Mobile Technologies as a Catalyst for Pedagogic Innovation Within Teacher Education

Mobile Technologies as a Catalyst for Pedagogic Innovation Within Teacher Education

Helen Caldwell (University of Northampton, Northampton, UK)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2018040105

Abstract

This article reviews the use of mobile technologies within teacher education at the University of Northampton. In order to develop a strong commitment to digital literacy, the School of Education is using sets of teaching iPads with trainee teachers and has allocated an iPad to every member of the academic staff. Experiences from mobile technology projects involving ITT students, primary teachers and academics are shared to illustrate how mobile technologies have been a catalyst for new pedagogies based on a social constructivist model of learning in the teacher education programmes. The author aims to develop creative, self-directed learners who can work in collaborative teams within a professional community of teachers, academics and students. The author has considered ways in which mobile devices extend learning beyond taught sessions, and how the use of apps to make shareable digital artefacts can lead to purposeful engagement. To this end, the School of Education is focusing on a set of core apps that facilitate the creation, collaboration, curation, and capture of content.
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Background

Technology Driven Innovation

Although technology is generally recognised to have the power to transform education (Puentendra, 2006; Cope & Kalantzis, 2008) several educators express the opinion that a technology-rich learning environment requires a shift in roles and responsibility for learning, and that achieving this is a challenge for teachers (Chandra & Mills, 2015). Luckin (2010) suggests that this shift can be characterised as one from Pedagogy (teacher-determined) to Heutagogy (learner-determined). One of the challenges facing university lecturers in the field of teacher education is how to encourage student teachers and in-service teachers to explore, adopt and apply new approaches to teaching and learning (Moats, 2014; Livingstone, 2014). Because of this, we need to find ways to develop and disseminate pedagogical innovation that increase the likelihood of the transfer of new approaches to teaching and learning from university to classroom.

Many university programmes now embrace the use of devices such as mobiles to support and engage in teaching and learning (Bertarelli et al. 2011), though some writers would argue that many universities still fail to grasp the opportunities afforded by technology because of a lack of knowledge of what can be achieved through its use (Selwyn 2007; Twining et al., 2015). Nevertheless, writers on the topic of teaching and learning suggest that the case for the positive impact of technology on teaching and learning is considerable and compelling (e.g. Tamin et al., 2011; Higgins, et al. 2012) not least because it enables universities to reach out to new and larger audiences and for learning to take place in new ways. Within our context, we have found that online learning communities and social networking tools such as blogs provide a visual platform for sharing digital artefacts and promote the concept of social learning. In this paper, we will consider how learning communities can complement the use of mobile technologies in Teacher Education.

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