Pervasive technology in the classroom

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This paper discusses learning potentials of pervasive technology when used in the classroom setting. Explicitly this paper uses the research and development project “Octopus” as its point of departure and as the foundation for reflections on how learning takes place in intelligent contexts. We propose that pervasive and tangible media like the Octopus reshapes learning not only by utilizing the body as the epicenter for experiences, but also by changing the traditional temporal and vertical learning design (vertical refers to temporal gab between learned knowledge and applied knowledge) normally associated with the traditional school system. Initial analyses on the research project “Octopus” indicate that the temporal and vertical learning patterns are replaced by spatial and simultaneous learning design. We suggest that this change signals a fundamental approach and at the same time points toward the crucial topic which many pupils’ are faced with – meaning and making sense of the presented learning content. The pervasive and tangible design of the Octopus seems to offer a solution to or a learning design that can create a close or perhaps simultaneous connection between abstract and applied knowledge while at the same time centering the full range of body experiences in a social frame which offers articulation or dialogue between pupils as both a reflective and scaffolding learning principle. The research questions explored in this paper are: Which learning qualities are presented both implicit and explicitly in a pervasive and tangible technological didactical design that teach fractions? How can the elements of play and bodily activity enrich the quality of learning? And what kind of didactical planning is required to release the inherent potentials? How the Octopus can focus learning not only from the individual pupils point of view, but also as to how the Octopus can focus or align the entire classroom towards learning – exploring this observation we will touch on the value of social micro domains as places of articulation and on the importance of a close connection between learning explicit knowledge and applying that knowledge in pervasive context – the Octopus.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Learn Asia Pacific 2010 : Global Conference on Learning and Technology
Number of pages8
PublisherAssociation for the Advancement of Computing in Education
Publication date2010
ISBN (Print)1-880094-79-7
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventGlobal Learn Asia Pacific 2010 - Global Conference on Learning and Technology - Penang, Malaysia
Duration: 17. May 201020. May 2010


ConferenceGlobal Learn Asia Pacific 2010 - Global Conference on Learning and Technology


  • pervasive learning, technology, class room


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