The Commuter's Learning Journey: Field Observations Informing Mobile Learning Initiatives

The Commuter's Learning Journey: Field Observations Informing Mobile Learning Initiatives

Dominic Mentor (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0783-3.ch060
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Abstract

This chapter covers a five-year research project using field observations to document mobile use in different contexts. The critical incident technique is used to interrogate the observation notes, discussions, interviews and reflections. The value of the field observations is important for planning mobile learning initiatives. The observed adults' Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) are interrogated for evidence of learning in the absence of formal assessments in either a formative or summative manner. The time frame and chapter will reveal patterns and behavioral changes which could inform future mobile learning and adoption of mobile technology for education.
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The observation area was within the USA, and predominantly within the New York City area in that field observers were located within that metropolitan as either permanent dwellers or purposeful sojourners. In this case, the majority of the field observers were temporary residents of the city for the purpose of graduate studies. While a few children were mentioned in observations, the overwhelming majority and main focus were adults as they could be engaged if needed. Only cases where adults were accompanying or engaging children, were the field observations included in the data to be collated and analyzed. The observed adults’ personal learning environments (PLEs) are interrogated for evidence of learning in the absence of formal assessments in either a formative or summative manner. The field observers were diverse and offered rich perspectives informed by their various backgrounds.

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