Schools as SMART Environments - CHI Best Paper Award - MOHER-CHI2006-EmbeddedPhenomena

Schools as SMART Environments - CHI Best Paper Award - MOHER-CHI2006-EmbeddedPhenomena

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Embedded Phenomena: Supporting Science Learning with Classroom-sized Distributed Simulations Tom Moher Department of Computer Science University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL 60607 USA moher@uic.edu ABSTRACT ‘Embedded phenomena’ is a learning technology framework in which simulated scientific phenomena are mapped onto the physical space of classrooms. Students monitor and control the local state of the simulation through distributed media positioned around the room, gathering and aggregating evidence to solve problems or answer questions related to those phenomena. Embedded phenomena are persistent, running continuously over weeks and months, creating information channels that are temporally and physically interleaved with, but asynchronous with respect to, the regular flow of instruction. In this paper, we describe the motivations for the framework, describe classroom experiences with three embedded phenomena in the domains of seismology, insect ecology, and astronomy, and situate embedded phenomena within the context of human-computer interaction research in co-located group interfaces and learning technologies. Author Keywords Embedded phenomena, classroom learning, science inquiry ACM Classification Keywords H5 Information interfaces and presentation; K.3.1 Computer Uses in Education INTRODUCTION Where learning technologies were once circumscribed by the form factor of the desktop computer, emerging ubiquitous technologies are giving rise to a cornucopia of new designs that expand the space of activity structures available to students and teachers [35]. In [27], we introduced one such design space, embedded phenomena , intended to create opportunities for learners to explore the kind of “patient science” in which the making of meaning requires the accumulation of evidence gathered over extended periods of observation. The goals of this paper are to further develop the motivation for the embedded phenomena paradigm, to describe our experiences with three examples of embedded phenomena introduced in classrooms over the past year, and to situate the framework within the context of contemporary research in human- computer interaction and learning technology research. The design space of the embedded phenomenon framework is characterized by four common attributes. Simulated scientific phenomena (in the examples given here, seismic activity, planetary motion, and insect ecology) are “mapped” onto the physical space of the classroom. The state of the simulation is represented through distributed media located around the classroom representing “portals” into that phenomenon depicting local state information corresponding to that mapping. The simulations are persistent, running and being
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2010 for the course ISE 217 taught by Professor Moallem,a during the Spring '08 term at San Jose State University .

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Schools as SMART Environments - CHI Best Paper Award - MOHER-CHI2006-EmbeddedPhenomena

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