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Mobile ‘comfort’ zones: overcoming barriers to enable facilitated learning in the workplace
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19 February 2014
The affordances of mobile technologies are well documented (cf Sharples, Vavolua, Wali, Cook, Pachler). Linked with the rapid expansion of the ‘SMART’ phones, where users access fast/high quality information, new opportunities are offered to engage students at a time/place of their own choosing. Our small-scale study is located within the dominant discourse of mobile learning literature of context specific learning; it explores the attitudes and habits of trainee teachers using their own mobile devices when working full time in a school setting. Our findings indicate that students have complex/interwoven narratives that relate to issues of identity, personal/private space and their involvement in an emergent community of practice. We map these key themes into a framework for looking strategically at mobile learners in different personal/ professional contexts, and identify of the design barriers to be overcome before the full potential of mobile learning can be successful with our own students when isolated on placement and juggling busy, complex lives.