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Future scenarios for mobile science learning

Burden, Kevin; Kearney, Matthew


Matthew Kearney


© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. This paper adopts scenario planning as a methodological approach and tool to help science educators reconceptualise their use of mobile technologies across various different futures. These ‘futures’ are set out neither as predictions nor prognoses but rather as stimuli to encourage greater discussion and reflection around the use of mobile technologies in science education. Informed by the literature and our empirical data, we consider four alternative futures for science education in a mobile world, with a particular focus on networked collaboration and student agency. We conclude that ‘seamless learning’, whereby students are empowered to use their mobile technologies to negotiate across physical and virtual boundaries (e.g. between school and out-of-school activities), may be the most significant factor in encouraging educators to rethink their existing pedagogical patterns, thereby realizing some of the promises of contextualised participatory science learning.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2016-04
Journal Research in science education
Print ISSN 0157-244X
Electronic ISSN 1573-1898
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 2
Pages 287-308
APA6 Citation Burden, K., & Kearney, M. (2016). Future scenarios for mobile science learning. Research in Science Education, 46(2), 287-308 .
Keywords Scenario planning; Mobile learning; Science learning; Collaborative learning; Inquiry-based learning
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Research in science education, 2016, v.46, issue 2. The final publication is available at Springer via


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