A Design Toolkit for Emerging Learning Landscapes Supported by Ubiquitous Computing
Abstract: The widespread use of mobile devices and their integration in our everyday ac- tivities is changing the way we communicate, share information, and learn. The rapid adoption of powerful mobile devices also offers new opportunities to sup- port teaching and learning. For many users, mobile devices along with different types of computers are always connected, providing a constant stream of digital content to and from people and thereby adding new layers to the everyday in- formation landscape. These emergent trends are changing communication and collaboration patterns, but they have not yet been effectively leveraged for the field of education. Nearly 20 years ago, it was argued that the limitations of computer use for education in the coming decades would likely be less a result of technological limitations than a result of limited human imagination and the constraints of old habits and social structures. These two latest behaviors are still observable in many of today's classrooms. Therefore, different strategies are needed to explore and promote innovative educational practices supported by mobile and ubiquitous technologies, and this thesis will argue that design can be the catalyst for such a change.The main research question to be addressed in this thesis relates to what new approaches can be developed to design emerging learning landscapes supported by ubiquitous computing. In order to investigate this question, different design approaches are used to bring together the perspectives of technology- enhanced learning, ubiquitous computing, and interaction design. The empirical work presented in this dissertation is based on the activities and outcomes that emerged from three projects that included informal learning activities, inquiry-based science learning, and mathematics learning inside and outside the formal classroom. The most salient design approaches were identified from a comparative analysis of the projects, and this provided the foundations of a design toolkit. The intention of creating and using such a design toolkit is to provide a set of guidelines for researchers, designers, teachers, and other stakeholders to tackle the challenges of designing innovative learning activities supported by ubiquitous technologies.
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