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Fostering geospatial thinking in science education through a customisable smartphone application


  • Sara Price,

  • Paul Davies,

  • William Farr,

  • Carey Jewitt,

  • George Roussos,

  • George Sin

Address for correspondence: Dr Sara Price, London Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald Street, London WC1N 3QS, UK. Email:


Enhanced capabilities of modern smartphones offer the potential to design tools that support new forms of teaching and learning. Increased access to mobile-networked environments and geospatial systems provide opportunities for developing new educational experiences that support a geospatial approach to science, fostering new ways of thinking about science. However, designing effective innovative educational mobile applications remains a challenge. Applications need to be accessible to teachers that are not tech-savvy as well as those that are, foster active learning pedagogies, enable flexible and creative use, as well as fit within the curriculum. This paper describes a smartphone application developed together with pre-service science teachers, designed to be customisable by teachers while supporting a geospatial approach to science education. The design process and trial illustrate application use, how it supports a geospatial approach to science education and raises issues around mobile technologies, teacher pedagogies and adoption.