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Abstract Title: Using Activity Theory to Understand Technology in the Classroom
Abstract: Research-based innovations in physics education often restructure social interactions in the classroom and introduce new tools. Assessments such as pre-post testing can provide an overall evaluation of these changes, but do not provide insight into the process by which they are enacted. Activity theory provides a framework for understanding the complex classroom situation through structured attention to roles, rules or norms, community, and tools. Activity theory is particular useful in diagnosing failure modes and understanding unexpected outcomes. I will describe how activity theory can be used to understand efforts to support interactive pedagogy with technologies such as digital cameras, photo sharing websites, and in-class videos of experiments. I will characterize the circumstances under which innovations in pedagogy and technology support each other, leading to results that would not have been possible with either alone.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Targeted Session: Adopting Theories and Methods from Outside PER

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Edward Price
California State University San Marcos