No Child Left Inside: Mobile Tech Meets Education


  • Drew Davidson, Director of Entertainment Technology Center Carnegie Mellon
  • Jared Lamenzo,
  • Juliette Lamontagne,
  • Rebecca Bray, Smithsonian Instituion
  • Richard Scullin,
  • S Craig Watkins, University of Texas Austin

New federal grant opportunities are being provided to get students outside. “No Child Left Inside”

75% of American teens have a cell phone.

What is Citizen Science? How does it connect to a classroom?
There are plenty of things to explore wherever you are. Mobile technology quantifies what kids are learning outside and helps them through the thinking process or naming etc. It helps kids interact with the world around them, and collect data about the things they are learning and seeing.

We want kids to see how they fit into the world and how they can make an impact.

What are the benefits of being outside? It doesn’t always mean that a kid will learn while out there.
It’s about closely observing things that you see every day and getting people to observe a little more closely

What Challenges to you face?
In some big city schools technology is not allowed (can’t have cell phones and use YouTube because it’s blocked. Eventually they’ll start to allow this.

Is the mobile an add-on to traditional learning?
It’s not just about one single location. People have access wherever they go. Sometimes the teacher isn’t the one who provides the knowledge. It gives the learners a bit more space to inquire about something. They might be able to look something up that the teacher doesn’t know.

A recent study was done of students. The control group used brochures and compared it to kids using mobile phones. There was a big difference in the feelings towards the environment and their interest in a scientific field.

What’s exciting in this field?
Augmented reality.
More sensors on the phone.
Bringing this technology into the classroom and allowing it.
Don’t teach for the test, get students to be well-rounded citizens.
Look at everyday apps and think about how they could be used for education.

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