Nicola beddall-Hill September 2013 Mobilities conference presentation


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  • The cultural and technological shift to ‘mobility’ has consequently had a significant impact upon learning, with Mobile Learning being one resulting progeny. The ability to potentially enable 'learning anytime, anywhere' both formally via institutions but also informally in everyday life was an attractive proposition
  • However the reality has not always resulted in good quality and or pedagogically underpinned applications. Instead these powerful technologies are often treated as consumption and not production devices (Rodrigo, 2011). Work in this area continues to strive to achieve its potential by understanding how we interact with these technologies and how they shape our learning processes.
  • his doctoral research used ethnographic observation to study the learning experience of postgraduate Geographic Information Science (GIS) students using GPS enabled mobile devices to collect field trip data. For the students the GPS technology was an inherent part of both the course and the discipline itself. In essence this encompassed mobile learning, in a mobile setting, using mobile methods. The mobile affordance of most interest was geo-located information representations and their interpretations. The research considered how these shaped subsequent data collection activities, interactions with the environment and the learning experiences.
  • This paper will briefly consider some of the mobility related thematic findings. For example the students 'got lost' due to the device, they also experienced difficulty translating the complexities of the real world into the device's prescribed entry systems. However the GPS enabled them to spatially position themselves and reflect how their learning experiences changed over time and space and hence this shaped subsequent data collections.
  • The focus of this paper will centre upon the mobile research methods and tools developed for collecting ethnographic data on the move.
  • The most successful was the use of a head mounted camera (Beddall-Hill, 2010). This enabled detailed observation of the students interacting with the devices during field work, without the need for the researcher to be close by.
  • The iPhone was also a hardy, discreet and invaluable multi-functional tool with long battery life and large memory capacity (Beddall-Hill et al., 2011). This had the added advantaged of geo-locating the media and allowing a tracklog to be created with learning events mapped in space and time. Guidance for these tools will be shared, including technical aspects, ethical considerations and analysis procedures for rich multimodal data, in this cases an adapted thematic framework was useful.
  • Nicola beddall-Hill September 2013 Mobilities conference presentation

    1. 1. Nicola Beddall-Hill Previously @ LDC ESRC (prior) PhD candidate Attached to Ensemble TLRP TEL project Mobile methods for observing mobile learning in field trip settings Strand: New Media Global Conference on Mobility Futures, September 4-6th 2013, at Lancaster University, UK Mobile methods for observing mobile learning in field trip settings Strand: New Media Global Conference on Mobility Futures, September 4-6th 2013, at Lancaster University, UK
    2. 2. The shift to ‘mobility’ has permeated a huge part of all our lives – learning, which is both life long & life wide. With the ability to move outside the classroom, learning on the ‘move’ enables spontaneous, context specific, personal or collaborative experiences using a wide range of media and interactional opportunities. These devices are highly portable and can provide access for marginalised learners such as those in 3rd world countries. Mobile Learning
    3. 3. Problems with Mobile learning…
    4. 4. The project’s aims Investigating learning with the aid of mobile devices on a HE field trip Research questions: 1.What happens? 2.What role does the technology play? 3.How do the students use this technology alongside their learning practices? 4.How can the role of technology be theorised in this setting? 5.How might these findings help other educators?
    5. 5. The setting and approach X3 field trips: UK & abroad, MSc GIS students using GIS devices as part of their mini research projects for data collection & analysis through comparison with existing GIS data. Mobile setting, moving through time & space, with sometimes difficult weather & terrain to negotiate. Used ethnographic approach and innovative mobile methods and tools.
    6. 6. PROJECT FINDINGS • Common themes across field trips: Recording reality vs. digital • Ownership, trust & appropriation are tightly coupled • Current research now bears out the argument for personal devices & has moved towards facilitating Personal Learning Environments (PLE’s) – tools across learning • Pen & paper - not replaceable for many
    7. 7. MOBILE METHODS • Relatively new methodological development based around the suggested paradigm shift of ‘Mobilities’ (Urry, 2007) & the affordances new mobile technologies facilitate. • Mobile methods enable ‘co-present-immersion’ (Urry & Buscher, 2009), that is the ability to stay in motion with those they are observing through different modes of movement & by using a variety of different data capture methods. • For mobile learning research this enables the researcher to observe the rich ‘in-world’ interactions instead of evaluating the role of the technology post learning.
    8. 8. The head mounted Camera options POV1.5 Action Camera (POV1) • Fully integrated point-of-view video • Waterproof, dustproof & shock- resistant with own editing software. • Mountable bullet camera with built-in recorder & wireless remote. • Up to 8GB SDHC Card. • RRP £500 approx Kodak Zx1 flip Camera & Gorilla tripod •HD quality video •long record (limited by standard batteries). •Weather resistant & rugged design, mountable flip camera with internal (128MB) & expandable memory up to 32GB •Built-in software for editing & mono microphone •RRP £45 camera & £12 tripod.
    9. 9. Overall issues encountered with new technologies -Disadvantages – -Both – Monitoring via GPS and constant video – invasion of privacy? Both participants & public? Discomfort with possible evaluation of activities. -Head camera – some embarrassment wearing! – iPhone – researcher led capture, not waterproof! Poor sound & zoom at a distance.
    10. 10. ANALYSIS: Storytelling & themes 1. The raw data was sorted via time-lines. 2. ‘Stories’ written about each field trip to revisit the trips features and events 3. These were loosely coded & event’s marked. 4. These were revisited, transcribed & recoded. 5. Codes were compared across & between field trips, global & branching themes developed. 6. Transcription & analysis of focus groups (recorded at the end of field trips) 7. Use this data to query the themes (student’s view) 8. Revisit themes, describe and use events to illustrate 9. Critic against current concepts & theories
    11. 11. Ethical Issues in Mobile Methods • Constant video – invasion of privacy? Both participants & public? • But… the strict anonymity enforced by some ethics committees might reduced data sharing possibilities. Instead: self recording? However extra work for students & might miss the ‘interesting’ the mistakes in the learning journey. Build sensitive & trusting with participants with clear roles for the technology being used.
    12. 12. FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Mobile methods are growing in popularity especially given our increasingly ‘mobile’ lifestyles & challenges researching them – **See: Urry, J. (2007), Urry, J., & Buscher, M. (2009) & Ricketts-Hein, J., Evans, J., & Jones, P. (2008) • New technologies are enabling this growth, but need careful consideration about their social/research roles – **See: Beddall-Hill, N. L., Jabbar, A., & Al Shehri. S. (2011), Beddall-Hill, N. L (2010) & especially Brown, K. M., Dilley, R., & Marshall, K. (2009), Murthy, D. (2008) • Ethical issues are emerging around these methods and tools – we need to be sensitive in their implementations – **See: Lally, et al,. (2011) & Wishart, J. M. (2009) • New methods of analysis needed for this type of data? Integrating geo-visualization data to map time & space…Various GIS software & ATLASti
    13. 13. Email: Twitter: Web: Nicola Beddall-Hill Prior ESRC PhD candidate – City University, London on the TLRP TEL project Ensemble With thanks to the ESRC for funding the work Now a Research Associate at The University of Leicester
    14. 14. REFERENCES Beddall-Hill, N. L., Jabbar, A., & Al Shehri. S. (2011) Social Mobile Devices as Tools for Qualitative Research in Education: iPhones and iPads in Ethnography, Interviewing, and Design-Based Research. Special Learning Without Frontiers Conference issue 2011. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology. 7(1), 28-4. Retrieved September 12th 2011 from Beddall-Hill, N. L (2010) Witnessing learning in mobile settings using a head mounted camera. In E, Brown, E. (Eds.), Education in the wild: contextual and location-based mobile learning in action. A report from the STELLAR Alpine Rendez-Vous workshop series. (pp.39-42). University of Nottingham: Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI) Brown, K. M., Dilley, R., & Marshall, K. (2009). Using a head-mounted video camera to understand social worlds and experiences, Sociological Research Online, 13(6),1. Retrieved June 15th 2009 from Lally, V., Sharples, M., Bertram, N., Masters, S., Norton, B., & Tracy, F. (2011). Researching the Ethical Dimensions of Mobile, Ubiquitous, and Immersive Technology Enhanced Learning (MUITEL) in Informal Settings: a thematic review and dialogue. (FUNDED by EPSRC/ESRC RES-139-25-0402) Submitted to Interactive Learning Environments (Special Issue).
    15. 15. REFERENCES CONT. Murthy, D. (2008). Digital Ethnography: An Examination of the Use of New Technologies for Social Research, Sociology, 42(5), 837-855. Ricketts-Hein, J., Evans, J., & Jones, P. (2008). Mobile Methodologies: Theory, Technology and Practice, Geography Compass, 2(5), 1266-1285. Rodrigo, R. (2011) Mobile Teaching Versus Mobile Learning. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, available at Urry, J. (2007) Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity Press Urry, J., & Buscher, M. (2009). Mobile Methods and the Empirical. European Journal of Social Theory, 12, 99-117. Wishart, J. M. (2009). Ethical considerations in implementing mobile learning in the workplace, International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 1(2), 76-92.