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Personal Educational Tools (PETs) for Type II Learning

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Computers in the Schools Volume 23, Number 1, ISSN 0738-0569


This article introduces the concept of Personal Educational Tools (PETs) and places these tools within the context of existing rationales for using technology for teaching, learning, and instruction. An identification of the distinguishing characteristics of these devices is followed by the conjecture that these types of classifying characteristics could form the basis of a taxonomy. An association is made between the Type II uses of PETs and higher level cognitive processes. A rubric is included to guide the educator toward Type II learning applications. Examples of ways PETs could facilitate Type II learning in a wide variety of educational environments are provided. “The popular image of what technology is about is far too much about information and not nearly as much . . . about using it as an instrument, as a tool to do something” (Papert, 1998, p. 1). As small devices with microprocessors embedded within them become commonplace in our society, the issue of how they might best be incorporated into teaching and learning arises. Certain categories of these technology-based tools appear to have high potential for engaging the learner in rich, cognitively stimulating activities. This paper identifies a class of small, mobile, inexpensive information-gathering and reporting devices that appear to have high potential for enhancing the quality and quantity of student learning. The type of learning targeted will be in new areas and in new modes-deep learning that could not be easily accomplished without the use of these devices, or tools. The term coined for these devices is Personal Educational Tools, or PETs. The learning targeted is referred to as Type II.


Christensen, R., Overall, T. & Knezek, G. (2006). Personal Educational Tools (PETs) for Type II Learning. Computers in the Schools, 23(1), 173-189. Retrieved February 18, 2019 from .

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