THREE PERSPECTIVES OF MOBILE LEARNING INTEGRATION AT A TERTIARY INSTITUTION IN THE UAE

T. Waller, J. Balanyk, E. Thornquist

Zayed University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Around the world, mobile technology is quickly becoming a vital part of the educational setting. To join in this movement, in 2012, the UAE underwent a massive implementation of mobile devices into the foundation language programs within the tertiary government institutions. The rollout of this is described in Priest & Schoepp’s (in press) article about the process from an administrative perspective. The presenters represent three perspectives from the different stages of implementation at one of the UAE’s tertiary institutions’ foundation language program.

From three different perspectives as faculty members during the time of the role out, the presenters will: describe the process of implementation and integration as early adopters of mobile devices within an unaltered curriculum and without prior training or development in the language program; share their experience of entering the department just at the start of the academic year when the mobile devices were expected to have 100% penetration in the language classroom; and provide perspectives from entering the department with mobile device use already as a regular part of the language classroom.

Throughout each of the perspectives, the following questions will be addressed:
• What did we think initially?
• What did we think once in the classroom? What were the challenges? What were the advantages?
• Did our teaching change in any way with the mobile devices?
• Using the SAMR model (Puentedura, 2013), where would we say that we are now? Where would we like to go and is it possible – how?
• What support was available and how did that affect our teaching and use of the mobile devices?

As the tertiary institution is looking to roll-out mobile device use in 90% of the classes in all of the university departments, the presenters will offer suggestions on how to effectively do this based on their experiences. Furthermore, recommendations for next steps will be provided. Questions and feedback from participants will be warmly welcomed.