Investigators: David A. Bennett, Marc P. Armstrong
Org Unit: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Department(s): Department of Geography
Proposal Summary: Our objective in this grant is to investigate the utility of wireless geographic information technology in higher education. This work is predicated on the notion that complex geographical processes are often difficult to convey in the confines of a classroom and that if we could move students into the field and provide them access to knowledge repositories (e.g., the Internet, their professors and peers) via wireless access to the World Wide Web their learning experiences could be enhanced. The implementation of this idea required us to rethink the way in which key geographical concepts are communicated to students. In effect, we needed to formulate a new educational paradigm and at its core is what we call contextually-aware in situ learning. A combination of existing technologies allows us to track students in the field and deliver context-specific materials as they encounter, for example, evidence of particular geographical phenomena and processes. The final product is intended to turn the real-world into a hyperlinked, and contextually-aware learning environment analogous to what one might experience within the more restricted confines of a major museum. The combined package of real-world interactions with immediate access to remote repositories of knowledge is expected to produce positive feedbacks that result in greater understanding of complex geographical processes and better prepare students for professions in a rapidly changing and increasingly technological workplace.
















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