I’ve had the head down the last two days getting my first short continuous assessment done for the mobile learning mastery course. I submitted it at midnight last night and must begin tackling the next assessment now! I had forgotten the stresses associated with being a student!
I was reading an interesting article yesterday about a study done in a HE institute where each of the students and lecturers on a particular business course were given BlackBerry devices. Their use of the devices was tracked during one term of study, particularly their use of the devices as instructional and learning tools. The results were quite interesting, particularly for me given my involvement in the support and development side of things at DIT.
Eight issues related to student attitude and use of the devices, both inside and outside of the classroom, were analysed, namely:
- Technology experience
- Perceived use of the BlackBerry
- Ease of use
- Evaluating the device as a learning tool
- Classroom use of the BlackBerry device
- Off-task behavior
- Out of class use
- Use of the BlackBerry relative to other technologies
It was found that the students were self-directed in their use of the devices, finding ways to use them even when not specifically directed to do so by their professors. Although somewhat positive, the results were not overwhelming however. The devices were not used to any great extent in the classroom itself as instructional or learning tools. (They were, however, used by 23.7% of the students several times per class for non-class related activities.)
For me, what was discussed in the discussion section was the most interesting. In particular the fact that mobile technologies in higher education are being used more frequently as communication tools between peers than as instructional or learning tools directed by tutors, and the suggestion that the limited directed use of the devices within the classroom may be due to the lack of professional training and support around the implementation of mobile technologies as instructional and learning tools. It was noted that if such technologies are to be used to enhanced learning and teaching, then it may be that they need to be implemented along with more innovative, personalised and collaborative approaches to instruction both inside and outside of the classroom. Loads of food for thought there.
The article in question can be found at http://www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/ijhe/article/view/1254
I’ve also been browsing through the many resources listed in the course site. One that is definitely worth checking out is “40 Creative ways teachers are using cell phones in the classroom” . Did you ever think of using Foursquare to record class attendance?!