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Mobile Technologies: Disruptive or Enabling?

Mobile Technologies: Disruptive or Enabling?. Perspectives from the KASTANET Project. JISC Online Conference 2008: Innovating E-Learning Learning in a Digital Age. Kingston Access to Science Teaching Across New and Emerging Technologies. What is KASTANET?. Funding: JISC

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Mobile Technologies: Disruptive or Enabling?

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  1. Mobile Technologies:Disruptive or Enabling? Perspectives from the KASTANET Project JISC Online Conference 2008: Innovating E-LearningLearning in a Digital Age Kingston Access to Science Teaching Across New and Emerging Technologies

  2. What is KASTANET? Funding: JISC HE in FE E-Learning Programme 2 years April 2007 – March 2009 Purpose: evaluate impact of mobile learning Learning support Learning Assessment Focus: Science Degree Foundation Science focus Large number of learners Complex provision

  3. Mobile services Core technologies SMS services Podcast creation, hosting and distribution Mobile web (project website and Moodle) Secondary technologies KCOD (Kingston College Online Database) development Student enrolment records Electronic registration Electronic timetabling facilities

  4. SMS technology • Relationship established with PageOne • SMS provider for JanetTXT • SOAP service developed • XML messaging protocol • No knowledge of SMS technology required • SMS messages initiated/received as HTML • KCOD integration • KC’s curriculum management system • Two-way web-based SMS functions • Available through electronic register interface

  5. SMS services • Manual outbound • Send to individuals, groups of whole SDF cohort • Can dispatch to absent students only • Inbound SMS registration • Technically feasible but delays cause problems • Call and response service • Key word triggers personalised response • SMS timetables • SMS quizzes • Automated outbound • Under development: attendance alerts

  6. SMS applications • Pedagogic • SMS quizzes have had limited impact • Pastoral/learning support • Provision of compressed timetable data is popular • Other applications will be tested (e.g. exam schedule) • Sustaining momentum • Student response very positive • SMS remains a cheap, accessible and popular technology • Scope for refining and developing services • Key phase will be Autumn 08 induction

  7. Podcast services • Planning • Link to pedagogy • Support for tutors • Preparing material • Recording • Mobile and fixed technology • Audio only, enhanced and vodcast formats • Tutors and mentors create content • Processing • Editing and encoding • Dissemination • Virtual podcast folder and DirCaster application used to publish content • Links to iTunes

  8. KASTANET Podcasts

  9. What the students think

  10. Students’ Comments • What is the most positive aspect of the KASTANET program? “You learn outside college as well as inside” “the ease of access” “ability to access info anywhere at any time” “more convenient as you can access it at home and everywhere” “keeps me organised” “it’s trying to engage with a generation which is extremely tied to their technology”

  11. Enabling or disruptive? • The KASTANET experience has demonstrated that mobile technologies can enable: • New forms of communication between tutor and students • Greater access to curriculum information (e.g. timetables) • More flexibility in where, how and when learning takes place • Greater sense of personal ‘ownership’ of learning • Blurring of the boundary between formal and informal learning • New approaches to progress monitoring and assessment • Technology transfer to other areas and application (e.g. e-administration)

  12. … on the other hand! • The KASTANET experience has also highlighted a disruptive dimension to mobile technologies: • Conventional patterns of learning and teaching are challenged • Notions of public and private space in the context of learning are no longer water-tight • Mobile services that ‘push’ content (SMS or podast subscriptions) can lead to resistance • Models of technology ownership are disruptive • Technical support issues can be dramatically increased

  13. The learner perspective • Generally very positive about mobile technology • Intuitive, accessible, routine use of mobile devices • Learners mainly appreciate opportunities for working on the move • Mentor-student use of podcasting is popular • But… • Some resistance to the use of SMS for attendance monitoring • Discomfort with costs associated with accessing mobile content • Phones are intrinsic to personal identity and some students are hesitant about institutional use of this platform

  14. The tutor perspective • Most tutors are enthusiastic • Have responded well to new opportunities for communicating with, teaching and assessing learners • There is wide scale interest in the potential of mobile learning • But… • Creating content for mobile platforms is an acquired skill: some resistance to integrating new approaches • Discomfort with the perceived time overhead for podcasting • Accuracy in electronic timetables and registration records (for SMS services) have exposed substandard practice in this area

  15. The institutional perspective • Enormous interest in the potential • Intuitive, accessible, routine use of mobile devices • Learners mainly appreciate opportunities for working on the move • But… • Complex technical support needs (e.g. for managing podcast subscriptions) is an additional burden • Concerns about sustainability, security and tarriff costs • Adjustment to use of mobile phones in learning spaces still taking place • New forms of curriculum planning, professional development and quality review measures

  16. Summary • Mobile technology is here to stay and will have an increasingly significant role in education • It’s influence is both enabling and disruptive • Issues to consider include • Curriculum models and pedagogic planning • Content creation strategies • Tutor support • Technology support • Institutional strategy

  17. Key links • Showcase of sample podcasts • mms://stream.kingston-college.ac.uk/content/nickyread/JISC_reel.wmv • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6501342255393022925&hl=en • Project websites: • http://kastanet.kingston-college.ac.uk/ • http://studentkastanet.kingston-college.ac.uk/

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