Imagine Mobile Learning in your Pocket

Imagine Mobile Learning in your Pocket

Cecilie Murray (Delphian eLearning, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-101-6.ch807
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Abstract

Students and teachers are embracing mobile technologies in their social lives. How is this reflected in K-12 schools? This chapter examines the experiences of students and teachers in a range of mobile learning projects in the K-12 environment. Four research projects highlight the experiences of students and teachers as they grapple with mobile technologies and the wireless environment, with implementation and technical issues, with learning approaches and pedagogical innovations. The projects focused on Literacy, Mathematics and cross-curricular learning with Australian primary and secondary students as well as students in international collaborative projects. In each project, students demonstrated improved attitudes to school, greater engagement and participation in learning and enhanced performance. Teachers learned a diversity of approaches to classroom management and curriculum planning, and demonstrated significant pedagogical change. The benefits of mobile learning were also reflected in the community, with parents taking greater responsibility and interest in their children’s learning opportunities.
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Background

While research on mobile learning, that is the use of small, handheld devices for learning anywhere and anytime is emergent in nature, given the recent convergence of innovations in mobile technology and social software, a generally positive impact on student learning has been reported.

Stead (2006) found that the spread of handheld portable devices has meant that schools can embrace a 1:1 policy, that is, one student to one computer or handheld device. However, this has highlighted two distinct aspects of mobile learning – ‘safe learning’ and ‘disruptive learning’. The first extends what we are already doing into new places, and the second helps us think differently about learning: learning in a more personalised way, handing over more control to the learners themselves (Stead, 2006, p.11).

American research (Willard R-12 Schools, 2004) found that the vast majority of teachers believed the devices can have a positive impact on students' learning, were easier to integrate into classroom activities than desktop computers, support an increase in homework completion, and are an effective instructional tool.

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