Innovations in Mobile Photography for Digital-Age Teachers and Learners

Innovations in Mobile Photography for Digital-Age Teachers and Learners

Theresa A. Redmond (Appalachian State University, USA) and John Henson (Appalachian State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3949-0.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter shares research that examined how perspectives about mobile technology integration were cultivated in a required pre-service teacher (PST) education course. Specifically, the camera feature of mobile smartphones was used to design a social-constructivist learning experience. Pre-service teachers were invited to shift from media consumers to technology producers, participating in innovative, student-centered learning. PSTs were positioned to use their prior-knowledge to engage in meaningful learning using their mobile phones in a way that modeled strategies they could use in their future classrooms to meet the learning needs of millennial students. Literature reveals that mobile tools are often used in limiting ways, such as accessing and consuming industry-produced media content. However, they have the potential to be used for active, social-constructivist learning. This chapter has implications for teacher educators and administrators in higher education who are seeking emerging practices for how to prepare PSTs to learn how to innovate using technology by designing learning experiences that focus on students as media makers.
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Background

Digital Natives as Future Teachers

Numerous studies examining the digital expertise of “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001) are finding that their uses of media and technology are often narrow and specific to their personal interests and social contexts (Livingstone, 2008; Bennett, Maton, & Kervin, 2008; Margaryan, Littlejohn, & Vojt, 2011). For example, Livingstone (2008) investigated young people’s competencies using the Internet in terms of their “literacy” and uncovered that the digital generation is less knowledgeable of a range of factors including “information searching, navigation, sorting, assessing relevance, evaluating sources, judging reliability, and identifying bias” (p. 108). Smith, Salaway, and Caruso (2009) collected information about young people’s information technology (IT) use as part of an ongoing series of Educase Center for Applied Research (ECAR) studies and found that communications technologies, such as smartphones or other “Internet-capable handheld devices, continue to dominate time spent with technology and are frequently used for text-messaging, social networking, and “check[ing] information such as news, weather, sports, [and] specific facts” (p.6). In a study examining PSTs uses of technology, Kumar and Vigil (2011) confirmed that students are adept at using tools, but rarely create, design, or produce media. The authors urged teacher educators to “provide more exposure to new technology and design more educational projects that require PSTs to create content using digital technologies” (p. 151). Yet, research examining the teaching strategies and types of projects that teacher educators use to prepare PSTs for this task is scarce.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobile Technology: Any information and communication technology that is battery operated and can be used without power in a range of locations. Mobile Technologies can range from laptops to mobile phones, to Apple watches.

Media Making: The creation of media— including photo, video, audio— comprising the processes of pre-production, production, and post-production.

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK): A framework originally conceptualized by Mishra and Koehler (2006) ; TPCK stands for Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge. Each element of TPCK represents foundational elements of a teacher’s expertise. Working backwards, a teacher must first be an expert in a content area of the learning experience. Next, they must possess knowledge concerning how students might best connect with curriculum content, or pedagogy. Finally, a teacher must possess knowledge related to the use of the technological tools themselves, including basic operations and mechanical controls. Together, these overlapping spheres of knowledge represent broad zones of expertise for effective teaching and learning.

Millennial: An individual born between the years of 1981 and 1998.

Mobile Learning: The utilization of portable digital technologies for educational experiences.

Pedagogy: The process of conceptualizing, planning, and executing the acts of teaching and learning.

Social-Constructivism: A theory regarding how people learn, in which communities of learners actively collaborate and share collective experiences and expertise in efforts to construct knowledge.

Student-centered Learning: A theory of learning in which a students’ autonomy and personal inquiry during a learning process is foregrounded and vital.

Participatory Culture: A group or groups who engage in dialogue regarding a genre of media.

Digital Native: A term coined by Marc Prensky (2001) to describe individuals born into a world with the Internet and digital technologies and therefore innately fluent with these tools.

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