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Configuring learning contexts with mobile devices John Cook RLO-CETL, London Metropolitan University.

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1 Configuring learning contexts with mobile devices John Cook RLO-CETL, London Metropolitan University

2 Structure RLO-CETL (very brief) Cultural emergence of Generation CX Learner generated context studies: –Earlier work with undergrads –Current work

3 RLO-CETL Designing multimedia learning resources and learning objects (RLO-CETL) For web and mobile phones EG for Study Skills, Business Studies and Sports Science See

4 Cultural emergence of Generation CX A recent Demos publication called ‘Their Space’ (Green and Hannon, 2007, p. 10) researched children and young peoples’ digital interactions that are part of everyday life and reported: “The baseline finding from our research was that the use of digital technology has been completely normalised by this generation, and it is now fully integrated into their daily lives … Almost all are now also involved in creative production …”.

5 Cultural emergence of Generation CX Do we now have to think of learners in terms of a ‘Generation C’ – a generation of content producers? What teaching environments, what pedagogical practices, might work for these learners?

6 Cultural emergence of Generation CX Learner generated context (ConteXt: CX) and not Content ‘is king’ View cultural emergence of Generation CX in terms of –Bakardjieva (2005, p. 34) “technology-in-use-in- social-situations” –learner generated contexts (Cook, 2007a; Cook 2007b; Cook 2007c)

7 Cultural emergence of Generation CX Bakardjieva (2005, p. 34) characterises her approach as technology extended to include the acts of use in social situations. –This is where a user enacts or invents ‘use genres’, i.e. they mobilise available cultural tools to respond to a social situation.

8 Cultural emergence of Generation CX Provisionally, I define a ‘mobile learner generated context’ as –Being conducted by a learner or learners –Who are using mobile devices –To communicate or individually reflecting ‘on the move’ –And who, in the course of a dialogue with another person or interaction with multimedia resources, raise questions that create a context –When an answer to this context-based question is generated this can give rise to knowledge.

9 Earlier work with undergrads Cook et al. (2006) Mobile phone surveys with students (117) 98% have mobiles 61% think it’s extremely useful to be able to learn at any time and place 55% of the students answered positively about the university contacting them via their own mobile for learning purposes. Only 23% thought ‘it would be a negative aspect’.

10 SMS ‘learning hints’ Some responses from students about the ‘learning hint’ text messages sent them “It started to bug me but was useful.” “I got them and I liked the ones during the Easter break, which were giving suggestions about the report.” “I thought the text messages were great because every time I forgot about it I had someone pushing me to get on with it. I really like to receive the text messages. I do think it is very useful. Thank you so much to send them to us.”

11 Current work Study 1 – Case Study Study 2 – Grounded Study (Strauss and Corbin, 1990) Study 3 – BNIM (Wengraf, 2005) Study 4 – Learning objects for learners on the move

12 Study 1-3 Goal of research, examine –(i) learners’ informal/private ‘space’, –(ii) learners’ formal education. The focus on use genres in post- compulsory education.

13 Study 1-3 Identifying and documenting the possibilities for mobile learning in terms of this question: –Do learners incorporate ‘near future’ mobile devices into their own informal/private and formal practices? I expected to find that –Early users actively discover the relevance of mobile learning to their own context –Users were actively initiating mobile device-based practices that designers and promoters of these technologies have not been able to imagine.

14 Study 1 – Case Study






20 Q6. What did you think about being given a mobile phone to use for this assignment? Q7. Would you have preferred to use your own mobile phone? Q12. What is your opinion of the Event Visit Checklist on the phone? Q13. Was the Checklist helpful, and how? Q14. Are you interested in using a variety of technologies within the learning process? Q27. How would you view the university contacting you via your mobile for learning purposes? I really liked the idea, thought it was fascinating, could have been a bit of hassle at times to carry around because it was so big, but it was very convenient for communicating with my team. Yes and no. Yes because your own mobile phone you have on you all the time and frequently check, however, the cost of the given phone was free and it had many extra features that helped us at the event, such as the videos and pictures. Very helpful.Very helpful and useful because we did not have to take out our notes at the event all the time to answer the event checklist. Yes I am because all of these technologies are useful and benefit in different ways. 2

21 Study 2 – Grounded Study Wine Group (2) CB: What did you think about the assignment and the technologies that were available to help you complete it? (4.15) C: I mean the phone was such a good package. You could interact with each other, you could call. We would text and we didn't have the restriction of paying money. Whatever came up, we used to call each other. So we used to communicate with the phone, take pictures and the video, it was a nice package. But me too, as Suzie, I believe that actually interacting between the 3 of us through mediaBoard it was a little bit not really helpful. Well, it was a way for the lecturers to actually see how much we interact between the three of us, because they have no proof of how much we actually speak on the phone, or how many texts we send, but at the same time, yes it was a hassle. Show Clip

22 Study 3 – BNIM We using Biographic-Narrative-Interpretive-Method or BNIM (Wengraf, 2005). BNIM was chosen because it: focuses on the way in which people talk, hopefully about use genres provides a detailed narrative that is very close to the experience under study, could potentially allow me to see what is happening in context and across a range of possibilities.

23 Study 4 – Learning objects for learners on the move Multimedia learning objects can –provide multimodal channels that enable students to build up their own knowledge representations of the task in hand –and if used in a collaborative way they can help students in identifying the gaps in their own knowledge –hence assist successful task comprehension and performance –(Soloway and Norris, 2005) Show Clip Prototype





28 Conclusions Data analysis for user-centred studies 1-4 taking place now. The appropriation-configuration is spanning the informal-formal learning divide. Wider issues of user generated contexts will include teachers and learners as active generators of context How do we introduce quality assured RLOs and other resources into the user generated context?

29 References Bakardjieva, M. (2005). Internet Society. The Internet in Everyday Life. London: Sage Publications. Cook, J. (2007a). Smells Like Teen Spirit: Generation CX. Ideas in Cyberspace Education (ICE3), March, Loch Lomond, Scotland. Cook, J. (2007b). Putting Control into the Hands of the Learner: M-Learner Generated Contexts. Paper accepted as part of Symposium: Mobile Learning and Creative Disruption in Learning Organisations and Pedagogy (convener John Cook). CAL ‘07, 26-28th March, 2006, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Cook, J. (2007c). Generating New Learning Contexts: Novel Forms of Reuse and Learning on the Move. Invited talk at ED-MEDIA 2007 – World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, June 25-29, Vancouver, Canada. Cook, J., Bradley, C., Holley, D., Smith, C. and Haynes, R. (2006). Introducing Blended mLearning Solutions for Higher Education Students. mLearn, Banff Canada, October 22 – 25. Green, H. and Hannon, C. (2007). Their Space: Education for a Digital Generation. Demos: Leicester, UK. Available from accessed February Soloway, E. and Norris, C Using handheld computers in the classroom: Concrete Visions. Podcast of Keynote from mLearn 2005, 4th World Conference on mLearning. Available from last accessed February Strauss, A. and Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. Sage: London. Wengraf, T. (2001; reprinted 2002). Qualitative Research Interviewing: Biographic Narrative and Semi-Structured Method. London: Sage Publications. Link to showcase: John’s m-learning publications/talks/workshops etc:

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