Integrating Mobile Technology into Instructional Practice: A Literature Review Christy Gray ~ Dr. Mete Akcaoglu ~ ITEC 8133 ~ Georgia Southern University

During her December 17, 2012 Tedx talk, Jessie Woolley-Wilson states that as educators we need to “figure out a way to make quality education available to every child, regardless of where they call home, regardless...of their zip give access to quality education”. Woolley-Wilson (TEDex, 2012) goes on to state that the business of education is to “figure out a way to make zip code irrelevant to a child’s ability to learn, to realize their learning potential and doing so realize their human potential… it rests in the promise of blending learning that combines traditional face to face classroom experience … with new innovative learning technologies that have the democratize learning.” By harnessing the power of mobile technology students have the opportunity to gain knowledge regardless of what courses are offered or limited in their school building due to budget and staffing constraints and available space and resources.

Defining Mobile Technologies

Mahruf, C., Shohel, C., & Power, T. (2010) have turned to several sources to define “mobile learning ... as ‘any educational provision where the sole or dominant technologies are handheld or palmtop devices’ (Traxler, 2005), which is available ‘anywhere, anytime’ (Geddes, 2004).

In other words, learning mediated through any mobile device that is accessible anywhere anytime is mobile learning (Kukulska-Hulme & Shield, 2008). Mobile technology can be used to increase access to authentic teaching and learning materials that could be used at a time convenient to teachers, such as when they are preparing lesson plans or while travelling to school (Shohel & Banks, 2010; Shohel & Shrestha, 2010).”

So, What Does Mobile Technology Look Like?

Cell phones are increasingly becoming one of the mobile devices of choice. Through assisted programs, low income students are able to obtain this type of mobile device and utilize this device for instruction. One study in Sri Lanka found cell phones to even be an effective tool for teacher training on mobile integration based on “their reported competence in using mobile phone functions and their positive attitude towards the use of mobile phones as shown in their responses to an earlier questionnaire survey” (Ekanayake and Wishart, 2011b).

Quinn (2016) states that Chromebooks are laptops designed to solely run Google’s own lightweight operating system” (p. 92). By using Google chrome as the operating system and utilizing the myriad of Google apps, students and teachers are provided with “the digital tools required to aid their learning, and teachers with the opportunity to enhance their content delivery” (Quinn, 2016, p. 92). The additional benefit of the Chromebook devices is the boot up time. By quickly booting, instructional time is not lost due to a cumbersome boot and operating system.

Mayberry and Hargis (2012) are quoted as saying they have “determined that using a device such as the iPod Touch, faculty members can embed useful low threshold learning and engage in meaningful scholarship of teaching and learning. Effective meaningful teaching with mobile technology is underpinned by developing intersecting knowledge of teaching, the technology, and the content” in the Cathy, 2013 article.

According to Larson, (2015), “Kindles have been steadily increasing in use for children’s use of e-books and digital reading devices.” While e-book reading is not a new phenomenon, its current popularity among children, coupled with the greater availability of digital texts and more affordable reading devices, warrant a reminder to effectively integrate e-books to support reading instruction. Along with a growing number of children reading e-books, recent advancements in tablet and e-book technologies allow enhanced literacy experiences among students (Larson, 2013).

Tablets have some of the same functionality of the iPad, but functions as a regular PC.

Connectivity to the internet is critical using a mobile device and reliance on a “hot spot” for wireless access can become a hindrance to the use of this type of mobile device.

Mobile technology in the classroom can be used for assessment, communication, collaboration, presentation, classroom management and project completion.

Students are easily able to collaborate using their mobile devices. Sharing information is simple using collaboration apps. Using mobile devices allows for collaboration outside of the classroom.

Communication with all stakeholders becomes easy with mobile devices. Applications such as Remind allows the teacher to communicate with her students via email or text from her phone. Reminders become easy using a mobile device.

Both teachers and students are use mobile devices for presentation. For the teacher, using a mobile device allows for formative assessment during instruction. For the student, mobile devices allow for project submission to display content mastery.

Classroom management of data, communication, accommodations, grades, content delivery becomes a more manageable task using mobile devices. Mobile devices allows for ease of updating as well as updating in any location.

Students are able to utilize applications from their mobile devices to show mastery of content, collaboration and in some cases, data collection.

Formative and summative assessment is made simple through the use of mobile apps such as Google forms, Poll Everywhere and Pear Deck. Assessments can be given during instruction as well as outside of class time.

Foulger et al. (2013) continue to say seamless information flows in a manner of convenience, expediency, and immediacy (and) are valuable to teachers and enhance students’ learning (Kynäslahti, 2003).

These features provide opportunities for individualized, situated, collaborative, and informal learning without being limited to classroom contexts (Cheon et al., 2012).

While portability and mobility have already made these devices attractive tools, developments such as geospatial technologies, search capabilities, image and video capture, and context awareness have further increased their versatility by promoting situated learning experiences and allowing exploration within authentic settings, particularly supporting inquiry-based learning (Martin & Ertzberger, 2013).

Strategies for integration of mobile technologies include teacher training, administrative initiative and accessibility by the teacher and student to mobile devices. The Ertmer (2012) article goes on to state with increased support from the administration and an agenda that promoted technology, technology would be more “widely adopted by teachers. (p. 429)”

Berreh (2015) “highlights how mobile learning can be used to support face-to-face interaction through ... mobile learning activities were designed and developed to complement the three primary learning modes of face-to-face interaction, which were, lecture, activities, and discussion.” Further Berreh (2015) contends “mobile learning has become an emerging tool that offers significant learning experience to enhance student learning in higher education institutions.

Obstacles to mobile technology integration are noted in the Schuck et al. (2009, p 234) that states the slow adoption of such technologies by teachers has been noted with concern by governments and employing authorities worldwide (Peck, Cuban, and Kirkpatrick 2002; Schuck 2002; Phelps, Graham and Kerr 2004). Administrative agendas must focus on technology integration.

Connectivity to the internet with reliable connection and devices as well as connecting to proper training sources and a peer group or climate of integration are all encompassed in connectivity issues that remain a barrier to technology integration.

Teachers "operate in environments where opportunities to learn occur in diverse and isolated places at unpredictable times… They do not tend to be located in one place for the working day, but move between classrooms, playgrounds and staff rooms (Schuck et. al., 2009, p 234).

In the Etermer (2013) study 11 of the 12 teachers indicated a positive perception toward technology and a willingness to utilize technology in their instructional practice. One of the teachers in the study “indicated that technology enables students to collaborate: “Ideally technology allows the classroom to be open to the world. It’s a portal for kids who can show their work and get feedback. It allows for collaboration between classes via Skype, blogs, and Google docs and wikis.”

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