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Abstract Detail


Tary, Anna [1], Taylor, Witt [1], Cooper, Ranessa [2].

Digital-savvy Millennials in the field: using technology to teach science to non-majors in an outdoor setting.

Current college students have many technological advantages over previous generations when doing fieldwork. Twenty years ago, a pen and notebook were the standard tools for recording field data for subsequent analysis. Today, the many high-tech options that students have at their fingertips can make data collection and integrated, real-time data analysis far more efficient, and even fun, if equipment is used creatively. To take advantage of the Millennials’ technological aptitude while collecting field data and observations, we chose to encourage the use of available technology (including mobile phones), combined with the old-fashioned method of using a field notebook. This tech-enabled trial was run with a group of business students enrolled in a coastal biology class as a means of completing a science elective requirement. The goal for these non-science major students was to develop an appreciation for and familiarity with some scientific concepts and applications by, in this case, studying the geology and ecology of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The course was designed as a one-week intensive field experience, in which students explored major habitats of the Cape, while measuring and recording weather and other abiotic data, and making observations of both flora and fauna at each site. Students used field equipment provided by Bentley University; they recorded data and notes in a combination of field notebooks, computer software, and mobile phones. We found that classical methods of collecting and recording field data combined with a more Millennial-friendly approach utilizing technology-capable devices, equipment, and applications seemed to work well. The students were able to better understand the implications of their real-time field analyses by not having to also concern themselves too much with having to master new tool methodologies. This allowed students to more easily integrate their data with the larger concepts of how environmental conditions affect the local flora and fauna. In addition, the course deliverables were more manageable, and therefore, more interesting, to the students.

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1 - Bentley University, Natural and Applied Science, 100 Jennison Hall, 175 Forest St, Waltham, MA, 02452, USA

educational technology
Cape Cod

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Teaching Section Poster Session
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PTE009
Abstract ID:628
Candidate for Awards:None

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