Using wireless-enabled Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) to access information and create communication patterns: constructing and transforming knowledge in a Year Seven classroom
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Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are mobile wireless communication and organisational devices. PDAs are increasingly being used broadly in Medicine, Nursing, Business and, in a limited fashion, Education (Chan, Chu, Cheng, & Chen, 2004, p. 3). This chapter presents an overview of the intended Doctoral research to be conducted in a Year 7 classroom where each student and teacher will use a wireless, network enabled, PDA. From a review of the literature related to international research and initiatives exploring learning and mobile technological devices, now commonly referred to as mLearning, a theoretical model will be proposed to guide the study. That model conceptualises the investigation of the transformational potential which the PDAs might have on the communication patterns of students. The model also provides a framework for investigating the ways in which students and teachers in the middle years of schooling access information and use communication patterns to construct and transform knowledge. Teacher pedagogy, peer relationships, group dynamics and the development of learning objects for PDAs will be analysed. The chapter will outline the methodology proposed to be used in the research. A qualitative, interpretive paradigm, mirroring the fluid and dynamic nature of education will be employed (Creswell, 1998). As the research will guide change at the school, the research project involves significant action research and critical theory. As an indication of the future direction for this study now in its early stages, the chapter concludes with a proposal for a pilot study of student use of mobile, wireless technologies in the middle years.
Educational Research: Who Needs It?
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