The Wireless Revolution and Schools

The Wireless Revolution and Schools

Terry T. Kidd (University of Texas School of Public Health, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-845-1.ch111
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The current wireless revolution in our society is increasing the impending need to be able to facilitate communication and have the availability of access to information at any time, place, or medium. This notion of accessing information at any given time is an idea central to the application of wireless technology. This idea has been made into reality with the use of WI-FI technologies and wireless networks. By providing teachers with such tools for teaching to implement in various subject domains and content, schools will equip teachers in their ability to provide quality teaching and learning for the student. With the new wireless revolution, students can participate in collaborative learning that extends their current educational experience.
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It would be counterproductive for the 21st century student to be harnessed to a computer lab—handcuffed to place and time for learning to occur. Wireless technology frees education by equipping each student with a laptop computer or PDA and a wireless network card that provides an Internet connection.


Main Discussion

Wireless notebooks, also known as wireless laptops, are one of the most widely used forms of wireless technology in schools and campuses today. Many schools and campuses are using wireless mobile labs equipped with laptop computers and occasionally a network printer, all housed in a metal rolling cart. This notebook cart allows for the automatic conversion of any classroom into a fully functioning computer lab.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Learning Environment: A definition currently accepted in literature is “a place where learners may work together and support each other as they use a variety of tools and information resources in their guided pursuit of learning goals and problem-solving activities” (Wilson, 1996, p. 5).

Constructivism: Epistemological theory according to which individuals construct knowledge through active experience. It emphasizes that knowledge is a social product, historically and culturally situated, and which is negotiated, constructed and learned by the members of a community.

Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD): The ZPD theory goes back to the work of social psychologist Vygotskij, according to which social interaction is critical to learning. He considers the learning process as continuously moving from an “actual development level” to a “potential development level”. The movement between these two levels, where the ZPD lies, occurs through the interaction of an expert and a novice.

Learning Community: It is a notion that received a great attention in last years by educational scholars. According to Bielaczyc and Collins (1999) the four essential characteristics to define a learning community are: (1) diversity of expertise among its members, who are valued for their contributions and are given support to develop; (2) a shared objective of continually advancing collective knowledge and skills; (3) an emphasis on learning how to learn; and 4) mechanisms for sharing what is learned (p. 272).

E-Learning: A Neologism created at the start of the 2000s to indicate a set of methodologies aimed at using the ICTs in order to provide learners with learning resources and interactions free from temporal and spatial constraints. Three main solutions can be distinguished: content + support, wrap around, and integrated model. These three structures are respectively based on content, teacher’s support for activities between peers and the Internet, and the collaborative learning group.

Instructional Design: Is the sector which has to do, on international levels, with the study of criteria and instructional models applicable to diverse contexts, in such a way that learning has a greater possibility of becoming effective, efficient, and appealing.

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