Mobile practices in everyday life: the opportunities and challenges for learning, Guy Merchant, Sheffield Hallam University (UK)
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18 November 2011
Early images of computing depict lab-coated scientists - usually white males - in room-sized environments surrounded by large cabinets, spools of tape and coils of wire. In recent years the development of powerful and affordable pocket-sized devices, such as smartphones, has been remarkably rapid. The idea of the computer, processing huge databanks of information, housed in a room, in a place one went to, has given way to the seemingly straightforward everyday social and portable use of technology. The ubiquity of these devices often numbs us to their novelty. Practice theory (Shatzki, 2002) helps us to understand how mobile devices have been incorporated into day-to-day life. Using this perspective, the presentation will examine the place of the mobile in social networking and give a critical overview of how educators have begun to explore the uses of mobiles in educational settings.
Mobiles are instantiating new kinds of divides, creating new libraries and surround us and fellow travelers. We should look at bundles or nexus of practices. Gergen 'the mobile is subtitle insinuating itself into capabilities of everyday life'. We are sharing images in real time. It is becoming inaccurate to refer to ‘it’ as a phone. But is it intelligent or a fashion accessory? A totem of consumerism?
Statistics: 30% of mobile internet users are under 25. But we have to be careful with stats. Layered social, f-to-f networks (Gergen) seeing mobile phone as nucleus of our networks. 5 things we do: lightweight contact with friends, casual entertainment (short movies, photos), arrange formal and informal meeting (micro coordination), capturing objects and events & checking web information.
What happens when mobiles are founds in formal educational contexts? They get banned! Classroom ecologies: possibilities for different kinds of learning relationships. BUT institutions are patterned by established relationships. Institutions find it difficult to break into new approach.
David Parry coins the term mobile literacy. Understanding info access, hyperconnectivity and the new sense of space. Latter, is location specific, e.g through QR codes.
But, there are 3 concerns. Is the fact that we can do new things sufficient justification? How can teachers, trainers manage the the potential levels of distraction? Which students have devices that are sufficiently nimble, who owns them and who pays for them?
More positive story. 2009 Campsmount secondary school, when burnt to ground. After fire no coursework, student contacts, VLE. Within 24 hours Woordpress blog, Twitter feed, Facebook group (1,500 members) and YouTube video press release (3,000 views). Worked with donated laptops, iPod touch. Got going as a school I a new form within 1 week and school became mobilized and mobile. Changed way school worked spurred on by extensive blogging, QR clouds etc. Head sprints around school ‘capturing learning’ using Soundclound etc. But some questions, WHat (and whose) device are most appropriate in different learning contexts (smartphone, iPod touch, tablet)? What should we be teaching about mobile social networing?
Conclusion: What practices are seen as legitimate/legitimated in learning contexts? (Need to remain safe). What constitutes ‘advantageous practice’? Especially for disadvantaged students ...
10:13 on 21 November 2011 (Edited 10:47 on 21 November 2011)
Some questions to be answered:
What new things can we do with mobile technologies?
How do teachers manage tthe potential levels of distraction?
Which students have devices that are sufficienly nimble, who owns them and pays for them?
10:30 on 21 November 2011
Campsmount: the school was recovered after a fire with the use of blog, twitter, facebook...enthusiasm was back very soon11
10:38 on 21 November 2011
- layered permeable social networks
- smartphone as a hub to social networks
- sharing via mobile phone ("oh, let me show you...")
- Outside school mobile practices are e.g.: maintaining lightweight contact, casual entertainment, arranging meetings, navigation, micro-co-ordination, capturing objects and events, checking web-based information
- In school just lightweight maintaining practices don't really work
- possiblities for learning / relationships
- Mobile literacy: understanding information access, hyperconnectivity, the new sense of space - Parry 2011: http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume46/iMobilePerspectivesOnteachingi/226160
- BUT institutional (school) ecologoies are differntly patterned, thius creating obstacles to mobiles
- classroom ecologies and the impact of mobile media use - positive or negative disruption?
- is the fact that we can do these things a sufficient justification to do them
- how do teachers manage the potential level of distraction
- which students have devices that are sufficiently nimble, who owns them, and who pays for them
(Comment from the audience: How do adults including teachers manage thjeir own level of distraction?)
- are mobiles advantageous IN learning
- what devices are most appropriate
- what should be taught about mobile social networking
- What practices are ligitimate(d) in learning contexts?
- What constitutes "advatageous practice"?
10:43 on 21 November 2011 (Edited 10:48 on 21 November 2011)