MALT

Mobile Access to Learning and Teaching at the University of Northampton

Tag Archives: VLE

Mobiles for supporting language learning

Description

This paper discusses the use of mobile devices to help language learners by supporting the learning process referred to as ‘noticing’ – that is, observing and recording points about the second language that aid the learning process. Mobile devices are particularly suited to this as they allow immediate, contextual recording in a range of formats (audio recording, text-based notes, pictures of written language e.g. posters, signs).
It also discusses how this data might be collected and organised, and used to inform teachers and researchers about models of language learning, and learner needs.

Ingredients
You will need:

  • A mobile device with recording capability, preferably including audio – this might be a smartphone, a dictaphone or a video camera
  • A ‘language diary’ environment where students can collate and reflect on their observations, e.g. a VLE or e-portfolio

Reference:

Kukulska-Hulme, A. & Bull, S. (2009). Theory-based support for mobile language learning: noticing and recording. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies 3(2), pp. 12–18.
Available online at: http://oro.open.ac.uk/15704/1/iJIM_published_AKHSB_2009.pdf [Accessed Jan 2011]

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Smartphones and mobile web 2.0

Description:

This paper reports on a range of pilot projects running at Unitec, NZ, from 2007 to 2009. The projects all focus on enabling students to use smartphones, along with familiar web 2.0 tools, to create, share and collaborate on resources across a range of contexts, and collect them in online e-portfolios for reflection and assessment.
The projects included:

  • a group project building a design for an international flower show (Diploma of Landscape Design), using blogs, photo and video sharing, and e-portfolios
  • groups working as product design teams for external manufacturers (BA Design), using communication tools, and blogs and e-portfolios shared with the companies
  • students testing and evaluating tools for music creation and delivery (Diploma of Contemporary Music), using audio and video sharing tools, and social networks
  • students on a field trip (Diploma of Landscape Design) recording and identifying findings, using photos and video and blogging tools

Findings include the importance of tailoring tasks to the affordances of the devices – both  the benefits (e.g. easy video recording and instant messaging/texting), and the challenges (small screens, slower text entry). Also the importance of scaffolding, as well as the possibilities for supporting informal or spontaneous learning, and an observed increase in peer collaboration and critique.
The papers also discuss the significance of Communities of Practice formed to help members of academic staff learn about the possibilities and share experiences with their peers, as well as time requirements, and scalability and funding issues.

Ingredients
You will need:

  • Wireless and/or 3G enabled mobile devices
  • Mobile enabled web tools

Tip: The great news is that many of these are already available (e.g.Youtube, Flickr, Google docs). The flipside is that because these services are provided by third parties, uptime/availability can’t be guaranteed, and there are potential data protection and security issues to address.

References

Cochrane, T. (2008). Mobile Web 2.0: The new frontier. In Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology? Proceedings ascilite Melbourne 2008.
Available online at: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/melbourne08/procs/cochrane.pdf [Accessed Jan 2011]

Cochrane, T. & Bateman, R. (2010) Smartphones give you wings: Pedagogical
affordances of mobile Web 2.0. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 26 (1), 1-14.
Available online at: http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet26/cochrane.pdf [Accessed Jan 2011]

Note: the second paper also includes links to a number of Youtube videos about the projects.

Mobile learning for teachers

Description:

This paper discusses the use of mobile devices by teachers to support their professional development. It reviews practices such as recording in the classroom and sharing mobile-created artefacts for collaborative reflection (although it doesn’t elaborate on how this was achieved). It also notes the value of mobile learning for the school environment, where teachers are required to move between (often isolated) teaching locations on a regular basis, and gives examples of using mobile devices to create resources which can be used with learners in the classroom, to provide feedback and celebrate achievement.
The paper also discusses the ethics of both recording and sharing, for teachers and for pupils.

Ingredients
You will need:

  • a mobile device with a camera (video or still), and/or audio recording functionality. This could be a mobile phone, a handheld device like an iPod touch, a camera, or a dictaphone.
  • Tool(s) for sharing. The possibilities here will depend on the availability of an internet connection. You could upload resources to a shared web space, preferably access-controlled (e.g. in the VLE), send them phone-to-phone via MMS, connect your device to a projector to present in class, record audio files to CD, or print images out on paper.

Reference:

Aubusson, P., Schuck, S., & Burden, K. (2009) Mobile learning for teacher professional learning: benefits, obstacles and issues. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology 17 (3), 233-47.
Available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0968%2d7769&volume=17&issue=3&spage=233 [Accessed Jan 2011]

Short-form podcasts to support assessment

Description

Lecturers on undergrad and postgrad Commerce programmes recorded a series of short podcast episodes (10-20 minutes long), covering requirements and guidance for assessments. These recordings were supplementary to the existing teaching materials, and the short format was deliberately chosen to allow a more flexible mode of consumption.
The project was evaluated using surveys, focus groups and interviews with staff. Most students used the recordings to revise and reinforce information, and there is evidence to suggest that it was useful for the large numbers of students for whom English is not their first language. It is interesting to note though that most students preferred to listen to the podcasts at home (rather than using a mobile device), where they had more control over their learning environment and could “concentrate” better.

Ingredients
You will need:

  • audio recording equipment (microphone, headphones) and software (e.g. Audacity)
  • a podcasting tool/web server to host your recordings (you can do this in the VLE)
  • your students will need either a portable mp3 player, or access to a desktop PC with a sound card, and speakers or headphones.

Reference:

Sutton-Brady, C., Scott, K.M., Taylor, L., Carabetta, G., & Clark, S. (2009) The value of using short-form podcasts to enhance learning and teaching. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology 17 (3), 219-32.
Available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0968%2d7769&volume=17&issue=3&spage=219 [Accessed Jan 2011]