Monday, 11 March 2013

B8: Workshop: Mobile technologies in education: What can we learn from failure stories?


Nicola Beddall-Hill, University of Leicester, UK (Chair), Claudia Igbrude, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland; Dr. Jon Trinder, University of Glasgow, UK

Across institutions and organisations, too often the focus is on mobile technology as the newest technology and highlighting innovative success stories. While this is interesting, what about failures and the pragmatic issues encountered daily by learning support practitioners, educators, and researchers in the context of mobile learning? What about those instances that have not gone beyond the pilots? Or those meticulously designed lessons plans which did not turn out as you had hoped? Do we not learn as much from our failures as our successes?

We will be exploring 'Failure stories' from the perspectives of research, technology, people, processes and usability. Technical issues can easily undermine confidence in technology. Until the use of a particular device or system is embedded within an institution, the amount of available local expertise may be limited. It is essential to have some kind of specialized support personnel to assist with technical issues. This specialised support should also include recognising the affordances of mobile devices as well as current technical and administrative ecosystems and how they might support the proposed use of mobile devices or not. Forget all the fancy possibilities, how can we make pragmatic use of what is available now?

The format of the workshop with comprise of three parts of approximately 45 minutes;

  1. Mini cases will be shared by the organisers 
  2. Participants will break into cross-disciplinary groups to discuss their own failure stories from their own standpoint while also considering the perspectives of the other stakeholders involved. This will help expose key lessons for practice and research aims that could be taken forward in future work
  3. These outcomes will be discussed as a whole group and the results will be used to produce a sharable document with the key lessons and research aims posed during the workshop.

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