As part of my visit to the American Museum of Natural History, my husband joined me to prepare to bring his students on their 3rd grade class trip, March 15. I thought this trip would be a great opportunity to work on a new badge and see how mobile learning technology could be used by schoolteachers in museums. We worked together to see if the technology available in the App could help him and his students learn something in the museum and classroom. This is what we came up with.
The Class:
The group of students consists of 5 Third graders receiving Special Education services.
Necessary Tools:
Smartphone with Explorer App activated and synced to the museum Wi-Fi. Teacher Email Account, Camera Phone, Teacher Glogster Account.
The Focus:
In third grade they are learning about the different animal kingdoms, classifications, species, environments, adaptations and behaviors within the animal kingdom. The trip will primarily focus on Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians. The students will visit galleries that focus on these topics in their investigation. A student will pick one animal that they would like to present a report on from one of the following halls.
1st floor- North American Mammals
2nd Floor- Asian Mammals
2nd Floor- 3rd Floor Akeley Hall of African Mammals
3rd Floor Reptiles and Amphibians; New York State Mammals
The Investigation:
The students are given a list of five questions that they will have to answer in their presentations using the tools provided by the exhibit and cell phone app. They will gather the research they need for their presentations, using the evidence provided in the animal dioramas, exhibit labels, museum App and links.
Here are the questions:
1. What is the animals name, and its classification is the animal kingdom; mammal, reptile or amphibian?
2. What continent are they from and what is their environment like?
Answer one or the other.
3. Are they a predator or prey?
4. What is the animal adaption that helps them survive?
When a student has selected an animal, with the direct guidance and supervision of their teacher, they will gather their evidence using a smartphone they have borrowed from their teacher (in this case Mr. Bump’s iPhone). Using the phone, they will take pictures of the animal, animal’s environment, and either evidence of an adaptation or scene of animal acting as predator or prey. The students will navigate the Explorer App, locate their animal, read the additional text about the animal, bookmark it and mark the animal as visited. The teacher would then send the animals information to their teacher email using, the “Share via email” feature of the app. When back in the classroom the students can access their animal’s information. Using the photos they took at the museum, and links the teacher emailed to the school, they will plan their presentation in Glogster.
Example Investigation and Report: Here is a run through of what the presentation process would look like.
In the 3rd Floor Akeley Hall of African Mammals I selected the Black Rhinoceros as the subject of my presentation. Reading the label text, studying the Rhino diorama, and the information provided in the Explorer App, I decide what I would photograph.
Answer to Question 1: The Animal
Mammal, Black Rhinoceros

Answer to Question 2: The Environment.
The Black Rhinoceros inhabits dry brush and thorn country, in Africa.

Answer to Question 4: Adaptation
Evidence of the Rhino’s adaptation in defense against predators is the Rhino Horn and thick skin.

This is a link to the information that I emailed to myself about the Black Rhinoceros.
Using the photos, information from the gallery, App, and linked information this is the report I created about the Rhino in Glogster.
Check it out for yourself…