Research Tobin White

PCs, Physics, and Collaboration: Studying the Use of Tablets for Learning Science In and Out of the Classroom
November 2013

As smartphones and tablet computers become the norm in classrooms from kindergarten to college, education researchers are eager to find ways to put what we know about the power of collaborative learning together with an understanding of how best to leverage these devices to enhance teaching and learning, particularly in math and science.

An expert in the field of technology and learning, Associate Professor Tobin White will lead a three-year project to design and test technology-based physics learning activities in both a middle/high school and in an introductory physics course at UC Davis. The National Science Foundation is funding the project, titled “PHoTOnICs: Physics with Tablets Outside and Inside Classrooms,” for three years at $558,000. Wendell Potter and David Webb of the UC Davis physics department are co-investigators.

“Mobile devices offer distinctive potential for bridging informal and formal learning environments because of their ready portability across settings,” said White. “As mobile communication technology becomes more ubiquitous in educational settings, there is a pressing need for a strong research base on which to build its effective incorporation.”

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