The learning needs of students are being strongly influenced by three major trends in contemporary society: the increasing integration of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in contemporary life and the growing disconnect between life in school and out of school for students; the latest findings on brain-based research on learning which stresses the importance of active engagement and knowledge-building through discussion: and the importance of global understanding, multicultural awareness and local civic involvement for the life of Canadian communities. To keep schools relevant to students’ future aspirations and employ the technologies they use for their own out-of-school learning requires changes to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. (Haughey, 2006, p.1)
Technology has a large role to play in the reinvention of schools, but the infusion of computer-based technologies are meaningless unless they are designed into a curriculum and are chosen to support pedagogical models designed to insure the maximum learning opportunities for all students. Technology, alone, cannot drive reform. If technology is brought into classrooms without revisiting the curricular and pedagogical issues, it risks being used to implement the educational strategies of the past. We will, in effect, have placed a gas engine in a horse, rather than designed an automobile.
This is an important point, one worth stressing. Curriculum and pedagogy must drive technology use.
This study examines the ways in which teachers design, work and learn when they have continuous access to a laptop computer in a mobile, connected environment. It also examines the ways in which students build knowledge; interact and collaborate with the teacher, peers and others; and seek feedback from peers, outside audiences, teachers and parents.
Researchers from Galileo Educational Network are conducting this research in the following four schools.