The convergence of informal learning and formal education in a ubiquitous environment

Heeok Heo, Il Hyun Jo, Kyu Yon Lim, Hyeon Woo Lee, Soonshik Suh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Individuals in real settings outside of schools can experience various objects in authentic contexts. Experience in real life provides individuals with natural and informal ways to learn new things as well as to use and transform existing knowledge and skills. However, not all of the experience in real settings may be transformed into meaningful learning, when people have little intention to learn, or when they are not aware of what they have experienced. Given that the experiences in informal settings can play a key role as the clues for enhancing systematic and efficient learning for formal learning, inadvertent yet rich experience from the real world should be further explored. That is why many educators have paid attention to developing ways to integrate experience in informal settings with formal education (Coffield, 2000; Resnick, 1987; Sefton-Green 2004; Clough, Jones, McAndrew, & Scanlon, 2008). Ubiquitous computing technologies can assist this integration by capturing individuals’ feelings and thoughts in the real world and connecting to systematic school learning. This study tried to find a better way to capture natural experiences and integrate them with school learning with the help of technology. Following is a virtual scenario providing the overarching story of this study: Jane is an elementary school student, and her family is going to visit an amusement park on a sunny spring day. In the car headed toward the park, Jane is using her mobile device to search information about the amusement park and sending messages to her friends to boast about her trip. When she arrives at the main gate, Jane’s device automatically runs the amusement park mobile application, giving her a welcome message. Hereafter, corresponding information is pushed to the device whenever Jane passes by the specific attractions and rides. Jane stands in a long line waiting for the pirate ship ride, and then the mobile application pushes information about the pirate ship ride, for example, a general history of the pirate ships, introduction to the ride, and scientific principles behind the ride. In addition, a message pops up so Jane becomes aware of the association between the science project carried out in her school and the pirate ship ride. Now Jane gets on the ride, and she makes a video of the pirate ship ride in order to share with her science project teammates. Jane becomes more interested in the science project, and her experience in the amusement park provides her with a critical clue to implement in her science project.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Design in Educational Technology
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781135118969
ISBN (Print)9780415807340
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Taylor & Francis.


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