Mobile learning in the classroom…sound odd to you?

The iPad on a table in the Apple caseThe iPad on a table in the Apple case (Photo credit: Wikipedia)I have just finished reading a post (and comments) that was recommended by Greg Carroll, and found it a thought-provoking read: Amidst a Mobile Revolution in Schools, Will Old Teaching Tactics Work?. It was a little odd, however, that the main focus of the article was that students brought the mobile devices with them to a classroom. Hmmm – the article discusses and calls for shifts in pedagogy and teacher practice, but fundamentally the key model is that of bums on seats in a physical classroom (although, to be fair, mention is made of a student-created guided tour, and use of QR codes).

The wine in my mind is indeed the same, even if the pedagogical bottle is slightly re-shaped. There is a sense that the writers may have not taken the endgame far enough to really explore mobile learning when it perceived as a set of principles that can enhance formal and informal learning opportunities, rather than a series of devices. Learning then becomes:

  • Spatial – learning across space (anywhere)
  • Temporal – learning across time (any time)
  • Cognitive – learning across domains (any topic) (source)

Once this shift is made, the conversation changes from one where the concern is “new technology [applied] to old pedagogy,” (Soloway), to one where learning and the student become the focus.

About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ ( I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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