This research employs mobile, proximity-based technologies to create opportunities for children to engage in place-based science learning in an arboretum. We present data from a mobile, iBeacon-enabled learning experience to support wayfinding and observing the biodiversity of tree fruit with 84 youth working in 27 small groups (4th graders on a field trip). Data collected include log files, observational field notes, and learners’ photographic artifacts of children’s scientific observations. Our findings show that (a) learners personalized their own routes to navigate the space, (b) made accurate observations of tree fruit, cones, and seeds, and (c) began to express productive dispositions to support their work as scientific observers. We provide insights into how to support short-term, child-centered mobile computing experiences in outdoor gardens that support observations of natural objects in informal spaces.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management