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CLICK designs are guided by the principle that the social should be mapped to the mathematical—that collaborative relationships among students should be organized around the mathematical relationships that the learning activity seeks to help students understand. These designs have two primary pedagogical objectives:

1)   to link each student participant in a small group with objects in the shared space of the classroom network to make important mathematical relationships salient, and

2)   to encourage collaborative interactions among students by posing tasks and challenges that require participants to coordinate their individual contributions in order to jointly manipulate shared objects.

In order to accomplish these objectives, we follow these guidelines:

  • Choose a mathematical object or relationship (e.g., a linear function)
  • Decompose it into 2 to 4 sub-elements (e.g., two points on the line)
  • Distribute control of those elements to the devices of 2 to 4 students via the classroom network
  • Ask those students to work together on tasks focused at the level of the target mathematical object or relationship (e.g., move your points in order to form a line with the equation y+3x-2)

Most of our activities use the NetLogo modeling environment (Wilensky, 1999) and HubNet network tools (Wilensky & Stroup, 1999) in concert with classroom sets of student devices–Texas Instruments graphing calculators or Apple iPod/iPads. This classroom network situates each student’s device within a server-defined small group, and a screen projection from the server at the front of the classroom displays mathematical objects linked to both individual student devices and to student small groups.


Wilensky, U. & Stroup, W. (1999). HubNet. http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/hubnet.html. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University. Evanston, IL.

Wilensky, U. 1999. NetLogo. http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University. Evanston, IL.