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Abstract Submission for the “The Anglia Ruskin Research Conference 2011 – Celebrating excellence through research”.
Names of Author/s
Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education
Learning Technology Research Institute
London Metropolitan University
Research Funded by….ESCalate (the HEA Education Subject Group)
‘Because it wasn’t compulsory, I didn’t do it.’: challenges with supporting students using mobile technology
It is now accepted that mobile devices have a number of important characteristics which make them attractive from an educational perspective, including increasing portability, functionality, multimedia convergence, ubiquity, personal ownership, social interactivity, context sensitivity, location awareness, connectivity and personalisation (Pachler et al, 2010). A mobile phone pilot ‘texting’ students study tips indicated that all students own their own mobile phones of varying sophistication. Student feedback indicates they are keen to use mobiles for studying (Bradley & Holley, 2010). In the education field, Wishart (2009) carried out research with trainee teachers and PDAs to facilitate better communication with trainees, and to offer support to students to prevent isolation.
At Anglia Ruskin, our student trainee teachers typically struggle with their placement /academic work balance and rush their research project at the end, and have reported disappointment with their grades. Students also find it difficult to develop the level of academic skills required, in particular the critical review of literature when embedded in their placement school. We mapped the key intervention points when students most needed support according to the students’ school experience and academic preparation for the project. A series of readings were posted onto the University VLE, and we then engaged the students via txttools, a medium for both sending and receiving SMS messages. These key readings and supported ‘chat via text’ focused on very short bursts of information over a 24 hour period, aimed to support student writing over the period. Thus the students had the opportunity for critical engagement with their peers and tutors at key points on their placement experience. Students were loaned ‘flipcams’ for the duration of the project, and asked to keep video diaries of their reflections on the ongoing project. Our paper will report on the project evaluation and lessons learned from the project.