EDC Center for Children and Technology
(TR3) Alternate Realizations of Purpose in Computer-Supported Writing
This paper challenges the notion that technology can, by itself, effect change in a classroom. Through an examination of various classrooms using QUILL, a system of tools and environments to support classroom writing, the gap between the intended purpose of a technological innovation and its eventual role in the classroom is shown to be wide and unpredictable. Innovations not anticipated by the designers result when a new tool is introduced into the social setting of a classroom, because the tool must be integrated with the habits, beliefs, and practices of the classroom. The authors conclude that these various realizations of purpose are an important part of the process of educational innovation and technological integration.
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