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Copy of Design by Mind Map: Copy of Design
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Copy of Design

Artifacts

Pea (1993) believes that intelligence is accomplished rather than possessed and that artifacts, as they are used in activity, provide resources for the guidance and growth of intelligence. For Pea, artifacts that have been developed historically or those that are developed naturally as part of an activity can enhance the activity by shaping what is possible within the activity. The artifacts offer certain affordances that can make the activity easier, less error-prone, and more efficient. They can also offer affordances that allow for new ways of thinking and doing things. Today's technological advances provide us with many new artifacts and affordances.

Implications for Education

A key question posed by Pea is this: “…what consequences should these observations about distributed intelligence have for the design and practice of education?” (1993, p. 72). As educators, this is something that we need to think very carefully about. The ways in which we do or do not design technology into the education of our students will have a major effect on their learning. Salomon et al. (as cited in Pea, 1993, pp. 75 – 76) discuss two types of cognitive effects on intelligence: effects of technology and effects with technology. We see the effects of technology when we use technology simply to make the same old tasks easier or more efficient (e.g. doing research on the internet rather than from a book). We see the effects with technology when opportunities are given to students in which they can use the technologies in new ways to expand their knowledge. Students continually experience the effects of doing things with technology in their everyday lives, but once they step foot on school grounds they are not allowed to use technology in those same ways. Why is this? What are educators afraid of? The difference between effects with and effects of technology is important to the pedagogical groundings of using technology in education.

Types of Intelligence

The distinction between distributed intelligence and solitary intelligence is crucial in Roy Pea’s “Practices of distributed intelligence and designs for education” (1993). Solitary intelligence, defined as that which is in the minds of individuals and shown through internal transformation of mental functions, is the type of intelligence that is usually referred to and valued in education. Pea, however, makes the argument that we need to make a shift to understanding and valuing distributed intelligence, which he defines as intelligence that is developed when “resources in the world are used, or come together in use, to shape and direct possible activity emerging from desire” (p. 49). Those resources can be other people, technology, or artifacts of any kind. His key ideas and arguments are based in sociocultural theory, specifically mediation through artifacts and activity theory. In these theories, knowledge (intelligence) is seen as socially constructed, and therefore not solely situated in the mind of the individual.

Horizon Report

Mobile computing

The Horizon Report (2010) offers important information about new technologies that have the potential to rework the design of our classrooms so that they foster distributed intelligence. One of the new technologies that we can design into our classroom in the near future is mobile computing. New mobile technologies are being developed on a daily basis, and an increasing number of these mobile devices can perform the same activities that a desktop or laptop computer can perform; yet these devices can fit in the palm of your hand. Many of these devices have the capabilities to browse the internet, store documents and data, and check email. Recent studies at the Abilene Christian University showed that lectures delivered through mobile computing devices were just as effective as paper lectures (Horizon Report, 2010) An advantage to using mobile devices to give lecture materials over standard paper lecture materials is that the devices allow universities and schools to go green. Mobile devices can be designed into classrooms by giving students another way to receive and store important lecture materials without having to carry around a notebook and pencil because all the information can be stored in an easy to carry, compact device.

Open content

Another new technology that can be designed into our classes soon is open content. Open content promotes the use of a critical set of skills that everyone needs: the ability to find, evaluate, and put new information to use. The goal of open content is to take advantage of the Internet as a global dissemination platform for collective knowledge and wisdom, and to design learning experiences that maximize the use of it (Horizon Report, 2010). By sharing open content over the internet, everyone has access to the content which means anyone can learn from the content being shared. This new technology has the potential to relay information to classrooms much faster than receiving the updated information in a textbook and may allow teachers to keep their students more up-to-date about updating information in subjects such as science where new developments are being made on a daily basis. It not only opens up course content to a wide audience, one that might not otherwise have access to the information, but it also provides an opportunity for students to decide when and where they want to interact with course material.

E-books

A third technology that could be designed into classrooms in the near future are electronic books. Electronic books have been around since the early 1970s with many of the books meant to be read through the use of a computer. Today, computers and other storage devices can hold hundreds of titles to the point where someone's mobile computing device could serve as a library of information, literally. Electronic books have not previously caught on in the college world because of three reasons. First, the issue of availability was hard to overcome. Many textbooks have not been scanned into electronic documents and with new textbooks being published each year, trying to keep up with scanning each textbook into an electronic document has been simply overwhelming. Second, as the technology to read the electronic books developed, the ability to render high quality images and illustrations in the books was limited. Lastly, since most electronic books are scanned versions of regular books, the electronic books were viewed as ancillary to the regular books. Electronic books might be designed into classrooms because the books are easier to carry around than the standard textbook and coupled with today's advancing technologies that can search documents at a fast rate, electronic books may serve to be more convenient than standard textbooks since students may find them easier to use.They also provide a chance for students to interact with textual material in news ways by providing instant access to texts, allowing instant annotation and storing of information.

Future Implications

Other technologies that can be designed into classrooms in the future include but are not limited to, simple augmented reality, gesture-based computing and visual data analysis. The options that are and will become available to educators provide opportunities for the use of technology in the classroom to transcend the solitary intelligence framework. By providing students with ways to create, interact with, and synthesize information, the classroom can become a place where knowledge is more socially constructed.