This article reports on a new breed of tool that supports both higher-level thinking and, more importantly, human- to-human interaction in the form of team learning (Elliot, Findlay, Fitzgerald, & Forster, 2004; Findlay & Fitzgerald, 2006; Fitzgerald & Findlay, 2004). We argue that developing tools to support team learning is no longer merely desirable, but is now essential if humans are to productively engage with the increasing complexity and uncertainty that arises from accelerating technological and social change. The article begins by developing a case for the development of technological tools that support the collaborative creation of new knowledge. It then overviews the Zing team learning system (TLS) and reports on its development and use over the last 14 years. It concludes by identifying some of the emerging features of collaborative knowledge creation processes.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Zing: Zing is the team learning system, one of two different software programs which grew out of the Grouputer group decision support system.
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD): ZPD is the difference between what a learner can do by themselves and with the assistance of a more capable adult or peer.
Constructivist: Constructivist is an approach based on the work of Lev Vygotsky. He contended that learners neither receive knowledge nor do they simply discover it. They learn in social contexts in interaction with both humans and tools.
Team Learning System (TLS): TLS is a special application of group decision support systems to support group learning and decision making in education and related areas.