. (2010). Social network science: pedagogy, dialogue, deliberation. Journal of Science Communication, 9(1), 1–9.
ISE professionals can use this study as a guide to help them in understanding the uses of social networking sites (SNS). The author maintains that SNS provide a space that allows the public to become better acquainted with the work of scientists, stimulating transparency and accountability, and that encourages the public to become active contributors to scientific research and debate.
DeGennaro, D., & Brown, T. L. (2009). Youth voices: Connections between history, enacted culture and identity in a digital divide initiative. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4(1), 13–39.
The paper describes how middle school students appropriated and transformed a particular learning experience in an afterschool literacy program in Philadelphia. The learning experience was designed to ensure that urban African-American, middle school girls had access to technology and learned how to use it to create a web page that showcased future career aspirations. The program’s director enlisted the help of male, Caucasian high school students from the suburbs of Philadelphia to facilitate the technology learning experience for the middle school youth (both girls and boys were in the program). The researchers identified a wide range of ways that cultural assumptions were made and projected upon the urban middle school students, and how these middle school students resisted and transformed the program into one where they could explore and communicate their identities within their communities. This paper can draw ISE educators’ attention to the existing resources and strengths that teens from nondominant communities bring to learning experiences.
Miller, J. D. (2010) Adult science learning in the internet era. Curator: The Museum Journal, 53(2), 191–208.
Focusing on where people find information about issues relevant to civic society, the author of this paper concludes that, in contrast to the Internet and related information technologies, informal science institutions are less impactful on civic science literacy. The implications of his findings are that in the Internet era an informal science institution's in-house presentation of intriguing phenomena may not be sufficient to supporting an engaged scientifically literate citizenry.
Jaakkola, T., Nurmi, S., & Veermans, K. (2011). A comparison of students’ conceptual understanding of electric circuits in simulation only and simulation-laboratory contexts. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(1), 71–93.
This article makes a case for providing multiple types of hands-on resources to support learner inquiry. More specifically, a computer simulation of an electric circuit complemented work with a real circuit to support learners’ conceptual development. When learners had the opportunity to use both simulated and real circuits, less structured guidance seemed to benefit the inquiry process.
Brewer, P. R., & Ley, B. L. (2013). Whose science do you believe? Explaining trust in sources of scientific information about the environment. Science Communication, 35(1), 115–137. doi:10.1177/1075547012441691
Brewer and Ley surveyed 851 participants in a U.S. city and revealed relationships among demographic characteristics, religious beliefs, political views, and trust in multiple forms of science communication sources.
Eijck, M. V., & Claxton, N. X. (2009). Rethinking the notion of technology in education: Techno-epistemology as a feature inherent to human praxis. Science Education, 93, 218–232.
The authors of this paper use Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) as a conceptual framework for understanding how technology is tied to culturally specific human practices, and what this means in an educational context. ISE professionals can use this paper to better understand the relationship between technology and science education and how technology as a cultural tool can represent inherent (privileged) epistemologies. The researchers in this study examined Reef Net technology of the WSÁNEĆ (Saanich) First Nation to demonstrate how cultural ways of knowing are embedded in the technology.