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Is there water on Mars? Today’s learners do not need to check a book— they can receive the latest updates on their computer or a handheld device. “My lidar laser has spotted snow falling from above,” tweets the Mars Phoenix lander. This is not static information, but part of an open conversation. “Do they have foggy mornings on Mars?” is one follow-up question (@S_in_washington, 2008). The interplanetary exchange continues five minutes later: “The snow I see above (a couple kilometers above) is water snow. And yes, @S_in_washington, I’m having foggy mornings too,” replies the distant robot (@MarsPhoenix, 2008). A remote world becomes more comprehensible, and thousands of people all over this world learn something new, something that inspires new questions, interest, and enthusiasm that continue even when the robot falls silent, a victim of the Martian winter.
KeywordsGlobal Position System Augmented Reality Informal Learning Social Presence Collective Intelligence
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