Mobile Technology in Education By: Carly Pietrzyk, M.Ed. George W. Semich, Ed.D. John E. Graham, Ed.D. Donna Cellante, Ed.D.
Interesting Facts • World population is approximately 6.8 billion people! • The ITU (Int. Telecommunications Union) predicted that 5 billion people would be cellular phone subscribers by the end of 2010. • This equates to 75% of the world population with access to mobile technology!!! Why not use it to further education?
What is Mobile Learning? The 2008 Mobile Learning Report defines it as “any activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting with, or creating information mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable connectivity and fits in a pocket or purse” (Wexler et al., p. 7) OR “learning that happens across locations, or that takes advantage of learning opportunities offered by portable technologies” (Chuang, 2009, p. 51)
Terminology in Literature • “m-learning” = mobile learning • Distance learning or e-learning: began in the 1990s with post-secondary institutions and then moved into secondary ed. (e.g. cyber charter schools) • Advent of smart phones has made ubiquitous learning a reality = “anytime, anywhere learning”
VIDEO • Embed Video: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyZRS0BnpAI
Resistance of the Educational System to Mobile Learning • The educational system has long been resistant to technological change. • Requires movement from the traditional fixed school model to a more flexible, dynamic learning medium. • Roblyer (2009) summarizes this by stating: “ the current conflict is less about the technologies themselves than the assault on the traditional ways of knowledge construction, teaching, and learning they represent.”
Advantages of Mobile Learning • Anytime, anywhere learning • Capitalizes on student motivation and gets them to buy into the learning process- STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING PROCESS • Can synchronize with students preferred learning style. • Changes the learning environment from passive to active. • Students are comfortable communicating in this manner. • Less expensive than laptops and other technology with similar capacity.
Disadvantages to Mobile Learning • Most significant issue is the potential for cheating and distraction. • Most instructors consider ringing cell phones the biggest distraction in their classrooms (this is mostly in post-secondary ed). • Academic misconduct is a large concern for schools (pictures, texts, etc.) • Impersonal aspect of mobile phones can lead to less interpersonal relationship exposure.
How Can Mobiles Work in Schools? • Schools need to “embrace a fluid, networked structure rather than the linear, hierarchical structure of old” and “be reconstructed to facilitate and take advantage of the technologically connected student”(Selwyn, 2009). • Need to establish clear pedagogical guidelines, cost analysis, teacher & staff training, and continued tech support.
It all sounds good, but does it really work? Here are 5 ways that mobiles are used in education today: • 1. Audience Response Systems • 2. Camera: Stills/Videos • 3. Voice Recorders: Podcasts, etc. • 4. Applications • 5. Research via the internet (Google, Wiki’s, blogs, etc.)
Audience Feedback • Audience Response System: http://www.polleverywhere.com/sms-classroom-response-system
Podcasting • http://www.hipcast.com/
Research • Large dearth of literature on mobile learning. • 2009 study investigated the use of the TEXT-2-LRN system which connects an instructors laptop and mobile phone to an SMS system. • This system allowed students to text their instructors concerning content during class. • The study found that students felt the devices increased the interactivity of the classroom. • Students preferred the SMS system to other forms of communication. Scornavacca, Huff, and Marshall (2009) • New studies being conducted as we speak!
Research • Milrad and Spikol (2007), explored the use of smart phones and mobile services in classrooms at two universities. • Instructional materials were delivered to the phones in the form of podcasts, videos, and word documents. • In general, students found that the mobile devices were most useful when they were incorporated with the course content. • This finding expresses the importance of meshing pedagogical practice with device capabilities.
The Future of Mobile Learning • The age of mobile learning is here to stay! • “The traditional notion of the student/subject as the passive consumer of information and knowledge in school is replaced by autonomous, dynamic, and free roaming individuals forming harmonious communities and intelligent collectives of learners unfettered by constraints of time or distance” (Selwyn, 2003). • Need much more empirical evidence to support the use of mobile learning and help to successfully incorporate it into the education system.
I leave you with….. • “Instead of spending time, energy, and money creating policies to fight cell phone use in schools, educators could spend their time finding useful ways to integrate these devices as knowledge construction, data collection, and collaborative communication tools to help students become more competitive in the digital world” • Toys to Tools….(Kolb, 2008)
Resources Books: • Kolb, Liz, 2008: Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education • Brooks-Young, Susan, 2010: Teaching with the Tools that Kids Really Use: Learning with Web and Mobile Technologies • Hanson, Jarice, 2007: 24/7 How Cell Phones and the Internet Change the Way we Live, Work, and Play • Ling, Rich & Donner, Jonathan, 2009: Mobile Communication (Digital Media Series) • Crystal, David, 2008: txting the gr8 db8 • Coming this fall: -Lisa Nielsen and Willyn Webb present: Teaching Generation Text • Blog: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/
Discussion Questions?? • How do you think mobiles can be used in the classroom? • What problems would you anticipate occurring with the implementation of mobiles in the classroom? • Would you consider using mobiles in the classroom (or do you already use them)? How?
References Campbell, S. (2006). Perceptions of mobile phones in college classrooms: Ringing, cheating, and classroom policies. Communication Education, 55(3), 280-294. doi: 10.1080/03634520600748573 Cell Phones Are Helping Kids Learn in the Classroom. (2010, February 25). Cellular-news | Daily news from the telecoms industry. Retrieved from http://www.cellular-news.com/story/36228.php Chuang, K. (2009). Mobile technologies enhance the E-learning opportunity. American Journal of Business Education, 2(9), 49-53. Milrad, M., & Spikol, D. (2007). Anytime, anywhere learning supported by smart phones: Experiences and results from the MUSIS project. Educational Technology & Society, 10(4), 62-70. Roblyer, M. D. (2009). At war with change: The tension between technology and tradition. Educational Technology, 49, 48-50. Roos, J.P. (2001) Postmodernity and mobile communications. Paper presented to 5th European Sociological Association Conference, University of Helsinkim Finland, August.
References (Cont.) Scornavacca, E., Huff, S., & Marshall, S. (2009). Mobile phones in the classroom: If you can't beat them, join them. Communications of the ACM, 52(4), 142-148. Selwyn, N. (2003). Schooling the mobile generation: the future for schools in the mobile-networked society. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 24(2), 131-144. doi: 10.1080/01425690301905 Wagner, E. D. (2005). Enabling mobile learning. Educause Review, 36(3), 41-52. Wagner, E. D. (2008). Realizing the promises of mobile learning. Journal of Higher Education, 20, 4-14. Wexler, S., Brown, J., Metcalf, D., Rogers, D., & Wagner, E. (2008). ELearning guild research 360: report: Mobile learning (Rep.). Santa Rosa, CA: ELearning Guild. Whitney, L. (2010, February 16). Cell phone subscriptions to hit 5 billion globally. CNet Reviews. Retrieved from http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-10454065-78.html