Using Mobile Devices Selectively: Developing Constructivist Pedagogy to Support Mobile Learning

Using Mobile Devices Selectively: Developing Constructivist Pedagogy to Support Mobile Learning

David Fuentes, Heejung An, Sandra Alon
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6300-8.ch003
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The purpose of this chapter is to provide a useful framework for thinking about the integration of mobile devices into classroom practices and pedagogy. By offering a portrait of different constructivist practices and learning environments, drawing connections between theory and methods, the chapter provides teacher educators, as a well practicing teachers, with a series of theoretical considerations. These considerations, coupled with individual learning objectives, mark an avenue for novice technology users to begin the complex process of pedagogical decision-making, including the use of mobile devices into their teaching and learning. The authors offer this conceptual chapter in the hope that readers can glean a sense of how philosophical and theoretical orientations of teachers both prohibit and enable spaces for mobile learning. Moreover, they believe that when theoretical orientations of teaching do not allow space for mobile learning to take place, or do not support best practices of the use of mobile devices, the benefits may remain unrealized.
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Teaching with technology has gained increased attention over the passed several decades, as technological advances continue to tantalize educators with the potential to impact learning outcomes, classroom pedagogy and curricula. Interestingly, one of the challenges of these implications that different technological advents present teachers is how to seamlessly incorporate them into their classroom routines and pedagogy. In a short time, we have come a long way. During this shift, many researchers have been skeptical about the inclusion of technology into schools (Cuban & Kirkpatrick,1998; Cuban, Kirkpatrick, & Peck, 2001), citing reasons including: expense, the lack of use, inexperience of the planning teacher and the time it takes for practitioners to adopt the technologies into their practices. Additionally, some scholars have pointed to the distance between the ways that technologies are used by teachers and the potential they have to impact teaching and learning (Becker, Ravitz, & Wong, 1999). According to Collins and Halverson (2009), much of the research on the impact of technology and the potential technology has to shift teaching and learning in K-12 schools, has led to categorization of two groups: enthusiasts or skeptics.

One of the bigger changes that have impacted thinking about teaching with technology in schools, has been the recent trend in models of the ratio of students to digital computing devices. Known as one-to-one (1:1) initiatives (Murray & Zembal-Saul, 2008), many schools and researchers have become interested in changing the way that schools use technology, moving from a whole group or small group setting, to a settings in which every student has the ability to use digital technology on an individual basis. Thinking about this kind of immersion with digital devices has led some to claim that the benefits of 1:1 learning can best be realized when students are enabled to use the technology within a learning environment that connects students to the web and allows them access to anytime, anyplace learning using the devices (Penuel, 2006). This formation poses challenges to traditional educators because it potentially shifts their beliefs about teaching and learning, classroom management, teacher lead instruction, and the role of students in their own learning.

Due to the changing nature of our beliefs about teaching and learning and the increased interest in digital technology and 1:1 formations, there has been a resurgence of interest in constructivist learning environments (Jonassen & Land, 2000) as well as student-centered learning to support teaching and learning in the digital age. Along with these paradigmatic shifts, has been increased interest in epistemological beliefs about teaching and learning that have paved the way for innovative, provocative, and grounded constructivist learning environments. Much of this research could help educators to reconcile some of the tension that might be experienced with regard to the changing role of teachers and students amidst the digital age and era of accountability.

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