A landmark symposium, held at PME-NA in 2002, claimed “New theoretical, methodological, and design frameworks for engaging classroom learning are provoked and supported by the highly interactive and group-centered capabilities of a new generation of classroom–based networks.” (Stroup et al, 2002). Since that time, researchers have used the new technology affordances of classroom networks to design activities, software, and pedagogies to structure productive learning experiences. These networks enable all students to contribute simultaneously to a group mathematical experience. In a basic scenario, each student in a classroom has a computer or handheld device to share mathematical contributions (e.g. points, graphs, algebraic expressions, etc.) and the network interconnect the mathematical contributions and communal experiences can be shared via a projected public display. As a result of multiple investigations, important journal papers and book chapters have been written; doctorates have been obtained on this topic; two large scale experimental studies have returned results; commercial products have been launched; and implementations have spread from the United States to Asia, Europe, and elsewhere.
The overall objective of this symposium, to be held approximately 10 years later, is to engage a diverse group of active investigators to consider the nature and extent of progress over the past 10 years. Specifically, we aim to:
1. Review and reflect on the major research findings.
2. Present and discuss refinements to theory.
3. Share and cross-fertilize emerging frameworks.
4. Raise and debate the important issues that lie ahead.
Active researchers will present diverse and contrasting perspectives from their work in the use of network technologies in mathematics education. The diverse perspectives focus on classrooms’ discourse, creativity, participation and collaboration. They also focus on large scale research results measured both traditional empirical designs and innovative regression discontinuity designs. Questions are raised about missing resources and the use of classroom networks is extended to support deeper analysis of student mathematical thinking. The preparation of this session led to extensive discussion and debates among the researchers, suggesting that the session at AERA will be lively, controversial, and stimulating.