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Collaborative Software and Focused Distraction in the Classroom (Revised)

, Willamette University, United States ; , Pacific University, United States

Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Volume 19, Number 4, ISSN 1059-7069 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


In search of strategies for increasing their pre-service teachers’ thoughtful engagement with content and in an effort to model connection between choice of technology and pedagogical goals, the authors utilized collaborative software during class time. Collaborative software allows all students to write simultaneously on a single collective document. The authors describe their experience of pre-service teachers negotiating meaning in a virtual parallel space simultaneously with whole class lecture and discussion. The authors introduce the concept of “focused distraction,” discuss multi-tasking in the classroom, and explain the potential that collaborative software has for self-differentiated learning. Collaborative software documents, end-of-class surveys, and videotape of classroom instruction served as data for the qualitative research. Analysis of the triangulation of this data revealed four categories of use: note taking, collaborative construction, focused distraction, and resource sharing. A preponderance of pre-service teachers reported that collaborative software was useful in class. A preponderance of students reported that collaborative software was useful in class. While they indicated varying experiences with the software, an overwhelming majority reported that collaborative software made a positive impact on their learning.


Rhine, S. & Bailey, M. (2011). Collaborative Software and Focused Distraction in the Classroom (Revised). Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 19(4), 423-447. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved March 20, 2019 from .


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Cited By

  1. Web-Based Teaching & Learning: a Virtual Learning Experience Integrating Emerging Technologies

    Haihong Hu, University of Central Arkansas, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2013 (Mar 25, 2013) pp. 572–575

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