About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6769-6773
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

FROM DISCRETE TO INTEGRATED BLENDED LEARNING IN THE AGE OF TABLETS

R. Lavin

Prefectural University of Kumamoto (JAPAN)
The presenter will argue that the potential of blended learning has long been limited by the available technology and prevailing practices in institutions, but that tablet devices such as the iPad could herald a new era of flexible blended learning practices.

Teachers wishing to use computing technology in their classes have generally had to choose between conducting the class in a computer lab and moving the technological activity outside the class entirely. Conducting the class in a computer lab risks allowing the dynamics of the computer lab to dominate the class, and may result in something more akin to pure e-learning than blended learning, while moving the technological activities outside the class risks relinquishing direct control over and support for the activities and weakening their collaborative nature. In this presentation, I shall refer to blended learning in which there is a clear split between class and out-of-class activities as discrete blended learning.

Tablet computing devices, such as Apple’s iPad, are light, inexpensive, and highly shareable (Bray, 2010), and lend themselves to casual use for a wide range of activities due to their instant-on nature and networkability. Thus, what I term integrated blending learning becomes possible: Some of the class time is devoted to conventional activities, but tablets are called into service whenever they are needed and moved to the side when not.

Crucially, tablets do not require much in the way of special facilities. In fact, if we focus on their weight and shareability, we can see that it becomes possible for individual teachers in a wide range of educational settings to have enough iPads to configure them according to their own needs and preferences and supply them to students in their classes on an as-needed basis. This is possible without any specific institutional support for tablets, not even shelves or cabinets to store them.

Lipponen and Lallimo (2004), in their work on learning oriented infrastructures, point to the linked nature of elements such as “culture of learning, learning activities (practices) and use of technology”. It is clear similarly that administrative culture and practices play an important role, as of course do resources such as space and money. Decreasing the sensitivity of our teaching practices to particular constellations of related conditions allows us to get closer to our vision of blended learning.

The presenter conducted a project, funded by an internal university grant, in the 2010-2011 academic year focused on small-group use of iPads for language education. He will illustrate his arguments with experiences and lessons learned in this project and in subsequent work with iPads in blended learning.
@InProceedings{LAVIN2011FRO,
author = {Lavin, R.},
title = {FROM DISCRETE TO INTEGRATED BLENDED LEARNING IN THE AGE OF TABLETS},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {6769-6773}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Lavin
TI - FROM DISCRETE TO INTEGRATED BLENDED LEARNING IN THE AGE OF TABLETS
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 6769
EP - 6773
ER -
R. Lavin (2011) FROM DISCRETE TO INTEGRATED BLENDED LEARNING IN THE AGE OF TABLETS, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 6769-6773.
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