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Geoscience Education

pp 133-157

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Fossils, Smartphones, Geodiversity, Internet, and Outdoor Activities: A Technological Geoeducational Bundle

  • Carlos Marques da SilvaAffiliated withDepartamento de Geologia e Instituto Dom Luiz de geociências, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa Email author 

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Abstract

Today, more people live in urban areas than in rural ones. Hence, there is a strong case for using urban geodiversity, rocks, fossils, landforms, etc., in outdoor geological educational and geoawareness activities. On the other hand, the present-day world is deeply influenced by technology. Smartphones, GPS-capable devices, tablet computers, and Internet access are widely available technologies to an increasingly large portion of the world’s population. Therefore, why not combine the two facts expressed above – mostly urban population with access to technology – and use them in outdoor geoeducational and geoawareness activities in urban areas and also in natural environments? In this work, a series of activities and experiments in geoeducation and geoawareness actions using commonly available technology, set both in urban and natural environments, will be presented and briefly discussed. These activities have been used in middle school, high school, and university teaching and in science popularization activities mainly fostered by undergraduate and graduate students and teachers of the Department of Geology of the University of Lisbon: GPS-assisted geological trails, QR codes for urban fossils, geotagged geodiversity photos, etc. Used collectively they constitute a technological geoeducational bundle, contributing to the attractiveness and the success of outdoor geological activities. This process is an interactive one, because, on the one hand, new technologies are being used in geoeducation, but, on the other hand, the usage they were originally designed for is being modified and adapted in novel ways as a result of the know-how ensued from their educational use.

Keywords

Geodiversity Fossils Urban geology Technology Smartphones Internet Outdoor activities