Identifying Tools to Support Schools’ Collaborative Teaching and Learning

Identifying Tools to Support Schools’ Collaborative Teaching and Learning

Table of Contents


The integration of e-Science and Grid technologies into curriculum teaching is currently an ambitious aim for teachers and school infrastructures to organize. However, it can expose classroom learners and teachers to a wider community of specialists and interested others, enriching the classroom experience beyond the knowledge of the local teacher. This paper reflects on two practical e-Science projects that utilized mobile hand-held technologies to bring the concepts of collaborative e-Science and the Grid to young scientists. Students engaged in hands-on exploration of their surroundings and were able to communicate with pollution specialists and with a remote classroom of children who had used similar sensors. Communication and data sharing activities in these sessions exposed a requirement for a suite of tools and technologies not currently accessible to schools. From the qualitative analysis of data across these two projects, we present a collection of supporting tools to help achieve this aim and future research direction.


Wireless, mobile and ubiquitous technologies present many potential new ways to engage the next generation of scientists in technology-enhanced ways of hands-on learning [1, 2]. Combined with exploratory styles of learning they could support a variety of activities employed by teachers in the inspirational, novel, and real-world learning situations (for a review see [3]). While this potential is widely acknowledged, the question of how best to apply these technologies in learning contexts is still open for discussion and exploration. Issues of student engagement, interest, and shared knowledge are at the center of our work in this area, as are issues of how teachers develop the skills and experiences to integrate e-Science into their curriculum and teaching practices. However, e-Science in worldwide school contexts brings its own challenges, such as the ethics of data access, storage and sharing; unfamiliar IT set-ups to integrate with; coordination with outside experts e.g. domain experts; and data exchange in rapid and usable formats e.g. [4, 5, 6, 7].

We present some of our findings from two related studies in which sensing technology was used to afford learners a combination of automatic and manual data collection in two different locations. Our experience gained through these projects, which explored issues around the public understanding of e-Science, mobile technologies, and learning, has helped formulate requirements for particular technologies and tools that would allow similar collaborative, distributed e-Science sessions to be conducted with and by school learners, teachers, and knowledgeable experts.

We used an exploratory research approach to understand the potential of mobile devices when used as part of a collaborative data-collection process. The emphasis of the first (e-Science) project was on a loosely structured, technology-rich session with young students collecting pollution data on a university campus. The second (SENSE) project focussed on a complete scientific inquiry lifecycle, where students explored pollution in their school locality. Both projects used the same suite of data gathering devices, e.g. a Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitor, and both had small teams of young scientists working with an adult facilitator (Figures 1-3). Both projects also followed up on the outdoor sessions with activities that included data analysis and reflection, real-time engagement with others such as scientists working worldwide in the air pollution domain, and real-time communication with another remote classroom engaged in the same project. For more details on these projects see [6, 7, 8].


We have presented our findings across two separate but related e-Science projects. The analysis work continues to identify further tools that have been found to be necessary to facilitate intra-school and intra organizational collaborations between scientists wishing to engage more in the public understanding of their subject and for potential new innovative collaborations designed to stimulate learning and shared understanding within schools and across subject-specific teaching.

Our next steps in this research area involve a 2-year project due to start Autumn 2006 investigating potential ways in which teachers can be supported to design for themselves and others their own usable tools and resources for innovative, collaborative, and distributed science learning and teaching. VESEL [9] is another new project due to commence in September 2006 as part of the EPSRC ideas factory Bridging the Global Digital Divide initiative. The overarching aim of this project is to enable rural communities in SubSaharan Africa to use advanced digital technology to improve their agricultural practices and literacy levels. These projects are interdisciplinary collaborations that will adopt human-centered iterative, participatory scenario-based approaches to the design and evaluation of prototype products and services.


About KSRA

The Kavian Scientific Research Association (KSRA) is a non-profit research organization to provide research / educational services in December 2013. The members of the community had formed a virtual group on the Viber social network. The core of the Kavian Scientific Association was formed with these members as founders. These individuals, led by Professor Siavosh Kaviani, decided to launch a scientific / research association with an emphasis on education.

KSRA research association, as a non-profit research firm, is committed to providing research services in the field of knowledge. The main beneficiaries of this association are public or private knowledge-based companies, students, researchers, researchers, professors, universities, and industrial and semi-industrial centers around the world.

Our main services Based on Education for all Spectrum people in the world. We want to make an integration between researches and educations. We believe education is the main right of Human beings. So our services should be concentrated on inclusive education.

The KSRA team partners with local under-served communities around the world to improve the access to and quality of knowledge based on education, amplify and augment learning programs where they exist, and create new opportunities for e-learning where traditional education systems are lacking or non-existent.

FULL Paper PDF file:

Identifying Tools to Support Schools’ Collaborative Teaching and Learning




Hilary Smith, Joshua Underwood, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Rose Luckin, Danaë Stanton Fraser




Identifying Tools to Support Schools’ Collaborative Teaching and Learning

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Second IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing, 4-6 December, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



PDF reference and original file: Click here


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Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.

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Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

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Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.