Technologies and tools to support informal science learning

Heather Toomey Zimmerman, David E. Kanter, Kirsten Ellenbogen, Leilah Lyons, Steven J. Zuiker, Tom Satwicz, Sandra Toro Martell, Matthew Brown, Sherry Hsi, Brian K. Smith, Molly Phipps, Robert Jordan, Jennifer Weible, Chris Gamrat, Ben Loh, Joyce Ma

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper explores the role of technologies in supporting informal science learning from seven perspectives. Together, the authors ask a common question: How can learning technologies-tools, spaces, and places-be designed to support learners within and across environments? Eight exemplars are offered to answer this question through an analysis of a specific instance of technology in a non-school environment. Collectively, the authors examine the role of tools that support: access to and distribution of information; scaffolds to help learners tackle complex tasks and deeper understandings; bridging learning across contexts; feedback and reflection; extension of learning experiences in a temporal way; aggregations of visible knowledge, social interaction, facilitation of social practices, personalized learning, and the breakdown of epistemic authority. The authors and two discussants reflect on the methodological innovation, technological advancement, and collaborations needed to move research in this area forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2010 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 29 2010Jul 2 2010


Other9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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