Home » An iterative investigation into the implementation of handheld computers as learning tools in a science museum. by Molly E. Phipps
An iterative investigation into the implementation of handheld computers as learning tools in a science museum. Molly E. Phipps

An iterative investigation into the implementation of handheld computers as learning tools in a science museum.

Molly E. Phipps

Published
ISBN : 9780549725503
NOOKstudy eTextbook
196 pages
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 About the Book 

In this study I discuss the state of Free-Choice Learning research, and an investigation into the use of personal ubiquitous technology on visitors experiences at a science center. The three manuscripts included in this document: (1) ReviewMoreIn this study I discuss the state of Free-Choice Learning research, and an investigation into the use of personal ubiquitous technology on visitors experiences at a science center. The three manuscripts included in this document: (1) Review published research on free-choice learning from 1997-2007 from selected journals (2) Examine visitors interest in using handheld computers (iPods) for learning in a science museum, and report on refining protocols for this type of research. (3) Investigate the impact of using an iPod with supplementary videos on visitors use and understanding of an exhibit on scientific chaos. This study was approached in two phases, the first phase follows the principles of design research in exploring ways to present the iPods within the most favorable context to encourage learning. These changes were systematically implemented and their impact on visitors experiences were documented. The second phase of the research focused on one particular exhibit and three accompanying videos on the iPod. This exhibit is well loved, but difficult to understand for visitors and docents alike. Through naturalistic inquiry and iterative open coding, I found visitors interpreted appropriate use of the exhibit in four distinct ways: HOW DOES IT WORK?, WAITING FOR THE SPLASH, INTERACTING, and RESTING. However, iPod users all interpreted appropriate use of the exhibit as HOW DOES IT WORK?. Careful observation of visitors actions at the Chaos Wheel exhibit suggests that the exhibit needs some revision if it is to become more accessible to more visitors. The iPod represents one way to increase the accessibility of the exhibit, but other means should be explored.