Mobile Technologies in the Classroom ITEC 8133 - Literature Review

The classroom of today and the future . . . M-Learning

Introduction:

Today, more schools are moving toward m-learning and mobile technologies in the classroom as a way to take advantage of a new wave of electronic devices that offer portability and ease of use. It is the potential for m-learning to bridge pedagogically designed learning contexts, facilitate learner-generated contexts, and content (both personal and collaborative), while providing personalization and ubiquitous social connectedness, which sets it apart from more traditional learning environments (Cochrane, 2011).

M-learning technologies offer teachers and students a more flexible approach to learning. Traditional computer labs are great, but the questions that comes to mind are:

  1. Do your students use technology only in the classroom or computer lab?
  2. Do students use technology in study hall, in the gymnasium, in the cafeteria, or on field trips?

With the use of mobile learning devices in educational settings, students can do all this and more. M-learning makes it possible for students to learn, collaborate, and share ideas among each other with the aid of internet and technology development. However, the acceptance of M-learning by learners and educators is critical to the employments of M-learning systems (Al-Emran et al, 2015, pg. 93).

TEACHERS’ ROLE IN USE OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES:

M-learning makes it possible for students to learn, collaborate, and share ideas among each other with the aid of internet and technology development. However, the acceptance of M-learning by learners and educators is critical to the employments of M-learning systems (Al-Emran, Elsherif & Shaalan, 2016)

Students’ understanding and attitude of mobile technologies:

Attitudes toward m-learning technology is an important factor that helps in determining whether or not learners and educators are for engaging in m-learning. Such attitudes will serve to identify strengths and weaknesses and facilitate the development of the technology infrastructure (Al-Emran, et al, 2015).

Current state of mobile technologies:

With regard to students, the main uses of mobile technologies were to communicate with staff, support distance or off-campus education, facilitate research, collaborate with other students, access course materials and lecture notes, and for assessment and revision purposes. When regarding teachers, the main uses of mobile technologies were to provide course resources to students, support communication with students, support distance education, provide examples to illustrate concepts, support assessment, feedback and assignment submission, improve lecture presentation, support administrative tasks, facilitate experiential learning, and foster collaboration among students (Poirier et al., 2009).

BARRIERS & ENABLERS REGARDING MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES:

Two factors that influenced teachers’ professional development were the introduction of laptops to the teachers and students, and the support and training system. Among the difficulties they noted were the new learning environment, including control of student computers, computer integration in laboratory work and technical problems. Laptop computers contributed significantly to teachers’ professional and personal development and to a shift from teacher-centered to student-centered teaching

In 1999, Ertmer distinguished between two types of barriers that impacted teachers’ uses of technology in the classroom.

  1. First-order barriers are defined as those that are external to the teacher and included resources (both hardware and software), training, and support.
  2. Second-order barriers are those that are internal to the teacher and included teachers’ confidence, beliefs about how students learned, as well as the perceived value of technology to the teaching/learning process (Ertmer et al., 2012).

Rather than expecting technology to change the nature of teaching and learning, it may be more beneficial to help teachers use technology to enhance the curriculum in ways they see fit. Teachers’ values are rarely included in conversations on best educational technology practices. Furthermore, teachers lack opportunities to provide input into these conversations and the decisions resulting from those conversations. The end result is often professional development that pushes educational reform as opposed to promoting technology use for teaching and learning.

Professional Needs of Teachers:

Two factors that directly influenced teachers’ professional development were the introduction of laptops to the teachers and students, and support and training systems. Among these difficulties, teachers noted were the new learning environment, including control of student computers, computer integration in laboratory work and technical problems. Laptop computers contributed significantly to teachers’ professional and personal development and to a shift from teacher-centered to student-centered teaching.

Integrating BYOD into Current Teaching:

Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a new pedagogical challenge or shift. The BYOD devices include personal cell phones, personal tablets, personal laptops and e-Readers. While the interest in BYOD within schools is growing, especially with the continuing high-costs associated with maintaining 1:1 technology models, many schools are still not able to meet the students’ personal tech realities through the use of BYOD. If implemented correctly, BYOD has been found to have many positive effects, including enhanced student engagement, more individualized accommodation support, and lower costs.

Future State of Mobile Technologies

With the advancement and growth of these mobile devices, the current trend towards authentic and personalized learning will continue to grow over the next years. Mobile technologies can support learners in exploring not only the world around them, but the world beyond. These technologies can help students in developing their own solutions to complex problems while working in collaboration with peers under the guidance of skilled teachers. As the links between technical and pedagogical innovations improve, mobile technology will take on a clearly defined but increasingly essential role within the overall education ecosystem (Conejar et al, 2014).

References:

Al-Emran, M., Elsherif, H. M., & Shaalan, K. (2016). Investigating attitudes towards the use of mobile learning in higher education. Computers in Human Behavior, 56, 93-102. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.033

Cochrane, T. D. (2010). Beyond the yellow brick road: Mobile Web 2.0 informing a new institutional e-learning strategy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(8). doi:10.14742/ajet.1021

Conejar, R. J., & Kim, H. (2014). The Effect of the Future Mobile Learning: Current State and Future Opportunities. International Journal of Software Engineering and Its Applications, 8(8), 193-200. Retrieved from http://www.sersc.org/journals/IJSEIA/vol8_no8_2014/18.pdf

Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, O., Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education, 59(2), 423-435. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.02.001

Poirier, C. R., & Feldman, R. S. (2009). Educating the Net Generation: Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e653752011-001

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