Handhelds Nurturing Inquiring Minds: The Use of Handheld Technologies in an Australian High School
Current understandings in education have led to a shift in focus from teaching to a focus on learning. So too, forward looking pedagogical approaches have questioned what it means to be an educated person in the 21st Century and how individuals should engage with technologies to be suitably equipped for emergent knowledge age work (Bereiter, 2002; Brown, 2002). Increasingly there seemingly an emphasis on collaborative knowledge creation where the technology is seen as being employed as a tool to think with, allowing for the active messing with and development of ideas rather than merely as a passive window to information (Resnick, 2002). So too, the notion of ubiquitous ‘anywhere anytime’ technologies have pervaded much of the literature in this regard. This paper presents, as a case study, the conceptualisation, implementation and ongoing development of a an approach by a high school in Brisbane, Australia to use of handheld technologies to scaffold and implement advanced socio-cognitive processes for knowledge sharing and knowledge-building (Paavola et al., 2002). While a number of lofty ideals are at play, this paper discusses from a relatively pragmatically standpoint how, a range of imperatives and competing demands within the high school community were addressed.
Keywords: Handhelds, Collaboration, Knowledge Building, Case Study
Lecturer, Centre for Learning Innovation
Head of Techology, All Hallows School