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Students’ Voice on Mobile Technology and Web 2.0 Tools for Learning

Literature tells us, and from my own observations as an experienced teacher, when students have a mobile device in hand they show signs of being motivated, and a phenomenon takes place where students display a natural curiosity and engagement with the device through various interactions. The purpose of this study was to validate students’ voice by allowing them to express their views on the use of mobile technology and Web 2.0, whether they found them motivating and engaging, and how they perceived them as being useful for learning. Students’ perceptions of current and emerging technologies and their usefulness can differ to teachers’ perceptions, therefore research involving conversations with students are needed to better understand how they perceive and relate to these technologies. This study has had such conversations in order to uncover students’ perceptions. Gathering students’ views gives us a first-hand view on what affects them. It identifies factors that perpetuate or diminish their learning, that educators may not have considered before. Knowing and understanding how it is for students, helps to improve learning conditions for them. While there is an initial phase of excitement and curiosity that students have when using mobile technology and Web 2.0, this quickly passes and there are learning conditions that need to be met in order for motivation and engagement to be sustained. To sustain their motivation, students need to have self-determination. For students to be self-determining, their needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness must be met. This thesis has determined, through the voice of students, that their need for autonomy can be met through the affordances of mobile technology and Web 2.0, but the teacher’s role is vital for meeting their needs for competence and relatedness. The findings from this study strongly argue that the teacher has a vital role to play in ensuring students’ learning experiences supported by technologies are effective, and assumptions around students’ knowledge, skills and understanding of using technology in formal learning situations needs to be checked. Teachers need to robustly scaffold the use of technology in learning situations until students have built up competence. Teachers need to keep relating to and conversing with students, and not assume students do not need support when using technologies characterised by autonomy and independence. It also found that the learning conditions must support students’ needs for self-determination if students are to stay motivated and engaged – the use of technology alone is insufficient. It also highlighted equity and access to technology learning opportunities for all students, students’ informal learning, and influences on students’ perceptions as to whether they considered technologies were useful for learning.
Type of thesis
Vesey, P. E. (2013). Students’ Voice on Mobile Technology and Web 2.0 Tools for Learning (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8503
University of Waikato
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