AN MLEARNING JOURNEY: CRITICAL INCIDENTS IN TRANSFORMING PEDAGOGY
Blogs, wikis, Youtube, PODCasts, Social Networking (e.g MySpace, Facebook) and more recently Twitter have been the latest crazes to attract the attention of many of today’s internet savvy younger generation. This generation are becoming our tertiary students. The emergence of these web 2.0 (or Social Software) tools has provided a media rich, yet simple to use, end user empowering environments that resonate with social constructivist pedagogies. Utilising these tools within tertiary education is one way to engage today’s students. The appropriation of web 2.0 tools within social constructivist learning environments has been nick-named ‘Pedagogy 2.0’ (C. McLoughlin & M. Lee, 2008; C. McLoughlin & M. J. W. Lee, 2008). However, less than a billion people have access to computers, whereas around four billion people have access to mobile phones. Most web 2.0 tools are also designed to be mobile friendly, allowing reading and updating of web 2.0 content from mobile phones, and also featuring enhanced mobile affordances such as photo and video blogging (from cameraphones), and geotagging (from GPS equipped smartphones). Hence mobile web 2.0 provides a platform for wider access that is context independent, facilitating ‘authentic’ learning environments (A. Herrington & Herrington, 2007, 2006; J. Herrington, Herrington, Mantei, Olney, & Ferry, 2009) beyond the boundaries of the traditional tertiary classroom. Thus mobile learning (mlearning) presents vast potential for appropriation within tertiary education. This paper presents an academics journey into the use and appropriation of mlearning within their teaching practice. This journey is based upon a four year research project into the potential of mobile web 2.0 (Cochrane, Flitta, & Bateman, 2009). Critical incidents along this journey are identified and examples given of how mobile web 2.0 has been integrated into a Bachelor of Product Design course as a result of this journey. Examples of mobile web 2.0 scenarios are given, along with student and lecturer feedback. Lessons learnt during this mlearning journey will provide valuable insight to other educators wishing to explore these emerging tools within social constructivist learning.
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