Designing Effective Pedagogical Systems for Teaching and Learning with Mobile and Ubiquitous Devices

Designing Effective Pedagogical Systems for Teaching and Learning with Mobile and Ubiquitous Devices

Wan Ng (La Trobe University, Australia), Howard Nicholas (La Trobe University, Australia), Seng Loke (La Trobe University, Australia) and Torab Torabi (La Trobe University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-703-4.ch003
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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to explore issues in effective system design to bring about pedagogically sound learning with mobile devices, including the emerging generation of new devices. The authors review pedagogical models and theories applicable to mobile learning (or m-learning) and ubiquitous learning (or u-learning, also sometimes called pervasive learning, or p-learning), consider the technological support available, and describe scenarios and case studies that exemplify the achievements and challenges for each paradigm. They will also consider possible abstractions that relate ways in which learners can work within varied pedagogical model(s) to make use of relevant supporting technologies, e.g., the notions of “personal learning workflows” and “group learning workflows.”
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Ubiquitous And Mobile Learning

Ubiquitous learning is characterised by two dimensions: (1) it is not constrained by physical space, plans or timetables but is pervasive and occurs anywhere at anytime and (2) as a consequence of the distributed nature of the immediate access to a variety of sources of information or means of reflecting on experiences in interaction with others, ubiquitous learning is characterized by the transformation of understanding and the ability to question experiences and information. Informing this view and in line with the views of Schenker, Kratcoski, Lin, Swan and van ‘t Hooft (2007), we understand learning as ‘the processing of encountered information [extended to include experiences, values or representations] that leads to changes in knowledge, skills, beliefs, abilities, and behaviours’ (p172). The notion of ‘ubiquitous’ learning builds on this to emphasise how this processing can occur through a variety of modes and modalities unconstrained by time and location. Because of their capacity to situate the experiences and transforming reflections in both the immediate and more removed contexts, mobile technologies offer a powerful means to enable ubiquitous learning in being able to provide a portable, interactive learning environment capable of both multimedia functions and Internet access and supporting both self-directed, independent learning and interactivity with others. Consequently, mobile technology should be able to foster active and creative learning as it is capable of creating opportunities for students to collaborate with peers in project work (e.g., via phone to phone Bluetooth, or IR beaming) and to undertake independent research (via wireless networking) and be engaged in problem solving in real-life contexts. Its portability allows for context-based data collection and ‘just-in-time’ learning.

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