Mobile technology in secondary education : utilizing the Android development environment to teach Texas Paleontology

Date
2011-08
Authors
Mattingly, Anne Katherine
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Abstract

The purpose of this project was to create an Android phone application that could be used to teach Texas Paleontology in a secondary school classroom. Since experienced teachers have reported that many students who do not have personal computers at home still have their own cell phones, the concept of using mobile devices for science education is very attractive to educators. In order to test out this idea the project had to include not only a mobile app, but also a webqest to help seamlessly integrate that app into Earth Science curriculum. To begin the project, I developed the Texas Paleontology webquest as a frame for the cell phone integration. In this activity the students are required to create their own field trip to explore relevant paleontological locations in Texas. They are required to document their field trip using Google Maps. These field trips could eventually be used to enhance the Android Application. The development of the Android Application represents the majority of this project. It was designed to be an app that can either stand alone or work with the Texas Paleontology webquest. In order to create this application I had to learn the XML and JAVA programming languages and become familiar with the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment and the Android Software Development Kit. The results of the project can be downloaded from the Android Market b searching for "Texas Paleontology." This report not only includes a description of how the application could be integrated into the classroom, but also an instruction guide for how to create an Android Application in a similar way. As cell phone technology becomes even more prevalent it is likely that more educators will want to utilize mobile application development in their own classrooms. This report provides a starting point for accomplishing this integration.

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