How students in H.E. use their mobile phones for learning

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Presentation given at mLearn 2010 conference, Claire Bradley and Debbie Holley


<ul><li> 1. How students in Higher Education use their mobile phones for learning Claire Bradley Research FellowLearning Technology Research Institute [email_address] Dr Debbie Holley Principal Lecturer Learning and Teaching London Metropolitan University Business School [email_address]</li></ul> <p> 2. Background to research </p> <ul><li>Ongoing research into mobile learning with year one new entry students </li></ul> <ul><li>We have supported student groups using mediaBoard </li></ul> <ul><li>Texted students Learning tips</li></ul> <ul><li>Carried out a pilot for CONTSENS, an EU context specific project where students went out on site </li></ul> <ul><li>Integrated Textools a system where student text answers to questions in largelecture halls </li></ul> <ul><li>And this project learning onthe move </li></ul> <p> 3. The study </p> <ul><li>Survey with students </li></ul> <ul><li>Loaned flip video camcorders to 3 students to record their daily mobile learning use </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>2 of these students also filmed video interviews with other students about their use </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>The 3 students were interviewed to explore their mobile learning practise in more depth </li></ul> <ul><li>Interviews have resulted in 3 in-depth case studies or stories about their mobile learning practise and attitudes towards using their phones for learning </li></ul> <p> 4. Survey results: The students </p> <ul><li>74 1 styear undergraduates taking a core business module Studying Marketing and Operations completed a questionnaire</li></ul> <ul><li>Gender: 73% female, 27% male </li></ul> <ul><li>Age: </li></ul> <p>Age range 18-20 21-25 25-30 30-35 % respondents 61% 33% 5% 1% 5. Survey results: Students phones </p> <ul><li>Contract v pay as you go (PAYG) </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>63% on contract </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>37% pay as you go </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Make </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Range of handsetsowned is diverse 72 students cited37 phone modelsfrom 9 manufac- turers </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>80% of phones canbe classified asbeing Smart Phones(i.e. Internet andemail enabled) </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 6. Survey results: Mobile features 7. Do you currently use your mobile phone for learning? </p> <ul><li>22 students - 29% - said they used their mobiles for learning </li></ul> <ul><li>34 uses given (some students use their mobile for more than one task)</li></ul> <ul><li>Uses reported have been grouped into 7 categories </li></ul> <p> 8. Uses for learning Category Mobile phone use Total uses per category Conducting research/Internet (4 students) 12 getting information Google (3 students) Research / search info. (5 students) Communicating Email (4 students) 6 Contacting group assignment members Fashion Facebook group Generating content/Take pictures/photos (3 students) 4 artefacts Voice recording Using tools/Calculator (3 students) 4applications Microsoft Office Organising Putting reminder alarms for meetings 3 Check my exams Organiser Note-taking Write notes 1 Other Accessing learning materials 4 Presentations/ r ecord presentations (2 students) Transport files (PDF, Word, PowerPoint ) 9. Case study: Sam </p> <ul><li>Foundation year Art, Media and Design</li></ul> <ul><li>Blackberry Curve, 18 mth contract </li></ul> <ul><li>Uses his phone for these learning activities: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>S etting reminders in the calender, using the clock and alarm to organise his studying and schedule </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>P hotos of images and things to remember </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>R ecords lectures for later replay </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>C ommunicates with other studentsphone, Blackberry Messenger (free between Blackberry users) </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Uses the Internet and Google to look up information </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Says his most common use is probably the calendar, because that is really useful, because my organisational skills arent very good, so it does help to have a little buzz when you need to do something </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 10. Case study: Sam </p> <ul><li>Why he uses his phone for learning: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Because it is convenient </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li> I mean Ive got it in my pocket 24 hours a day, its always there, and now I can use the Internet </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>When: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li> When necessary </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Where: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>At gallery visits and exhibitions </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>During lectures records them and enters information such as dates and deadlines into the calendar </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>At home checks notifications of forthcoming deadlines, tasks, etc. to see what he has to do </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>How the university could promote mLearning: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Send reminder texts</li></ul></li></ul> <p> 11. Case study: Shriya </p> <ul><li>First-year Public Relations </li></ul> <ul><li>Blackberry Curve, PAYG + 5 per mth for Internet </li></ul> <ul><li>Bought Blackberry because it has Windows software </li></ul> <ul><li>Phone uses: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Access university systems Webmail, Evision (student record system), WebLearn (downloads materials from VLE) </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Email </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Communicates with classmates Blackberry Messenger is free </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Accesses Facebook for tutorial groups </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Makes notes using Memopad (attach alarms to notes) and Word to go to write notes in lectures and draft reports </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Her mobile use is overtaking use of her laptop! </li></ul> <p> 12. Case study: Shriya </p> <ul><li>Why she uses her phone for learning: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Because it is easier, it is accessible (always connected to the Internet and other people), you can use it anywhere and everywhere, and you dont have to carry a heavy laptop around with you </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li> It really helps you because it saves on time and money </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Where: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>In quiet places her room, the local park, but not in the library because they are not allowed </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Not in front of a computer: mobile = freedom </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>How the university could promote mLearning: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Encourage students to use their mobiles, e.g. interactive learning sessions on how they could use them </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>She believes that using mobile phones can get students interested in the subject more, they are fun and help to create enthusiasm for learning </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 13. Case study: Heidi </p> <ul><li>First-year Public Relations </li></ul> <ul><li>Sony Ericsson G502, PAYG, doesnt use Internet (too expensive) </li></ul> <ul><li>Phone uses: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Communicates with other students primarily by TXT because its convenient and cheap, or calls which can be faster and more effective </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Takes pictures of things to remember, to use in her coursework or that give her ideas </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Calculator (shes studying statistics) </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Makes notes and takes down thoughts by saving them as TXT messages </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>She relies heavily on TXT messages for communication and making notes </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 14. Case study: Heidi </p> <ul><li>Why she uses her phone for learning: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li> I know I have it on me always, and I can check it always, its better than writing in a small calendar book for me </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>She would use her mobile more if she had a more sophisticated phone and cheaper Internet </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Where: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li> Everywhere actually </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>When: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>When it is appropriate. </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>How the university could promote mLearning: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Produce an App. that would make it easy to access University systems because it is Internet-based, and it would save you time because you could access from anywhere </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 15. Other students mobile learning practise </p> <ul><li>3 Foundation Art, Media &amp; Design students </li></ul> <ul><li>Rion, Sony Ericsson CyberShot </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Uses the camera on his phone to take photos touse in his work. See video: </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Isaac, Blackberry </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Uses his phone as an alarm clock, tocommunicate with others via email and phonecalls and for setting reminders for deadlines.See video: </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Tomasz </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Listens to music on his phone whilst he worksto help him concentrate. See video: </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 16. Conclusions </p> <ul><li>Students are savvy and creative about using the phones that they have and finding cheap solutions </li></ul> <ul><li>Many are already using their mobiles for a range of learning tasks, largely on their own initiative </li></ul> <ul><li>One way forward is to encourage students (and tutors) to make more use of the powerful devices they have for learning activities </li></ul> <ul><li>This work provides insights into students mobile phone ownership and their mobile learning practise, making it easier to design mobile learning initiatives around what they already do and could do </li></ul> <p> 17. Contact details </p> <ul><li>Claire Bradley[email_address] </li></ul> <ul><li>Debbie Holley[email_address] </li></ul> <ul><li>The full survey data, case studies and video clips are all on the project website: </li></ul> <ul><li> </li></ul>