IDM Future School Project: Mobile Learning Activities to Foster Critical Thinking Skills and In-situ Knowledge Building in Integrated Humanities
This IDM project aims to examine the affordances of 1:1 mobile technologies that support and enable pervasive knowledge building beyond the four walls of the classroom. The advent and advances of mobile computing and social networking have made possible the continuity of the learning experience and collaboration across different contexts on a seamless learning platform. Thus, the design of learning scenarios which helps students developing critical thinking and collaborative meaning-making skills also forms one of the fundamental objectives of this research project. Research will be conducted on learning activities that use mobile technologies to reinforce learning by bridging the gap between theory and the real world observation; where students are able to directly and physically explore our world for in-situ knowledge building.
The Mobile Learning Geography Trail at Sentosa marks the first milestone of this research project. Leveraging on the affordances of mobile device, we explored the benefits of knowledge building in a situated learning scenario. Getting up, close and personal with the real environment brought about new opportunities of learning for the 200 Secondary One students of the School of Science and Technology (SST), Singapore. Armed with their Macbooks, students in groups of four worked collaboratively at three stations along the coastal areas at Sentosa. Some of the group activities involve calculating gradients of the slope along the Siloso beach, measuring the height of the towers and identifying physical features at Palawan beach. The real life collaboration and interaction with the real environment creates a learning scenario that not only connects the classroom and the real world facilitating knowledge transfer and application, but also fosters in-situ knowledge building and collaborative learning.