Scaffolding the Mobile Wave


Published on

Scaffolding the Mobile Wave

Published in: Education, Technology
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Scaffolding the Mobile Wave

  1. 1. Scaffolding the Mobile Wave JISC Institutional Impact Programme online meeting 09/07/09 Email: Home page: Blog: Twitter: Slideshare: John Cook Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning and E-Learning Project Leader Learning Technology Research Institute, London Metropolitan University
  2. 2. Structure 1. Introduction 2. Challenging questions 3. Institutional impact? 4. Outside in, inside out 5. Discussion around issues coming up in chat 6. Scaffolding the Mobile Wave 7. Examples 8. More discussion 9. Concluding remarks 10. Questions (depending on time)
  3. 3. 1. Introduction • Based on my earlier work (Cook, 2009a) • Propose that new digital media can be regarded as cultural resources for learning • Enable the bringing together of – the informal learning contexts in the world outside the institution with – those processes and contexts that are valued inside the intuitions.
  4. 4. 1. Introduction • The big problem is that reports show that – social software (Becta, 2008) and – Google search (JISC and British Library, 2008) • Are not enabling the – critical, – creative and – reflective learning – that we value in formal education. • I will argue for the scaffolding of learning in a new context for learning: the Mobile Wave.
  5. 5. 2. Challenging questions • With an eye on near future trends. • How can learning activities that – take place outside formal institutions – on platforms that are selected by learners • Be brought into institutional learning?
  6. 6. 2. Challenging questions • Given that 2010 is 6 months away. • Are we nearing JISC’s vision? – Part of the JISC E-Learning Programme Vision Statement in the ‘L&T Innovations’ call circular 4/08 Annex D, with regards to the UK learning environment – “By 2010 within this environment: … Learners and Teachers are using a mixture of institutionally- provided and user-owned technologies in a confident and effective manner” (my bold). • The answer is unfortunately no. • Indeed, a recent report has usefully summarised the current state of affairs for impact.
  7. 7. 3. Institutional impact? • Davidson and Goldberg (2009) • Argue that traditional institutions must adapt or risk a growing mismatch between – how they teach – how the new generation learns. • These authors suggest that the forms and models of learning have evolved quickly and in fundamentally new directions.
  8. 8. 3. Institutional impact? • Yet how we – teach – where we teach – who teaches, and – who administers and serves • Have changed only around the edges!
  9. 9. 3. Institutional impact? • Davidson and Goldberg (2009) argue that: – young people today are learning in new ways that are both collective and egalitarian, – Universities must recognize this new way of learning and adapt or risk becoming obsolete, – today’s learning is interactive and without walls.
  10. 10. 4. Outside in, inside out • Indeed, around 4 billion users around the world are already appropriating mobile devices – in their every day lives, – sometimes with increasingly sophisticated practices, – spawned through their own agency and personal/collective interests.
  11. 11. 4. Outside in, inside out • From an institutional perspective I call this the outside in, inside out problem (Cook, 2009a). • How can the learning activities that take place outside the formal ‘institutions’ on the platform of the learners’ choice be brought into ‘institutional’ learning? • I would claim that new media is having a transformative effect on learning.
  12. 12. 4. Outside in, inside out • Cultural practices involving new digital media can be brought into the institution • These practices can be enhanced inside institutions and in turn feed back into the digital world at large. • Thus new digital media can be regarded as cultural resources that can enable the bringing together – informal learning contexts in the world outside the institution with – those processes and contexts that are valued inside the intuitions.
  13. 13. 4. Outside in, inside out • New media like YouTube can already be accessed by mobile devices and are changing traditional media practice. • Informal learners are able to actively select, appropriate and implement learning solutions to meet their own needs. • The big problem is that, as I mentioned above, reports show that social software and Google are not enabling the critical, creative and reflective learning that we value in formal education.
  14. 14. 5. Discussion • I think this is the potential for the future, but agree with Davidson and Goldberg (2009) that in reality many institutions may struggle to adapt. Do you agree? • Also, I wonder whose problem this is? • Summary of chat …
  15. 15. 6. Scaffolding the mobile wave • My personal view is that ‘we’ need to use technology to scaffold learning. – This is where, for example, a more able partner helps a learner understand a problem and hence make sense of the world. – These roles can change and they may take place in groups. • The mobile device will be a major platform that makes use of Google Wave ( • Google Wave works across different platforms. • Go see ‘Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009’ (warning it is 90 minutes)
  16. 16. 6. Scaffolding the mobile wave • A Google Wave is a hosted conversation that lives in one place. • Claim is that if you were inventing email now this is where you would start from! • Health Warning: some licensing/privacy issues may need resolving. • Based on the recent Horizon report (Johnson, L., Levine, A., & Smith, R., 2009) I predict that: – In 2 years these communication waves will form a ‘Mobile Wave’ environment – will allow learners to mix and match services that suit their own needs • Much in the way iPhone apps are currently being used now.
  17. 17. 6. Scaffolding the mobile wave • Consequently, in the talk I will now give two examples • Developed by the LTRI team • Useful ways of showing what is possible in terms of scaffolding the Mobile Wave: – Mobile Urban Education and – Mobile Cistercian Abbeys – For detail see Cook (2009b).
  18. 18. 6. Scaffolding the mobile wave • The goal should be to enable the learner to appropriate the Mobile Wave. • Learner will configures the Mobile Wave so that it blends their personal apps and apps that the institution provides that the learner finds useful: – timetable, – alerts to room changes, – location fix of fellow students in their own study set, – resources that scaffold learning when the tutor is not around, – apps that enable appointments, – deep learning apps on urban education, etc. – and so on.
  19. 19. 7. Examples
  20. 20. • The EC funded ‘CONTSENS’. project • Developed a series of mobile learning applications. • LTRI Team: John Cook, Carl Smith, Claire Bradley & Simon Pratt-Adams • See Cook (2009b).
  21. 21. Going for a Local Walkabout: Putting Urban Planning Education in Context with Mobile Phones • An urban area close to London Metropolitan University, from 1850 to the present day, is being used to explore how schools are signifiers of both urban change and continuity of educational policy and practice. • The aim of this project is to provide a contextualised, social and historical account of urban education, focusing on systems and beliefs that contribute to the construction of the surrounding discourses. • Another aim of this project is to scaffold the trainee teachers’ understanding of what is possible with mobile learning in terms of field trips.
  22. 22. Enhancement of the learning experience • 91% thought the mobile device enhanced the learning experience • The information was easy to assimilate allowing more time to concentrate on tasks. • Allowed instant reflection in situ. • The mobile tour promoted “active learning” – they were less passive than they would have been on a tutor-led tour – they were not “merely taking in information” – the mobile tour triggered their own thoughts and encouraged them to think more about the area
  23. 23. “The information given was underlined by the 'experience' of the area and therefore given context in both past and present.”
  24. 24. ““it was triggering my own thoughts and I was getting to think for myself about the area and the buildings.”
  25. 25. Cistercian Chapels project for archaeology (Carl Smith, John Cook & Claire Bradley, work in progress) • Construction of the Abbey began in 1132. A defining feature of the Cistercian Order was its incorporation of two communities, and the abbey church was designed to accommodate both groups separately. • Whereas the monks’ choir was in the eastern part of the church, the lay-brothers’ was in the west; the two were divided by a large partition known as the rood screen. • MA Landscape Archaeology students from Sheffield University
  26. 26. • The gap between physical world (what is left of Cistercian), virtual world on mobile is inhabited by the shared cognition of the students for deep learning
  27. 27. Transcribed interaction (Lots of pointing at screen and abbey) Student 1: So those windows, up there isn’t it, still? Is that right? So those have all changed since then. Student 2: Yeah there was like another stage between this one and this one. Student 1: High up. Student 2: With three vaults. Student 1: There’s three on that side at the moment and three on that side. Student 2. Yes Student 1: So three have come down haven’t they, along with the window. Student 2: And from this (? points screen) that one is equal to that one, and actually we can not see that one (points). We can see three vaults there … Student 1: There must have been … Student 2: That’s the big one there. Can you see that? (points at screen) Student 1: Do mean with the pillar? Student 2: Yeah, you can see it’s this way (?) but it’s stopped there. Student 1: That’s right (makes gestures for a pillar and they both stare into the space where the missing pillar should be).
  28. 28. Preliminary results • All the users made extremely positive comments about what they thought of the mobile learning course, describing it as – “more fun” than expected, “I enjoyed it”, “interesting”, 2 said it was “very interesting, it was a “good idea”, “good!”, a “fantastic experience”, and “very stimulating lots of good ideas”. – 80% rated it as being useful for learning the subject – 60% thought the mobile device enhanced the learning experience
  29. 29. Preliminary results • On the negative side, three found that having to look at the mobile devices were a distraction from engaging with the archaeology/site itself, and one would like more archaeological and historical explanation. • However, 80% agreed that the mobile learning experience was fun, and 9 out of the 10 users (90%) would take another mobile learning course if it was relevant to their learning needs and would recommend mobile learning as a method of study to others, which is a good indication that most of them had a positive experience (the other user answered ‘uncertain’ to both of these questions).
  30. 30. “The ability to be in a particular position but get a variety of views/different visual perspective was a very useful opportunity. The whole thing also got everyone talking in a way I hadn't experienced on field trips to Fountains before.”
  31. 31. 8. More discussion • How do we get beyond good and useful exemplars like the ones I have presented above? • How do we move towards wide scale practitioner and institutional up-take of trends like the Mobile Wave? • Summary of chat …
  32. 32. 9. Concluding remarks • From an ‘institutional impact’ perspective, i.e. the theme of this conference. • I feel it is the “culture” thing that creates the challenge. • Institutions often have well-established cultures and exist in a political/cultural/social framework where new practices (if they are new) create a big challenge.
  33. 33. 9. Concluding remarks • However, I maintain that Mobile Waves can be regarded as cultural resources for learning. • By recognising and drawing on cultural resources that are already (or will soon be) widespread, I am convinced that some institutions can add the pedagogy of scaffolding or something similar and ride the Mobile Wave.
  34. 34. Thank you Questions?
  35. 35. References • Becta (2008). Web 2.0 Technologies for Learning at KS3 and KS4: Learners' Use of Web 2.0 Technologies in and out of School. Available from:, accessed 11th September 2008 • Cook, J. (2009a). The Digitally Literate Learner and the Appropriation of New Technologies and Media for Education. Inaugural Professorial Lecture, 3rd February, Holloway Road, London Metropolitan University. See: • Cook, J. (2009b). Phases of Mobile Learning. Invited lecture at Joint European Summer School on Technology Enhanced Learning 2009. Terchova, Slovakia, May 30 - June 6. See: • Davidson C. and Goldberg, T. G. (2009). The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age. MIT Press. Abridged version of their book in progress:, accessed 27 June 2009 • JISC & British Library (2008). Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future. , accessed 10 January 2009 • Johnson, L., Levine, A., & Smith, R. (2009). The 2009 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Download: Report.pdf, accessed 14 January 2009