Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 2505-2509
ISBN: 978-84-09-55942-8
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2023.0680
Conference name: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 13-15 November, 2023
Location: Seville, Spain
In recent years smartphones have become widespread as a means to communicate and share information on any topic. Incoming university students are digital natives who spend a large part of their time on smartphones.
Although the presence of mobile phones in the classroom is viewed with some scepticism, their use can create new, more dynamic learning spaces adapted to the reality of teaching and learning today. Students must be given opportunities to use smartphones as just another tool for learning and studying, beyond their typical use for entertainment and social interaction.
Using this tool, students can become more responsible and more involved in the learning process, an essential part of developing key competences such as autonomous learning. In view of this, a teaching-learning approach based on the model of the flipped classroom is proposed.
This paradigm shift changes the role of teachers as the sole source and generator of knowledge, making them mediators and facilitators of learning so that students generate knowledge from their own experience. Students can also use smartphones to produce their own learning material, allowing them to create and add their own multimedia resources. This encourages a collaborative learning space, providing the chance to share materials and do activities together.
This study aims to examine, apply and assess the use of smartphones in different phases of learning: acquisition of information; preparation by students of their own, collaborative learning material; and assessment, in the subject of Wood Anatomy and Properties taught in the third year of the Degree in Forestry Engineering at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
Wood anatomy is a key discipline as a tool for monitoring the global timber trade, especially wood listed in protection conventions such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). This work explains how magnifying lenses with increments of up to 400x can be attached to a smartphone using the digital zoom of the device to distinguish anatomical features that are not visible with traditional 10x or 12x lenses, enabling observation of features that are normally only visible under a microscope.
The aim is to encourage students to use smartphones as a study tool in the agroforestry field to facilitate the learning process, produce a positive impact on their academic results and illustrate the potential of smartphones in their future professional activity.
Using lenses attached to a smartphone, students can identify elements of wood anatomical structure that cannot be observed with traditional 10x or 12x lenses, and can also take photos of anatomical features and create their own learning material.
This technique could be used in other areas of agroforestry education associated with silviculture, dendrochronology, botany and entomology, and in other fields such as archaeology, sculpture and the textile industry.
Adaptive Learning, Collaborative Learning, Experiential Learning, Flipped Classroom, Transversal Competences, Teamwork, ICT Use, Anatomy, Wood identification.