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2006 Implications of Ubiquitous Computing for the Social Studies Curriculum

Date: 2006
Author: Stephanie D. van Hover, Michael J. Berson, Cheryl Mason Bolick, and Kathleen Owings Swan
Affiliation: National Technology Leadership Initiative (NTLI)
Keywords: Ubiquitous computing, cultural force, laptops


In March 2002, members of the National Technology Leadership Initiative (NTLI) met in Charlottesville, Virginia to discuss the potential effects of ubiquitous computing on the field of education. Ubiquitous computing, or "on-demand availability of task-necessary computing power," involves providing every student with a handheld computer--a situation with enormous repercussions for education and teacher education. Over a two-day period, participants engaged in intensive discussion of the issue of ubiquitous computing and developed seven conclusions. This paper, written by the representatives from social studies organizations, seeks to examine the specific implications of these seven conclusions for the field of social studies education. The paper discusses the concept of ubiquitous computing and the impact this technology shift may have on social studies curricula, teacher preparation, software development, and research agendas.

Key Findings:

* Ubiquitous computing will be a widespread force in schools by the end of the decade or sooner.

* Ubiquitous computing will be a disruptive cultural force with great potential for good or ill.

* Educators at all levels have a responsibility to articulate constructive visions for ubiquitous computing.

* Educators must be prepared to use ubiquitous computing to advance teaching and learning.

* Educators must work with hardware and software developers to shape pedagogically sound educational tools and evaluate them before widespread implementation in schools.

* Small-scale pilot initiatives need to be immediately undertaken to demonstrate feasibility across a demographically-representative range of schools before ubiquitous computing takes place on a larger scale.

* Pilot initiatives should be evaluated to ascertain the effect of ubiquitous computing on teaching and learning, and these findings should be used to guide future educators.

Source Article: http://www.citejournal.org/articles/v6i2socialstudies4.pdf