Harvard Graduate School of Education  

HDUL Homepage | Overview of HDUL | Getting Started with WHDs | 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 | Web-site Related Comments | Last Updated 11/01/2006


 Selected HDUL 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 computing.

Dieterle, E. (2004). Wearable computers and evaluation. The Evaluation Exchange, 10(3), 4–5.

Dieterle, E. (2005). Handheld devices for ubiquitous learning and analyzing. Paper presented at the 2005 National Educational Computing Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

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 Francisco, CA.

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 Harvard College | This page was last updated 01/11/2007