GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 67-18
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


CROMPTON, Helen, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529,

School science field trips rarely involve walking across fields! Teachers tend to bring their classes to museums, aquariums, planetariums, and other venues where an expert in the subject matter (but not necessarily in teaching and learning) takes over the presentation. This relegates the teacher to the role of maintaining order. Mobile devices, and the new theory of learning called connectivism, can change this model. There are two approaches of importance to earth science education at school level—the virtual field trip and the augmented field trip.

Using a combination of visualization apps and social media, students and their teachers can connect with one another inside and outside of the classroom. In the classroom, virtual field trips can be as simple as a web tour or VR headset experience. Resources such as EarthQuiz.netcan be used to create a competitive spirit. Outside of the classroom, students can use augmented reality apps that overlay data upon their live cellphone imagery. We have been using the FreshAiR app in small scale tests for several years, sending sutdents to hunt for clues in the field, but the recent popularity of Pokémon GO offers an opporunity to reach students' in a format with which they are already familiar. Students can engage in an egg hunt, answer quiz questions, engage in peer instruction, or seek advise from instructors and/or peers.

Pre-service teachers need to have access to age-appropriate learning objects and learning modules, and to instructional sequences and rubrics so that they can feel confident in the transition to the in-service world.