MLearning in a New Zealand secondary school: A case study
Wright, N. (2011). MLearning in a New Zealand secondary school: A case study. The International Journal of Learning, 18(1), 575-586.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5767
Four classroom teachers (geography, food technology, ESOL, Japanese) experimented with a range of mobile devices (digital cameras, proprietary hardware/software, phones and mp3 players) during 2010. In conjunction both with a telecommunications provider and the Ministry of Education, this research sought to understand the following: how teachers use various mobile technologies for learning, what issues arise that impede this, what benefits emerge if any, and what students’ experiences are of using these devices as part of their subject learning. Interviews and classroom observations were the key data collection methods over a month. Twenty-nine students were interviewed across three classes and three of the four classroom teachers were interviewed, plus the IT Director in the school. These data were analysed thematically for patterns of experience. Findings included: the importance of the pedagogical background knowledge of the IT Director in supporting the learning; the improved engagement and participation of students in their learning when mobile devices were used; the desire of students to use these tools regularly in their classrooms to support their learning; the crucial value of the experience of the trial teachers in experimenting with new tools. This last finding suggests that teachers of more than 10 years’ practice are likely to be most comfortable with coping with the potential destabilising effects of introducing unfamiliar/untried tools to a classroom setting.
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