Secure Collaborative Learning Practices and Mobile Technology

Secure Collaborative Learning Practices and Mobile Technology

Hannakaisa Isomäki (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), Kirsi Päykkönen (University of Lapland, Finland) and Hanna Räisänen (University of Lapland, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-054-7.ch159
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Abstract

During the past few years, mobile technologies have become common in everyday life. Almost everyone carry some kind of mobile technological equipment with him or her, for example a personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile phone, a multimedia player, such as an iPod, or a laptop computer. The use of these equipments is not limited only to workplaces, schools or homes. Particularly useful information and communication technologies (ICTs) are in educational settings. Especially wireless networks and laptop computers may promote many useful practices of collaborative learning (Cutshall, Changchit, & Elwood, 2006; Jones, Holmfeld, & Lindström, 2006). On the one hand, the use of mobile ICTs may also diminish the fluency of studying. With technology both restricting and enabling different ways of action, even small changes in technology may lead to substantial changes in the way it is used in educational settings (Waycott & Kukulska- Hulme, 2003). The use of mobile devices and wireless networks in studying may even reduce communality, social contacts, and collaboration between students instead of increasing and supporting them (Kreijns & Kirschner, 2004). These kinds of deficiencies can restrain users from making good use of otherwise advantageous technology-supported interaction environments. On the other hand, if mobile technology is utilized successfully, it can engender students’ feelings of belonging to a safe virtual community, which helps to construct shared knowledge when members of the community collaborate and apply information and experiences received from others. In order to successfully implement mobile ICTs for computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) it is important to obtain information how students take into use mobile technologies in their studying and learning. In particular, different features of knowledge sharing and social usability in the virtual learning environment along with issues of data security within the wireless network become crucial with respect to CSCL that is supported by mobile technology. This chapter explores the role of mobility and social usability features in a CSCL environment on a wireless campus. In our analysis we found features that either support or diminish the fluency of CSCL.

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