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Selected HDUL Publications
|The Handheld Devices for Ubiquitous Learning (HDUL)
project, funded by Harvard’s Provost and under the guidance of Professor
Chris Dede, sought to determine how wireless handheld devices (WHDs) ––
which include, but are not limited to, cellphones, personal digital
assistants, and mobile gaming devices –– could enhance learning and
teaching in university settings. During the 2003–2004 and 2004–2005
academic years, HDUL successfully integrated WHDs into eight diverse
courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Harvard
Extension School (HES). This website documents the support materials and
publications developed from the project.
Copyright © 2006
President and Fellows of Harvard College
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Publications and Presentations
Dede, C., & Dieterle, E. (2004).
Ubiquitous handhelds: Sifting knowledge through our fingertips.
Seminar presented at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Technology
in Education Open Seminar, Cambridge, MA.
Abstract: Wearable, connectable, accessible, flexible,
economical: Wireless handheld devices have the potential for ubiquitous
computing, computing that unobtrusively threads itself through the fabric
of everyday life. Since the fall of 2003, various Harvard courses have
participated in a research project to develop insights about how wireless
handheld devices might widen the pedagogical repertoire. In this seminar,
Chris Dede and Ed Dieterle presented their findings and outlined plans
for the future of the Handheld Devices for Ubiquitous Learning Project.
Participants used handheld devices, saw demonstrations of their
capabilities, and discussed visions for the future of ubiquitous
Dieterle, E. (2004).
Wearable computers and evaluation. The Evaluation Exchange,
Dieterle, E. (2005).
Handheld devices for ubiquitous learning and analyzing. Paper
presented at the 2005 National Educational Computing Conference,
Dieterle, E., & Dede, C. (2006).
Straightforward and deep effects of wireless handheld devices for
teaching and learning in university settings. Paper presented at
the 2006 American Educational Research Association Conference, San
Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of HDUL and
complementary research projects illustrating WHDs as communicators,
construction kits, information banks, phenomenaria, symbol pads, and task
managers in a wide variety of learning environments. Within categories,
characteristics of both straightforward effects (i.e., streamliners –
mechanisms that actively improve the efficiency of a process or action)
and deep effects (i.e., enablers – mechanisms that make an action or
process possible that before or otherwise would be impractical or
impossible to carry out) emerged.
Dieterle, E., & Dede, C. (2006).
Building university faculty and student capacity to use wireless handheld
devices for learning. In M. van ‘t Hooft & K. Swan (Eds.),
Ubiquitous computing in education: Invisible technology, visible impact
(pp. 303–328). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Abstract: The HDUL research summarized in this chapter
demonstrates that WHDs can be highly useful as (1) portable research
assistants and (2) traveling conduits for online learning. As
research assistants, WHDs enable users to: (a) capture what users have
learned through various educational software packages designed for
formative and summative assessments, (b) retain and project learners’
opinions in real-time during face-to-face, whole-class discussions, (c)
conduct surveys in the field, and afterwards aggregate data to be
analyzed by the whole class, (d) log and analyze real-time data through
probeware and calculation software that makes use of a menu-driven
interface, and (e) record interviews digitally and capture digital
images. As traveling conduits for online learning, WHDs serve as tools
that enhance thinking and as vehicles through which information can pass
between individuals and their surroundings. Barriers and insights
encountered in scaling up the use of WHDs include: (a) logistics for use
of the WHDs, (b) effective instructional design, (c) instructors’
perceptions of new technologies, (d) lack of connections between “online
learning” and learning with Internet-connected WHDs, and (e) teachers’
concerns about students’ use of the WHD technology.
Dieterle, E., Dede, C., & Schrier, K. (2007).
“Neomillennial” learning styles propagated by wireless handheld devices.
In M. Lytras & A. Naeve (Eds.), Ubiquitous and pervasive knowledge and
learning management: Semantics, social networking and new media to their
full potential (pp. 35–66). Hershey, PA: Idea Group, Inc.
Abstract: As the digital-aged learners of today prepare for
their post-classroom lives, educational experiences within classrooms and
outside of schools should reflect advances both in interactive media and
in the learning sciences. Two recent research projects that explore the
strengths and limitations of wireless handheld computing devices (WHDs)
as primary tools for educational innovations are Harvard University’s
Handheld Devices for Ubiquitous Learning (HDUL) and Schrier’s Reliving
the Revolution (RtR). These projects provide rich data for analysis using
our conceptual framework, which articulates (a) the global proliferation
of WHDs; (b) society’s movement toward “ubiquitous computing”; (c) the
potential of WHDs to enable sophisticated types of instructional designs;
and (d) WHD’s fostering of new, media-based learning styles. In this
chapter, our primary focus is the last of these four themes.
|Copyright © 2007 President and Fellows of
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