Project Overview

Habitat Tracker draws upon more than a decade of prior research on mobile computing in museums to design and develop a learning system based on the use of digital journals before, during, and after field trips to wildlife centers. The project team will develop a digital journaling device that small groups of school children working as teams will use to collect data as they walk a wildlife trail at the museum. This device, the Habitat Tracker Journal, will help students create digital records of their visits that will then be accessible online using a corresponding Habitat Tracker Website. Classrooms of students will use these systems, in school and in the museum, to develop their own questions about the nature of science, and access multimedia content and expert commentary about natural habitats, while recording their own observations and answering their own questions about the wildlife they observe, before, during, and after field trips to the wildlife center.

By focusing on Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Science as mandated by the Florida Department of Education, students participating in this project will learn about the nature of science, raising their own questions about the natural world, making and recording observations while making appropriate inferences from them, conducting peer review by discussing observation with other students and classes, and recognizing that science works in various empirically based ways, not just through a single scientific method. Such experience is essential if students are to master the new “inquiry and nature of science” benchmarks advocated by national science education reform efforts and included in the State of Florida’s newly adopted science education standards.

Guests are welcome to visit the habitat websites, such as the Bobcat Habitat. Guests have access to most of the website’s functionality, except for the student journals and discussion boards (which are only available to student users for privacy purposes).

Sample screenshots of the iPad application and Habitat Websites are located at http://tracker.cci.fsu.edu/project/ipad-demo/

For more information about the project, please see the Proposal Abstract. Download PDF