34 Pages

Creating a Framework for Research on Systemic Technology Innovations

Barry Fishman, Ronald W. Marx, Phyllis Blumenfeld, and Joseph Krajcik

Over the past decade, the Learning Sciences have built on knowledge of how people learn (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 1999) and made major investments in the de­ sign and development of learning environments that employ technology to foster

thinking and understanding with demonstrated positive effects on learning (Roschelle, Pea, Hoadley, Gordin, & Means, 2000). Despite the fact that technology is now considered commonplace in K-12 education (Becker, 1999), most innova­ tions derived from Learning Sciences research, which we refer to as cognitively ori­ ented technology innovations, have not found their way into widespread classroom use. Instead, for a variety of reasons including teacher capabilities (CEO Forum on Education and Technology, 1999), technology infrastructure (Carvin, 2000), school culture (Cuban, 1986) and organizational constraints (Cohen, 1988), the primary uses of technology in schools remain drill and practice, word processing, and web surfing (R. E. Anderson & Ronnkvist, 1999). These uses of technology may be im­ portant initial steps for schools, but they fall short of the tremendous potential of technology to support the rich, inquiry-oriented learning called for in national stan­ dards documents (e.g., American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1993), and embodied in Learning Sciences research (Bransford et al., 1999).