MLearning in a New Zealand Secondary School: A Case Study

By Noeline Wright.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Four classroom teachers (geography, food technology, ESOL, Japanese) experimented with a range of mobile devices (digital cameras, proprietary hardware/software, phones and mp3 players) during 2010. In conjunction both with a telecommunications provider and the Ministry of Education, this research sought to understand the following: how teachers use various mobile technologies for learning, what issues arise that impede this, what benefits emerge if any, and what students’ experiences are of using these devices as part of their subject learning. Interviews and classroom observations were the key data collection methods over a month. Twenty-nine students were interviewed across three classes and three of the four classroom teachers were interviewed, plus the IT Director in the school. These data were analysed thematically for patterns of experience.
Findings included: the importance of the pedagogical background knowledge of the IT Director in supporting the learning; the improved engagement and participation of students in their learning when mobile devices were used; the desire of students to use these tools regularly in their classrooms to support their learning; the crucial value of the experience of the trial teachers in experimenting with new tools. This last finding suggests that teachers of more than 10 years’ practice are likely to be most comfortable with coping with the potential destabilising effects of introducing unfamiliar/untried tools to a classroom setting.

Keywords: MLearning, Pedagogy, Secondary Schools, Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp.575-586. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 818.092KB).

Dr. Noeline Wright

Lecturer and Research Officer, Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Professional Studies in Education, School of Education, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Noeline has worked extensively in secondary schools both as a teacher and researcher. She was involved in a longitudinal evaluation of a national literacy professional development programme in secondary schools for 6 years, through the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER). Currently she is involved in elearning and mLearning research as well as researching literacy and co-leading action enquiry projects in the tertiary sector. She also teaches in an initial teacher education graduate programme at the University of Waikato. Her research interests include the related fields of pedagogy and ICT, educational leadership, teacher change, literacy and secondary teacher education.

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