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Workplace learning: Using students’ mobile phones to support learning outside the classroom

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  • 1. Workplace learning: Using students’mobile phones to support learning outsidethe classroom’Dr Debbie HolleyDepartment of EducationAnglia Ruskin University
  • 2. The big picture• 5.9 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions worldwide, and mobile-broadband subscriptions havegrown 45% annually over the last four years and today there are twice as many mobile-broadband as fixed broadband subscriptions.International Telecommunications Union 2012• People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to. 18billion apps have been downloaded in the Apple marketplace by October 2011, and over tenbillion in the Android marketplace by December 2011NMC New Horizons report 2012• SMS is the king of mobile messaging 8 trillion text messages were sent in 2011; Google earns$2.5 billion in annual revenue from mobile advertising. In 2011 over 85 percent of new handsetswere able to access the mobile Web. Today in US and Western Europe, 90 percent of mobilesubscribers have an Internet-ready phone.http://mobithink.com 2012
  • 3. 3Context• Anglia Ruskin University recruits traineeteachers working and living throughout theEast Anglian region• Pilot Group: Postgraduate Trainees inSecondary Schools• Larger Project Group: Postgraduate andUndergraduate Trainees in both Primary andSecondary Schools
  • 4. 4The problem• Trainees are unused to academic writing• Trainees are full-time on placement• Trainees feel isolated from theuniversity• Trainees struggle to find timefor reading• Trainees do not critically reflect ontheir reading
  • 5. 5The solutionApproach taken:- Four key interventions 24 hours long, four weeks apart;- Each based around a key reading for their assignment(Curriculum & Pedagogy)- Students were required to text critical reflections onaspects of the readings; and respond to theseImpact on learning:Messages (theirs AND ours) prompted a deep approach toreading critically when on professional placementThe messages helped to bridge the ‘time and space’barrier by offering them a structured learning experience
  • 6. 6The device of choice• 98% ownership of mobiles• 6.1 trillion texts sent in 2010 (only 96.8 billion textssent in 2009).• For every second that goes by, another 200,000text messages will have changed handsWe knew:95% of text messagesare read75% of text messagesare read straight away.(statistics from James Lasbrey, O2, May 2011& International Telecommunication Union, October 2010)Students are‘expecting academicstaff to take a lead’in supporting them with‘learning on the move’Bradley & Holley 2010
  • 7. 7Why SMS?Our initial survey revealed:• Some use Facebook• Some use Twitter• Some had phones capable ofreceiving email• Some have internet access• All students had the capacity to TextEase of accessStudents simply text their answerto a single number,all the group facilitationwas done by the system
  • 8. The InterventionText sent to allstudentspromptingcritical readingStudentresponseto study group(3-4)Students readresponsesgeneratedby others intheir study groupStudent now hasto re-readthe reading togain furtherinsights
  • 9. 9Example: Reflection
  • 10. 10What the trainees said…• Positive points – use oftechnology– Using mobiles moreconvenient than PC-based system– Liked to view others’responses– Some liked needingto be concise
  • 11. 11What the trainees said…• Negative points – mostly about use of this technology– Conciseness was difficult – 160 character limit– Didn’t like the messages being anonymous (note thiswas from less confident students)– Some concerns about invasion of privacy (personalspace) – eg in class, in the pub after work– Wanted to see complete thread of responses– “We already have too many other things to do”
  • 12. 12ConclusionEducational benefits- Encouraged trainees to read- Encouraged trainees to reflect on the reading rather thanjust skim read- Encouraged concise writing and discouraged descriptivecomments- Trainees commented on each other’s comments- Engaged students without the need for additional face-to-face university sessions- Set the focus on their assignment- May assignments had more critical reference to literaturethan January assignments- AND they ALL read all 4 Papers!
  • 13. Other uses of BB Connect TextI text our Y3trainees weekly‘study tips’ to helpthem with theirundergraduateproject when theyare on placementI text our Y3trainees weekly‘study tips’ to helpthem with theirundergraduateproject when theyare on placementI use the mobiletexting facility togeneratediscussion inlarge lecturesI use the mobiletexting facility togeneratediscussion inlarge lecturesI use the mediumto encouragetrainees tocontribute todiscussionsbetween classesI use the mediumto encouragetrainees tocontribute todiscussionsbetween classes
  • 14. 14Further Information:Project website:http://www.textingtraineeteachers.netFull report fromwww.ESCalate.ac.uk/8140Bradley & Holley (2010) Project website:www.londonmet.ac.uk/learningonthemoveI would like to acknowledge my project collaborators, Dr Sue Sentance (ICTtutor) and Claire Bradley (Project evaluator) and Mark Miller, our FacultyLearning TechnologistProject website – scan to saveto your mobile device