Mobile practices in everyday life:opportunities and challenges for learning Guy Merchant Sheffield Hallam University
When they first developed computers, they didn’tcatch on because the screens were blank....
Perspective 1Were technologies merely objects totallydivorced from human praxis, they would be somuch junk lying about. Once taken intopraxis one can speak not of technologies inthemselves, but as the active relational pair,human-technology. (Ihde, 1993:34)
Perspective 2• Mobile practices have become part of ‘organized nexuses of activity’ everyday ‘doings’ and ‘sayings’ (Shatzki, 2001)• the mobile phone is ‘subtly insinuating itself into the capillaries of everyday life’ (Gergen, 2002:103).
What is it?• an over-priced toy?• an intelligent machine?• a fashion accessory?• the next step in convergence technology?• a totem of consumersim?• a basic necessity for 21st century living?
the mobilemarket (Ofcom 2011)•64% of UK sales aresmartphones•30% of mobile internetusers are under 25•16-24s: 52% of mediaactivity is simultaneous•text-basedcommunication is the mostpopular media activity inthe daytime•12-15s: 50% of those withsmartphones use them forsocial networking
Layered networks‘We may imagine here that dwelling about us at all times are small communities that are unseen and unidentifiable. However, as we stroll the thoroughfare or sip coffee in a café their presence is made constantly known to us. Each mobile phone *….+ is a sign of a significant nucleus, stretching in all directions, amorphous and protean.’ (Gergen, 2003: 105)
We use mobiles• maintaining lightweight contact with friends and family members• casual entertainment (watching and sharing short movies, photo-albums and playlists)• arranging both formal and informal meetings, navigation and micro-co-ordination• capturing objects and events (usually as still/moving images)• checking web-based information
Classroom ecologies possibilities for different kinds of learning relationship, different kinds of interaction, different forms and purposes of communicationBUT institutions are patterned by established relationships, mediated by sets of accepted schooled practices and instructional routines, which in their turn are powerfully structured by curriculum discourses
The reaction!Yes, Paul it is an experiment; tinker enough with thiscountrys childrens education and you end up withmorons; exactly what the lefties want! How better todestroy this country than by allowing total anarchy inthe classroom? The result; conveyor-belt system ofnon-educated , complaint morons who will (on leavingschool )want to spend a life time sitting at homeplaying computer games and texting their mates, whowill, if they can be bothered to at all, almost certainlyvote Labour- for more of the same!!!- Anon, Haywards Heath, W.Sussex., 14/10/2009 20:57’
The evidence against?‘technology obsession hinders spelling skills,implicitly encourages plagiarism, and disruptsclassroom learning.’(Daily Mail, 14/10/09)
3 possibilities1. Understanding information access2. Understanding hyperconnectivity3. Understanding the new sense of space_________________________________________________________ Mobile literacy ‘ ...how to use these technologies effectively to ensure they end up on the right side of the digital divide: the side that knows how to use social media...’ (Parry, 2011)
3 concerns1. is the fact that we can do these things sufficient justification - what advantages do they confer?2. how do teachers manage the potential levels of distraction?3. which students have devices that are sufficiently nimble, who owns them, and who pays for them ?
Campsmount• After the fire: no student contact numbers or addresses, no coursework, no VLE....no servers• Within 24 hrs a Wordpress blog, Twitter feed, Facebook group (1,500 members), and a YouTube video press release (3,000 views)• Working with donated laptops, iPod touches• Spurred on to extensive blogging, QR codes, Soundcloud, Coveritlive etc
Some uses• Photographing notes, experiments, activities (the things you can’t take away)• Video records of projects or products being tested• Video, voice and image responses to learning tasks• Mobile desk referencing• Organising learning (timetables, timelines etc)
Mapping practices• photographing notes, • capturing objects and experiments, activities events• mobile desk referencing • checking web-information• video records of projects or • casual entertainment (short products being tested movies, photo-albums etc)• video, voice, image • maintaining lightweight responses to learning tasks contact• organising learning • arranging meetings, navigation and micro-co- ordination
think its funny every one that eva went to campsmout wished itwould burn down and it did am sad to see it go but am all well soamused i had some gd memorys in that place thats the place thatmade me who i am and i thank that place 4 that but the fuckingirony ey hahahahhahahahahahhahahahahaha-hahahahhahahaha
Some questions• Mobiles can clearly help in organising learning but how are they advantageous in learning?• What (and whose)devices are most appropriate in different learning contexts (smartphone, iPod touch, tablet)?• What should we be teaching about mobile social networking?
Mobile literacy‘ ...teach them how to use these technologies effectively to ensure they end up on the right side of the digital divide: the side that knows how to use social media to band together.’ (Parry, 2011)
In conclusion• What practices are legitimate/legitimated in learning contexts?• What constitutes ‘advantageous practice’?