Mobile Learning, Teacher Education, and the Sociomaterial Perspective: Analysis of the SMS Story Project

Mobile Learning, Teacher Education, and the Sociomaterial Perspective: Analysis of the SMS Story Project

Marguerite Koole
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2018040106
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This article is primarily a theoretical piece that uses a model of mobile learning, the FRAME model (Koole 2009), to explore a mobile teacher-training project that took place in Papua New Guinea: the SMS Story. The author takes a sociomaterial perspective, drawing upon Barad's agential realism and Sørensen's multiplicity perspective. As the author explores the “intra-actions” of the social, learner, and technological aspects of the FRAME model, diffraction patterns arise; in other words, spaces of social and material possibilities, constraints, and tensions come into view. New ethical questions emerge regarding whose perspectives and whose practices should come to matter in pedagogical practices. This article is intended for qualitative researchers, teachers, and teacher educators who are interested in alternative ways of thinking about the entanglement of mobile technology, humans, and materialities in educational contexts.
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The Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Learning (FRAME) model (Koole, 2009) is highly commensurate with the sociomaterial perspective. The model can help teacher educators and teachers-in-training understand how the material and the human are inherently intertwined. The SMS Story project (Kaleebu, Gee, Maybanks, Jones, Jauk, & Watson, 2013; Kaleebu, Gee, Jones, & Watson, 2013; Gee & Jones, 2013) will be used as an example. The SMS Story project took place in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with the goal of using a seemingly simple mobile technology (SMS) to provide training content to English teachers in remote areas. The analysis of the SMS Story project through FRAME model demonstrates the complexity of the entanglement of technology, culture, and individuals in the learning process.

In this paper, the author will draw upon Karen Barad’s (2003, 2007) agential realist perspective and other sociomaterialist writers to argue that the recognition of non-human actors in teaching and learning is an important issue with ethical implications. The first half of the paper is highly theoretical offering a discussion about sociomaterialism, agential realism, and the FRAME model. The second half provides a concrete example (the SMS Story Project) to illustrate the theoretical. In closing, the author will review the entanglement between the local, sociomaterial processes and Western pedagogical and technological approaches. Localization of mobile learning content and practices in teacher training emerge as a significant issue.

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