Tuesday, January 12, 2010

5.3.5: Smartphones give you wings

One of the award winning papers at December's Ascilite conference was Cochrane & Bateman's (2009) "Smartphones give you wings: Pedagogical affordances of mobile Web 2.0" (PDF). The paper draws on four years of research experience.

The paper notes that "the smartphone market is set to exceed computer users by 2014", a significant statement when one of the main barriers to m-learning is considered: The lack of a standard feature set on mobile devices. Smartphones now provide the ability to download, create, store and share multimedia (audio, video, photos, text) files over wireless internet as well as via WAP. The time of the WMD (Wireless Mobile Device, not that WMD) is upon us!

Cochrane & Bateman's paper is mainly concerned with Web 2.0 integration based on a community of practice model and "student-centred social constructivist pedagogies" (p.143). Table 1, on p.145, gives an excellent list of affordances, linked to particular pedagogies. Links are provided to YouTube clips, providing a 'grounded' perspective (sorry, lame joke - many of the perspectives come from a case study in a landscape design course, the perfect setting for m-learning. Others include music, performing arts and design). Cochrane & Bateman also provide guidelines ofr establishing m-learning in educational settings.

It is no wonder this paper won an award - it is well worth a read, as it clearly presents the potential for m-learning while also providing situated examples. That the case studies focus on those 'creative industries' where sharing multimedia files makes direct sense shows that m-learning is establishing a viable and valuable place in higher education.

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