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Highly Interactive Computing

In computer-assisted learning and in many other situations, one uses a computer in a highly interactive manner.

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When most educators think about highly interactive computing, their first thought is about computer-assisted instruction. But, there are many other situations in which one uses a computer in a highly interactive manner. The development of a spreadsheet model or a GIS model, and their use in asking and answering "What if?" questions, provides good examples.


Bork, Al (1999). Highly Interactive Distance Learning for the Future [Online]. Accessed 4/17/01: http://www.ics.uci.edu/~bork/icce99.htm. Quoting from the paper:

This paper proposes a new educational system, based on distance learning at all levels of learning from birth to death. The major learning medium for students will be highly interactive multimedia computer-based learning material that will allow us to educate everyone in the world to the mastery level. The material will be for global use anywhere, at any time, using the student's native language.

Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education [Online]. Accesses 4/17/01: http://hi-ce.eecs.umich.edu/. Quoting from the Website:

Students can go to the Science Laboratory to download and use a range of data collection, graphing, and modeling software tools to investigate complex problems.

Teachers can go to the Teacher Workroom to view and download the latest in project-based science software and curriculum, see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms, and find out about professional development programs.

Guests can go to the hi-ce Information to view and download research papers, information about our projects, and contact information for members of hi-ce.

Critical Issue: Using Technology to Enhance Engaged Learning for At-Risk Students [Online]. Accessed 4/17/01: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/
students/atrisk/at400.htm. Quoting from this NCREL Website:

The vision of classrooms structured around student involvement in challenging, long-term projects and focused on meaningful, engaged learning is important for all students. Yet such a change in practice would be especially dramatic for those students who have been characterized as "economically disadvantaged" or "at risk." Traditionally, schools have had lower expectations for such students. Teachers have emphasized the acquisition of basic skills for at-risk students, often in special pull-out programs or in lower level tracks. Hixson and Tinzmann (1990), however, note that school factors such as narrow curricula, rigid instructional strategies, tracking, and pull-out programs hinder the academic achievement of many at-risk students. Recent findings indicate that by not challenging at-risk students or encouraging them to use complex thinking skills, schools underestimate students' capabilities, postpone interesting and meaningful work they could be doing, and deprive them of a meaningful context for learning and using the skills that are taught (Means & Knapp, 1991).

Hunter, B. and Xie, Y. (April 2001). Data Tools for Real-World Learning [Online]. Accessed 4/17/01: http://www.iste.org/L&L/archive/vol28/no7/
featuredarticle/hunter/index.html. Quoting from the paper:

Many teachers want their students to have opportunities to learn in the context of real problems of meaningful complexity, particularly in the local community of students' personal experience and interest. However, a teacher encounters many barriers to such contextual or project-based learning.

In addition to institutional and logistical obstacles, there are cognitive challenges in addressing complex, real problems. And real problems lead learners into territory beyond the knowledge base of any one teacher. Teamwork among people within and outside of school is essential in real-world projects.

Teachers, students, and others in a community can take advantage of a combination of technologies to help overcome some of these barriers. We provide an introduction and examples of ways in which teachers and students and their local communities are using geo-referenced data and geographic information systems (GIS) technologies to work on real phenomena.

Moursund, D.G. (April 2001). Highly Interactive Computing in Teaching and Learning [Online]. Accessed 11/8/01: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/
. Quoting from the article:

This article is about roles of teachers, learners, and computers in highly interactive teaching and learning. When most educators think about highly interactive computing, their first thought is about computer-assisted instruction. But, there are many other situations in which one uses a computer in a highly interactive manner. The development of a spreadsheet model, and the use of it in asking and answering "What if?" questions, provides a good example. The interaction one does in editing a photograph provides another example. This article explores various aspects of highly interactive computing and makes some suggestions about how to improve our educational system.

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