ACM Pedagogic Resources > ACM/FaCE > Projects > Outdoor Classroom

The Outdoor Classroom:
Recent advances in mobile computing for the field sciences

Workshop Conveners: Jeff Clark (Lawrence University) and Sue Swanson (Beloit College)

Note: This workshop has already taken place. Please see the Program page for links to presentations and outcomes.


This workshop will bring together faculty members in the field sciences (e.g., archaeology, ecology, geology, environmental science) for a workshop and discussion of how GPS-enabled field computers can enhance their teaching and research. The workshop is open to faculty and staff from ACM campuses and campuses participating with NITLE who are interested in utilizing mobile computing technologies. We can accommodate up to two individuals per campus. Additional attendees will be accommodated on a space-available basis; a wait-list will be created in the event of over-enrollment.

Date and Location:

The event will be held at Lawrence University's Björklunden Vid Sjön, located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin. The workshop will begin on the evening of Tuesday, June 16th and will conclude in the afternoon on Thursday, June 18th. A tentative schedule is included below. More detailed information will be available soon!

Workshop Scope

The advent of inexpensive global positioning systems (GPSs); powerful, mobile computers; and wireless communication have the potential to revolutionize the way field-based science courses are conceived and delivered. Faculty who attend this workshop will consider how these new technologies enable improved curricula. Specific sessions will be devoted to the following:

The development and critique of exercises for use in archaeology, ecology, geology, or environmental science courses.

Hands-on exercises to allow participants to test field computers in the great outdoors

The technical, logistical, and financial challenges of utilizing, obtaining, and maintaining field computers

The use of mobile technologies in student-faculty research collaborations

Best teaching practices and other helpful resources for the use of mobile computing technologies

Additional Information:

Contact the workshop organizers for additional information.

Jeff Clark (920-832-6733,

Sue Swanson (608-363-2132,

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