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LETS GO: Learning Ecology with Technologies from Science for Global Outcomes

Project description

Ubiquitous and mobile multimedia technologies enable the opportunity to interact in new ways with the physical world as they allow allocating computational power and interaction away from the limitations of desktop computers. From this perspective, learners are given the opportunity to explore the physical world and interact with it in new ways, as well as the physical world can be augmented through digital technologies. K-12 learning and education stand to benefit substantially by new designs for open learning environments that incorporate these technologies and collaborative activity designs for advancing knowledge building using inquiry and reflection cycles. We frame our vision of “open inquiry” as the opportunity to catalyze and sustain global learning using mobile science collaboratories that provide open software tools and resources, and participation frameworks for learner project collaboration, mobile media and data capture, analysis, reflection and publishing. In the LET´s GO project, Stanford and Linnaeus university faculty in learning sciences and computer science will develop, implement and research a new paradigm for fostering high school student learning in teams for environmental science. We will productively integrate geo-location sensing, multimedia communication, information visualization and Web 2.0 mashup technologies, to create science learning collaboratories using interdisciplinary co-design methodologies with teachers, learners, teachers-to-be, technology developers, domain experts, and learning scientists.

Why does it matter

We claim that science learning collaboratories are powerful tools to be used for the design of a new kind of environment for experimenting real-life phenomena for learning about environmental science. Our argument is that this type of learning environment supports learners in exploring and experimenting with multiple representations of the causal interactions and functional relationships that are typical in science learning, thus promoting a deeper understanding of the domain under exploration.

Partners and funding sources

Linnaeus University
Stanford University
Växjö Katedralskola and Kronoberg School, Sweden
Redwood High School, U.S.

Intel Research
National Geographic Society

The project is partially funded by Wallenberg Global Learning Network.


Our project leverages many years of experience and related technical and scientific expertise on the part of the PIs in creating research-informed innovation learning technologies in the sciences and other complex subject learning domains, and pioneering work in mobile learning they have conducted. The development will be characterized by three phases: (1) using co-design methodologies, develop use scenarios incorporating ‘learning workflow’ and technical proof of concept that integrates existing components; (2) pilot studies in US and Sweden to assess and improve the learning worthiness of the activities and technologies; (3) scale-up and sustainability of the learning environments (technologies plus socio-technical and curriculum activities) in conjunction with open environment development partners and external organizations such as National Geographic Society.


We aim to create new learning opportunities with mobile science learning collaboratories that build on what has been learned from such prior efforts, but which exploits today’s mobile multimedia technologies, sensors, digital maps and interactive visualization tools, and provides for a one to one computer-learner use model. Explicit inquiry-support activities and tools will help tie together sensor data collection near participating schools with a collaborative learning activity support system using locally networked mobile devices, and an online community platform for sharing research questions, data and reports across the Swedish-American school sites. Our major objective is to provide educational activities and technological supports for helping students to bridge the gap between collaborative scientific inquiry and data capture from environmental settings near to their schools. We will design engaging activities and provide teachers and learners with a new environment, rich in opportunities for scientific experimentation, systems thinking and conceptual change via cyclical scientific inquiry.

Next steps


Spikol, D., Milrad, M., Maldonado, H., & Pea, R. (2009). Integrating Co-Design Practices into the Development of Mobile Science Collaboratories. Proceedings of the 9th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2009) held on July 15-17, 2009 in Riga, Latvia.

Svensson, M., Pettersson, O. & Persson, M. (2009) Pinetree: A Learning Content Repository Based on Semantic Web Technologies. Ninth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, 2009. ICALT 2009.

Vogel, B., Spikol, D., Kurti, A, & Milrad, M. (2010). Integrating Mobile, Web and Sensory Technologies to Support Inquiry-Based Science Learning. Proceedings of the 6th IEEE WMUTE International Conference on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technologies in Education WMUTE 2010 held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, April 12-16th, 2010, pp. 65-72.

Wichmann, A., Hoppe, U., Spikol, D., Milrad, M., Anastopoulou, S., Sharples, M., Pea, R., Maldonado, H., & de Jong, T. (2010). Three perspectives on technology support in inquiry learning: Personal inquiry, mobile collaboratories and emerging learning objects. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences , June 29 - July 2 2010, Chicago, IL, USA.

Vogel, B., Kurti, A., Spikol, D, & Milrad, M. (2010). Exploring the benefits of open standard initiatives for supporting inquiry-based science learning. Proceedings of the Fifth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2010, held in Barcelona, Spain, September 28 - October 1, 2010, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg. pp. 596-601.

Vogel, B. (2010). Design and Development of Mobile and Web-Based Visualization Tools in TEL. In Book of Abstracts of the First Nordic Symposium on Technology-Enhanced Learning (NORDITEL 2010), Växjö, Sweden, August 26-27th, pp, 106-108.

Yau, J. & Salavati, S. (2011) Researchers' and teachers' perspectives on the use of mobile technologies for inquiry-based learning. Proceedings of IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning, pp. 136-143.

Pea, R., Milrad, M., Maldonado, H., Vogel, B., Kurti, A., & Spikol, D. (2012). Learning and Technological Designs for Mobile Science Inquiry collaboratories. Book chapter in Littleton, K., Scanlon, E., & Sharples. M., (Eds.), Orchestrating Inquiry Learning. London UK: Routledge.

Milrad, M., Wong, L.-H., Sharples, M., Hwang, G.-J., Looi, C.-K., Ogata, H. (2013). Seamless Learning: An International Perspective on Next Generation Technology Enhanced Learning. Book chapter in Z. L. Berge & L. Y. Muilenburg (eds.); Handbook of Mobile Learning. New York: Routledge.

Active from 9 / 2008

to: 8 / 2013

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