Mobile Technologies as Mindtools for Augmenting Observations and Reflections in Everyday Informal Environments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For several decades, Jonassen (1996; 2000; 2003; 2006; 2011) has been instrumental in forwarding a vision of technology use that affords new ways of thinking, representing, and visualizing one’s experiences for deeper reflection and knowledge construction. His corpus of work around cognitive tools, also referred to as mindtools, frames educational technologies as knowledge construction tools that extend the thinking processes of users, enabling new forms of knowledge representation and task manipulation (Jonassen & Carr, 2000; Jonassen and Reeves, 1996). Mindtools are computer tools that have been adapted or created to extend thinking. His rationale for the concept of mindtools is that even simple, readily-available technology tools, such as databases or spreadsheets, can be powerful intellectual partners for engaging learners in new forms of thinking. Jonassen’s mindtools concept is inclusive of general purpose software (such as spreadsheets) as well as designed environments that have been created to facilitate problem solving. Mindtools can include software tools that support knowledge construction and learning-by-design (e.g. programming tools, expert systems, multimedia or web authoring). They can also support semantic organization, dynamic modeling, visualization, multimedia construction, and social networking (Jonassen, 2000). Across the range of approaches and tools, Jonassen (1996) puts forward a unifying concept that “mindtools are cognitive reflection and amplification tools that help learners construct their own representations of a new content domain or visit an old one” (p. 11).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLearning, Problem Solving, and Mindtools
Subtitle of host publicationEssays in Honor of David H. Jonassen
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781136277368
ISBN (Print)9780415524353
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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