Enyedy, N., Vahey, P., & Gifford, B. (1997). Active and Supportive Computer-Mediated Resources for Student-to-Student Conversations. Proceedings of the 1997 Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, pp. 27-36. University of Toronto, Toronto.
Communication is a central aspect of human learning. Using the Probability Inquiry Environment (PIE) as an example, we examine how external representations (both textual and iconic) mediate face-to-face conversations among students, and support productive mathematical discourse. We provide quantitative data that suggests that seventh grade students who used PIE learned some of the basic principles of probability. Two cases studies are that illustrate how communication supported by computer-mediated representations contributed to this success. The first case study demonstrates how the computer can actively prompt student conversations that lead to learning. The second case study examines how an animated graphical representation supported these productive conversations.