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Abstract Title: How Tools Shape Classroom Practices and Collaboration: Examples from Introductory Physics Classes Using Tablet PCs
Abstract: Technological tools are widely used in physics education. Many researchers have examined student learning gains associated with activities utilizing technology. Less attention has been given to the role of tools in shaping classroom practices and student interactions. By emphasizing the mediating role tools play, activity theory is ideally suited for examining the impact of tools on classroom culture. This poster uses activity theory to explore two examples where Tablet PCs were used in introductory physics classes. In one example, every student used a Tablet PC to collaborate in small groups during a laboratory course. In a second example, groups of students in an active learning-based course used one Tablet PCs for group work, which the instructor projected during whole class discussions. Use of the Tablet PCs is identified with changes in the nature of student collaboration and in the classroom practices required to support desired class norms.
Abstract Type: Targeted Poster
Targeted Session: Broadening Our Lens: Socio-Cultural Perspectives in PER (Part I: artifacts and mediation)

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Edward Price
California State University, San Marcos
and Co-Presenter(s)
Charles De Leone and Clarisa Bercovich-Guelman
California State University, San Marcos