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Academic Use of Cell Phone Technology at Montclair State University. Edward Chapel, Ph.D., Vice President Office of Information Technology Patricia Kahn, Ph.D., Director Training, Technology and Integration, Office of Information Technology Leslie Wilson, Ph.D. Faculty

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Academic Use of Cell Phone Technology at Montclair State University

Edward Chapel, Ph.D., Vice President Office of Information Technology

Patricia Kahn, Ph.D., DirectorTraining, Technology and Integration, Office of Information Technology

Leslie Wilson, Ph.D. Faculty

History, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Educause Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 08


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MSU Campus Connect Program

A simple observation

  • Every student has a cell phone… its what they use for everything!

    A simple idea

  • Lets get rid of land lines in residence halls.

    Became a much bigger project

  • Inventing the Virtual Campus Experience


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Upgrade traditional landline services

Engage Students through improved communications & community reinforcement

Improve academic use of latest technologies

Enhance public safety

Leverage mobility and location based services for efficiency

The Challenge

If every student had a mobile phone that we can manage, how do we use them to enrich their living and learning experience at MSU students?


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The Challenge for Educators

Newly designed courses promoting student learning through active engagement

Higher education needs to employ strategies of using emerging educational technologies to facilitate the learning process by providing a learning environment that matches the student’s new style of learning(Dede, 2005)


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Mobile Technology Can Help

  • An instructional technology that support the 21st century learner but does not require a high level of technical proficiency

    • Enhance the learning process by making learning more interactive and enjoyable

    • Affords curriculum customization to match learners' developmental needs as well as personal interests

    • Promotes a constructivist approach to teaching and learning

    • Bridge the gap on how students live and learn realizing that they will spend their adult lives in a technology-driven multitasked fast-paced world


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Cell Phone Pilot - Stage IExpand Original Purpose

  • Activity

    • Podcasts of instructor’s course lectures

    • Bb Announcements and Grades

    • Entourage group messaging feature


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Home Page

Access videos

Access Groups


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Outcomes – Stage I

  • Out of the 60 students who participated in the pilot, 44 students were surveyed

    • 22 responses collected from English Writing

    • 22 responses collected from Contemporary Business

Results….


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Do you like using cell phones in class?

Analysis

  • English: In class writing activities (journals, portfolios, etc.)

  • Business: Redundancy of class lectures

  • Subject matter did not lend itself to using cell phones

  • No direct experience from learners


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Did cell phones help me learn in class?

Analysis

  • English: In class writing activities (journals, portfolios, etc.)

  • Business: Redundancy of class lectures

  • Subject matter did not lend itself to using cell phones

  • No direct experience from learners


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Did you believe cell phones could help you in education?

Analysis

  • 21st century learner looked for technology in the learning process

As long as it served a purpose!


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Liked Cell Phones

Able to obtain reminders from the instructor without having to logon to Blackboard.

Enjoyed listening to the lectures while on the train or driving to and from school

Disliked Cell Phones

No need to access lecture podcast from cell phone

required assignments were in-class written exercises

material for assignments was obtained from in-class lectures

Qualitative - English Writing


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Liked Cell Phones

Viewing the podcasts were helpful; reinforced material in class for tests

Enjoyed listening to the lectures while on the train or driving to and from school

Rewrote lecture notes while reviewing the lesson for a test

Disliked Cell Phones

Same material covered in class; therefore, no motivation to view lectures on the phone

Qualitative - Contemporary Business


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General Conclusions – Stage I

  • 21st century learner looks for technology in the learning process as long as it serves a purpose.

  • The subject matter and discipline needs to lend itself to using the technology.

  • Students will not be motivated to use the technology if pedagogy doesn’t support its use.

  • Given the appropriate venue and material, cell phones could help the education process


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Cell Phone Pilot - Stage II Expand Original Purpose of Academic Use

  • Changed the focus based on feedback from Stage I. Activities…

    • Interactive and engaging

    • Did not repeat classroom experience

    • Required feedback from peers

    • Supplemented course lectures

    • Promoted classroom discussion


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Academic Activities Academic Use

  • Blackboard Announcements and Grades

  • Polling (cell phones as clickers):

    • Assess student understanding of material

    • Receive anonymous feedback on provocative content

  • Blogging Fieldwork Exercises

    • Text messaging to blogs

    • Pictures from phones to blogs

  • Improved Communication

    • Entourage feature facilitating group collaboration

  • Video Podcasts

    • Viewed outside of class – supplement to class discussion


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Polling Academic Use

  • The instructor can ask a question in class that the students can answer anonymously and within minutes

  • The answer can be displayed to the class via a computer projector or smart board


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Question # 1 Academic UseWhy did you come to college?

Offered choices:

  • To get an education

  • To lead to a job or career

  • Family obligations

  • Other



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Question # 2 Academic UseWhat are you going to do with your free time?

Offered choices:

  • Hang out with friends

  • Study

  • Get involved in campus affairs

  • Work

  • Party



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Question # 3 Academic UseHow many hours a week do you expect to study?

Offered choices:

  • Five hours

  • Ten hours

  • Twenty hours



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Conclusions Academic Use

  • Students like using the technology

  • Class becomes more fluid and student oriented

  • Students use the technology outside of class

  • Learning is initiated through the students not through the instructor


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Blogging: German Academic Use

“As a vocabulary building exercise in the chapter on how we spend our free time, I gave the students a list of about 25 verbs.  In teams of 4-5 students, they had 15 minutes to walk around campus and find people engaging in activities from the list.  Using their cell phones……

Free-time Activities Scavenger Hunt


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Polling: German Academic Use

Free-time Activities Scavenger Hunt“I put together a list of trivia questions (in German) about famous Germans, such as "What did Goethe write?" or "Who is Joseph Ratzinger?" Each question was set up as a poll with multiple choice answers accessed from the cell phone....


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Blogging: Linguistics Academic Use

“Linguistic research has shown that males and females use formal and informal speech under different circumstances and at different rates. Using your cell phone post your observations on your blog”

Linguistic Assignment: Gender Differences in Speech

  • Count how many turns the females take.

  • Count how many turns the males take….


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Blogs Fieldwork Activities (cont.) Academic Use

Urban History

  • Students learning about urban history are studying fires as a historical event. Students are required to visit a local fire house and interview a fireman/firewoman and post the highlights of the discussion on their blog page by using their phones.


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Challenges – Stage II Academic Use

  • Double sign on

  • Phone Activation

  • Group Invites

  • Comfort level with the phone

  • Did not want to give up their own personal phone


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Results Stage II Academic Use





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17 Academic Use

14

n = 45; Total surveyed 200


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27 Academic Use

18

n = 45; Total surveyed 200


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24 Academic Use

21

n = 45; Total surveyed 200


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21 Academic Use

24

n = 45; Total surveyed 200


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25 Academic Use

20

n = 45; Total surveyed 200


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Summary Academic Use

The jury is still out whether using cell phones enhances the learning experience

In Stage II, students…

  • Rather be in a class that did not use cell phones

  • Faced many challenges, which influenced their experience


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Summary Academic Use

But, In Stage II, students also…

  • Felt the activities were relevant

  • Liked the cell phone as a teaching tool


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Conclusions/Recommendations Academic Use

  • Important to meet with an instructional designer well advance of implementation to develop appropriate teaching strategies

  • Provide activities that are interactive and engaging and serve a purpose

  • Support, support, support – don’t assume comfort level of 21st Century Learner


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