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Many learners think of scientific reasoning as something that is done only in the classroom. We aim to develop long-term scientific programs outside of school, helping learners to see and do science in their everyday lives, where the science is not simple and fixed (or prepackaged). Our challenge is to facilitate the development of a learning community for(More)
As science educators, we want all learners to see the relevance of science to their lives and the world in which they live. Achieving this goal, however, has proven to be a difficult endeavor. Many learners see science as useful only in school, and they face difficulties connecting science to the real world and to their own interests and goals. In our(More)
Researchers often utilize the method of Participatory Design to work together with users to enhance technology. In particular, Cooperative Inquiry is a method of Participatory Design with children that involves full partnership between researchers and children. One important challenge designers face in creating learning technologies is that these(More)
Children often report that school science is boring and abstract. For this reason, we have developed <b>Life-relevant Learning (LRL) environments</b> to help learners understand the relevance that scientific thinking, processes, and experimentation can have in their everyday lives. In this paper, we detail findings that aim to increase our understanding of(More)
Face-to-face design with child and adult design partners is not always possible due to distant geographical locations or time differences. Yet we believe that the designs of children in areas not co-located with system builders, or who live in locations not easily accessed, are just as important and valid as children who are easily accessible especially(More)
Productive collaboration is an integral component of socially constructed perspectives of learning. Yet effective collaboration is quite challenging and not without its own risks. Collaboration, both distributed and face-to-face, must be nurtured; technologies can support or undermine its positive growth in learning communities. We present an exploratory(More)
Learners need to see the relevance of their learning in their everyday lives and activities in order to understand and value the importance of learning. To do this, they need rich experiences that promote such learning and mental model building. So how can we promote substantial learning in everyday, informal environments from real world practices and(More)
(in press). Seeing the unseen learner: Designing and using social media to recognize children's science dispositions in action. Learning, Media, and Technology. Abstract: This paper describes the development of ScienceKit, a mobile, social media application to promote children's scientific inquiry. We deployed ScienceKit in Kitchen Chemistry (KC), an(More)
In this paper, we present the design evolution of two social media (SM) tools: Scientific INQuiry (SINQ), which transformed into ScienceKit. We detail our motivations for using SM tools in science learning and the design decisions we made over a 2year, designbased research project. Our designs grew from our experiences using SM tools in the field and(More)
Students often find science to be disconnected from their everyday lives. One reason for this disengagement is that learners are often not given the chance to choose how to pursue their personal goals using science reasoning. Therefore, we are creating science programs that emphasize life-relevant learning-the ability to engage science learners in the(More)