Posted by: MandyS | June 27, 2013

Mobile 2.0 and ownership in formal learning

Block 3, Week 19, Activity 5: Pettit and Kukulska-Hulme (2011), Mobile 2.0: crossing the border into formal learning?

Web 2.0 and Mobile 2.0 technology is essentially a social tool owned by those who seek to use it. Educators see the benefits of integrating this type of technology into learning but is such harnessing likely to lead to a lack of control. An interesting scenario has crept up in the W201 Student Café whereby students have been told that TMA’s must not be discussed in the forums as per OU policy.  The students clearly question this on the basis that the café is supposed to emulate a brick university café, where that is exactly where they would discuss the TMA. Now there are two schools of thought here; the students who welcome tutor input in the café and those that don’t. The fact that forums are moderated has driven students to the ‘underworld communication sharing’ of Facebook. Infiltration by tutors would not be welcomed here; students rebelled last year when they (incorrectly) believed a tutor was spying on their discussions. This echoes the findings in the paper that the use of social media for learning ‘does not feel right when teacher led’. In some respects, blurring of the boundaries is somewhat irrelevant as control is really the fundamental issue here.

How, specifically, might you bring Mobile 2.0 into your own learning and/or teaching – using that latter term broadly to include support of various kinds?

I have thought that Twitter might be a useful tool to harness into learning for W201 but on the basis that students use it to keep themselves updated i.e. as the alternative to cutting out newspaper articles (does anyone still do this?!)

How far does this involve using and accommodating learners’ existing practices, and how far does it involve them in adopting new practices or new devices?

I would imagine that most students will have a mobile device and it is not too difficult to sign up to Twitter. For some, they may not even be doing anything different.

How far, if at all, would any new practices/devices affect a sense of ‘ownership’ – the practitioners’ and/or yours?

For me, the student retains control. They can choose what they want to receive and what they want to do with the information. Using Twitter is a suggestion only.

How far do mobile devices blur the distinction between personal and professional areas of your own life? Do you have a view on whether this is desirable?

I agree that I use my mobile for many different aspects of my life but I see at as simply facilitating my ability to swap hats rather than what I am doing as being indistinct. It may not be desirable but for me it is a necessity.


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