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WLE Centre for Excellence Institute of Education University of London 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL Tel +44 (0)20 7911 5531 Fax +44 (0)7092 288 882 Email.

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Presentation on theme: "WLE Centre for Excellence Institute of Education University of London 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL Tel +44 (0)20 7911 5531 Fax +44 (0)7092 288 882 Email."— Presentation transcript:

1 WLE Centre for Excellence Institute of Education University of London 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL Tel +44 (0) Fax +44 (0) Web Pedagogical issues and mobile learning Norbert Pachler Institute of Education, University of London

2  Some preliminaries  Growing significance of mobile devices  What is (new about) mobile learning  Liquid modernity  Practices around personally owned technology  New habitus of learning  Learner-generated contexts and augmented reality  Framing for meaning-making  Context as ‘embodied’ interaction  Affective and motivational factors; appropriation  Contingency as a conceptual lens for ‘what counts’  Questions for discussion Outline

3  mobile devices have become increasingly embedded in the life worlds of (young) people  we foreground the ‘life worlds’ of users (cf. Alfred Schütz), i.e. the world as experienced in the perceptual subjectivity of everyday life  we see a danger in  the failure of the education system to keep pace with the developments in the life worlds of young people and society more widely  the potential disconnection between the way (young) people operate in their daily lives and the way educational institutions interact with them  we live in a 'mobile society in flux', in quantitative and qualitative terms (see e.g. Traxler 2007) Growing significance of mobile devices

4 our focus is on how learners are making technology their own for and through  identity formation  social interaction  meaning-making  entertainment

5 What is (new about) mobile learning  we view learning with mobile devices as a process of meaning-making through communication across multiple contexts among people within a triangle of social structures, cultural practices and agency  communication (rather than conversation) for us captures the fact that meaning-making is bound up in economic, socio-cultural, technological and/or infrastructural systems including the mass media and technological networks/infrastructure  mobile learning – as we understand it – is not about technology or delivering content to mobile devices but, instead, about the processes of 'coming to know' and 'being able to operate successfully in and across' new and ever changing context and learning spaces  mobile learning as understanding and knowing how to utilise our everyday life worlds as learning spaces

6 we consider emerging socio-cultural practices around the use of new technologies in learners’ everyday life worlds to be important sites and acts of learning we view agency inter alia as manifesting itself as the learner’s social and semiotic capacity  what is new is:  the capability and the functionality of the technology, in particular the convergence of services and functions into a single device, its ubiquity and abundance, portability and multi-functionality  the boundary and context crossing mobile technologies enable in the context of learning  personal ownership of high-specification multi-functional computing technology

7  increasing freedom “to choose our way in the world”: “For in ‘liquid modernity’ our lives are fragmented into a ‘succession of ill-connected episodes’, the narrative for which is no longer some notion of Cartesian transcendence nor the negotiation of conformity within the structured identities of modernity, but a desire and a need to communicate with some sense of who we are at each juncture.” Liquid modernity (Stone, 2008)  questions arise around the extent to which the act of recording and documenting experiences digitally actually interferes with the nature of these experiences for participants  questions also arise around what constitutes individual identity: “a work in progress which reflects the dialectic relationship between self- reflexive understandings and externally enforced subjectivities”, “multiple, fluid and contingent”, but not underpinned by a ‘true self’ that finds multifaceted articulation according to different contexts

8 recent research (JISC, 2007; Conole et al, 2008) suggests that students place greater value on technologies they have discovered themselves and delineates eight factors influencing changing student practice:  pervasive (technologies are used to support all aspects of study);  personalised (technologies are appropriated to suit personal need);  niche/adaptive (particular tools are used for specific purposes);  organised (technologies are used in a sophisticated manner to find and manage information);  transferable (skills gained through non-education use of technologies are applied to learning contexts);  time/space boundaries (changes to where and how students are working);  working patterns (new working practices attendant to new tools); and  integrated (suiting individual need). Practices around personally owned technology

9 New habitus of learning (Kress and Pachler, 2007) we see a very close connection between meaning-making and learning, in semiotic terms between the making of signs and the making of concepts learning as purposive work with cultural resources young people constantly see their life-worlds framed both as a challenge and as an environment and a potential resource for learning their expertise is individually appropriated in relation to personal definitions of relevance the world has become the curriculum populated by mobile device users in a constant state of expectancy and contingency

10 Learner-generated contexts and augmented reality  users create their own contexts for learning: users are constantly negotiating their mutual understanding of the situations in which they find themselves  mobile devices increase the students’ ability to bring into fruitful synergy the knowledge distributed across communities of use  spheres of and for mobility (IADIS 2009):  in physical space,  of technology,  in conceptual space  in social space  dispersed in time  one of the defining characteristics is learning across contexts

11  spaces of social media (Lock 2007):  secret spaces (SMS, MMS, IM)  group spaces (Facebook, Myspace, Bebo)  publishing spaces (Blogger, Flickr, YouTube)  performing spaces (Second Life, World of Warcraft)  participation spaces (Meetup, Twitter)  watching spaces (mobile tv)  context has both a static and a dynamic dimension; the static elements (‘the stuff to be learnt’), process (‘ways that stuff can be learnt’) and place (‘where stuff can be learnt’) interact with each other dynamically (‘linkages’) (Luckin et al 2005)  importance of authenticity of and across context(s); authenticity of practices

12  importance of meta-level awareness of the learner about the learning processes they engage in across spaces, time and sites of learning; also of purposefully designed learning networks and paths  interacting domains:  external representations of knowledge,  individuals’ internal conceptualizations of knowledge, and  the social uses made of knowledge and through which it is constructed  design for ‘new geographies of learning’, i.e. “configurations of space, place, and network that respect the social and collaborative nature of learning – while still exploiting the dynamic potential of networked collaboration” (Divitini and Morken 2007); learning is increasingly taking place within and across looser communities which necessitates a focus on the seamless integration of different learning experiences; conditions for ‘spatial contiguity’ and ‘spatial dispersal’

13 Context as ‘embodied interaction’ (Dourish, 2004) context is seen as an interactional problem the context of mobile phone use for learning is emergent and not predetermined by events centrality is placed on practice, viewed as a learner’s engagement with particular settings “Context isn’t something that describes a setting; it’s something that people do. It is an achievement, rather than an observation; an outcome, rather than a premise” “Context cannot be a stable, external description of the setting in which activity arises. Instead, it arises from and is sustained by the activity itself.”

14  context as a representational or as an interactional problem: “how and why, in the course of their interactions, do people achieve and maintain a mutual understanding of the context for their actions?” (Dourish 2004, p. 6)  users expend cognitive, social and physical resources supported by mobile technologies to foster continuity and group identity, to reflect on the self and in relation to the group  meaning as emergent and not predetermined in events; ubiquitous multimedia can have “an explicitly participative role enhancing, and thus shaping experiences by taking part in the emergence of meaning supporting shared interpretation, or assisting doing and undergoing” (Jacucci, Oulasvirta and Salovaara 2007, p. 5)

15 ‘Contingency’ as a conceptual lens for ‘what counts’ mobile learning as a set of processes involving both technological and socio- cultural resources by which individuals (both learners and teachers) are enabled to engage agentively with artefacts, in order to bring about understanding / meaning-making such engagement we see as crucial to ‘moments of contingency’ moments of contingency contain within them the scope for learners’ understanding to be ‘otherwise’ there are limits to the extent to which learning can be predetermined

16 Issues and implications socio-cultural developments will arguably soon lead to there no longer being a meaningful differentiation between media for learning inside and outside formal educational settings the ability of technology to transcend the unaided, individual human mind, i.e. to augment intelligence, is becoming increasingly ubiquitous the augmentation of intelligence through technology can best be understood as the most recent stage of externalisation and objectification of experiences and insights as well as an enhancement of our capacities for developing conceptual worlds (Säljö, 2007) ubiquitous, and context-aware technologies result in a shift ‘from smart planning to smart situated actions’ (Fischer and Konomi, 2007)


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