WhatsApp an educational treasure hunt with mobile phones
WhatsApp? An educational treasure hunt
with mobile phones
Department of English and Languages
30th April, 2014
Billy Brick and Tiziana Cervi-Wilson
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Digital literacy, Mobile Language
Learning (MALL) and how mobile
messaging apps fit in
“The messaging apps
networks and digital
“Facebook's dramatic purchase
of WhatsApp is just the latest
move in a much larger battle
between the west and Asia for
the future of social networking,
mobile communications and tech
“They offer smartphone owners free instant messaging, via
Wi-Fi or mobile data, as an alternative to paid-for SMS
To this highly attractive consumer proposition, the
messaging companies are adding further communications
features (such as Skype-like VOIP and video calls), social
networking (profiles and timelines), entertainment (games
and music), and online-to-offline services, whereby users
can access their bank account, book a taxi or buy cinema
Creating the activity (repurposing existing
Briefing with students (phones, ethics,
Setting up groups on WhatsApp (must have app
Data collected from 2 groups via questionnaires
and focus groups.
The Pilot Projects (1)
On the day (weather, graduation ceremony,
Told students they could text or phone us if
they got stuck
Feedback (Google maps) – Serendipitous!
Discussion about directions, clarifying
The Pilot Project (2)
‘Lots of fun’
‘Made me want to
be better at Italian’
speaking’ ‘Preferable to
using Moodle due
to immediacy and
‘Using Italian in a
‘Made me more
aware of the
Anonymity of number – has to ask the Faculty
to get us a phone.
SD memory Card
Wireless connection. Poor signal.
GPS and installation
Students did not need technology support
and didn’t mention data charges
Record sound files directly rather than via
Incorporate short videos
Students create own treasure hunts/tasks
Designing Weekly tasks for IWLP students to
reinforce classroom learning. (Italian, German,
Experiment with short student videos (video selfies)
Supporting CU students during year abroad.
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