Digital Resources Versus Cognitive Tools: A Discussion of Learning Science with Technology
Over the past two decades, computers and network technologies have become commonplace in many aspects of our work and personal lives. Despite widespread use of technology by scientists across many disciplines, computers and network technologies are often underutilized and poorly integrated into core science education activities in K-16 classrooms. How can this underutilization be explained? This chapter discusses research studies associated with technological tools for learning science relative to meaningful use of technologies in science classrooms. In particular, the chapter presents a framework for examining whether a technological tool is a cognitive tool for meaningful use of technology focused on specific audiences, learning goals, learning activities, and learning performances. To provide discussion for this perspective, examples of technologies associated with four areas of learning science are presented and discussed relative to the Cognitive Tools Framework, and implications revisit the question of underutilization of technology in science classrooms.