Evans, M. A., Lopez, M., Maddox, D., Drape, T., & Duke, R. (2014). Interest-driven learning among middle school youth in an out-of-school STEM studio. Journal of Science Education Technology, 23(5), 624–640. doi:10.1007/s10956-014-9490-z
In this paper, Evans, Lopez, Maddox, Drape, and Duke investigate how intentionally designed features of an out-of-school time program,Studio STEM, influenced middle school youths’ engagement in their learning. The authors took a connected learning approach, using new media to support peer interaction and engagement with an engineering design challenge in an open and flexible learning environment.
Ryoo, J. J., Margolis, J., Lee, C. H., Sandoval, C.D.M., & Goode, J. (2013). Democratizing computer science knowledge: Transforming the face of computer science through public high school education. Learning, Media, and Technology, 38(2), 161–181.
Although computer science drives innovations that directly affect our everyday lives, few K–12 students have access to engaging and rigorous computer science learning. This article describes an effort to democratize access to computer science education through a program based on inquiry, culturally relevant curriculum, and equity-oriented pedagogy.
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.
Rehmat, A. P., & Bailey, J. M. (2014). Technology integration in a science classroom: Preservice teachers’ perceptions. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 23(6), 744–755. doi:10.1007/s10956-014-9507-7
How can technology be used to support inquiry in the classroom? In this study, Rehmat and Bailey probe the effects of a science methods course for preservice elementary teachers that explicitly includes technology integration. The preservice teachers in this course broadened their definition of classroom technology, increased their technology use, and gained a more positive outlook on technology integration.
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.