Learning and Researching Across Places in Mobile City Science

Reference work entry


This chapter explores a relationship between learning across places and researching across places. Location-aware devices play an important role in research on teaching and learning as more learning settings incorporate mobile technologies. However, collecting and managing the data produced by these technologies takes coordination, particularly when learning is happening at the scale of the neighborhood and when research sites are geographically distributed. This chapter examines the use of mobile and geolocative technologies in research on teaching and learning through a description of a novel approach called Mobile City Science (MCS). MCS is a project that brings together university-based researchers and youth-serving organizations (i.e., a science museum, after-school programs, and schools) in three US cities to support young people in developing locative literacies (Taylor 2017) through their study of local issues. By collecting, analyzing, and developing arguments with spatial data and mobile technologies, MCS participants learned what is involved in contributing to change processes at the city or neighborhood scale. These same data served to inform researchers about learning processes related to new spatial literacies, even when researchers and collaborators were located in geographically separate places. This chapter identifies a set of key design practices for studying and implementing MCS and then applies these to commonplace notions of smart and connected cities.


Design Geolocative data Learning Mobile technology Cities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Learning Sciences and Human Development, College of EducationUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Learning Design and Technology, School of Education and Human DevelopmentUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rob Power
    • 1
  1. 1.Athabasca UniversityVancouverCanada

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