Designing Networked Handheld Devices To Enhance School Learning


Roschelle, J., Patton, C., & Tatar, D. (2007). Designing networked handheld devices to enhance school learning. In M. V. Zelkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Computers, 70, 1-60.


Handheld devices, especially networked handheld devices, are growing in importance in education, largely because their affordability and accessibility create an opportunity for educators to transition from occasional, supplemental use of computers, to frequent and integral use of portable computational technology. Why and how might these new devices enhance school learning? We begin by discussing a simple but important factor: networked handhelds can allow a 1:1 student:device ratio for the first time, enabling ready-at-hand access to technology throughout the school day and throughout the learner’s personal life. We argue that designers need to understand the capabilities of the new generation of handheld computers and wireless networks that are most relevant for learning. We follow this with a discussion of Learning Science theories that connect those capabilities to enhanced learning. The capabilities and features feed into design practices. We describe a set of example applications that are arising from the capabilities, theories and design practices previously described. Finally, we close with a discussion of the challenge of scale.

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