Interactivity in the classroom and its impact on learning
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The term ‘interactive’ appears in two distinct strands of educational research discourse: one concerning pedagogy and the other concerning new technologies in education. As new technology increasingly pervades most classrooms in the UK, it seems likely that it would be fruitful to explore, both theoretically and empirically, links between the concepts of ‘interactive teaching’ and ‘interactive technology’. Previous reviews of the literature concerning interactive teaching have revealed a variety of ideas which are considered to be involved, with a number of common elements suggesting a scale of interactivity ranging from ‘authoritative’ to ‘dialogic’. There was a consistent suggestion in the literature that shifting the balance of interaction in classrooms towards the dialogic end of the scale would bring improvements to the learning process and consequently to attainment outcomes. However, current analysis focuses on whole-class teaching, which is only one mode of class organisation. This paper explores the literature on interactivity in group and individual work with ICT, and characterises categories of interactivity for these forms of activity organisation. A framework is presented which relates these categories to those previously devised and to the ways in which teachers and learners orchestrate the features of their classroom environment and interact with ICT to support action towards learning goals. The paper argues that a shift towards a greater role for learners in orchestrating resources in the classroom will be valuable and concludes that there is potential for ICT to support more dialogic and synergistic approaches in group and individual activity than is seen at present. It also identifies the potential for using the framework in future research concerning the effects of technological developments on learning in classroom settings.
Computers & Education;
Beauchamp, G. and Kennewell, S. (2010) Interactivity in the classroom and its impact on learning. Computers & Education, 54 (3), pp. 759 - 766.
The final and definitive article is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2009.09.033
- Education Research 
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