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Scaffolding knowledge building strategies in teacher education settings

, University of Western Sydney, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-44-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


In a classroom context, scaffolding enables teachers to provide cognitive supports to assist knowledge building in cognitively demanding situations. Scaffolding provides supports that guide, model and cue higher order processes involved in thinking, knowledge construction and problem-solving. This presentation reports on a model of in-service professional development using Zing's' knowledge building software ( In these sessions teachers learn to customise environments that facilitate construction of knowledge nodes and networks through a combination of both individual and team efforts. Using one computer, a multiplexed set of twelve keyboards, and a cluster of monitors (or a shared projector screen, and the Zing' software, the teacher customises each learning session to suit the curriculum area, learning goals and intended outcomes. Customising is straightforward and intended to provide scaffolding for planned knowledge building activities and tasks. Learning sessions have a built in etiquette with times allocated to discussion, response, review and summary. Students work individually, in pairs or in small team groups. After each entry is made in an individual's play space, content is transferred (published) to a team play space - where it becomes public property. Each participant contributes individually to the learning and knowledge development process, and concomitantly contributes to the shared construction of knowledge. All contributions can be exported to create a printable teacher's portfolio ( on learning processes and outcomes. This presentation demonstrates the nature of in-service learning activities within the knowledge building setting. Case study data are used to illustrate ways in which participants construct knowledge within the “play spaces”. Of specific interest are the processes by which teacher-created scaffolds, the software's in-built cognitive supports and the interactivity of situation- the discussion and exchange of ideas- facilitate participants' joint construction of knowledge nodes and networks. Interactivity within the learning environment results in information becoming part of connected networks of relations. From these networks evolve shared understandings and cognitions.


Elliott, A. (2002). Scaffolding knowledge building strategies in teacher education settings. In D. Willis, J. Price & N. Davis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2002--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 827-829). Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved April 22, 2019 from .


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