Name and Title: Lucretia M. Fraga, Associate Director for Instructional Technology
Organization: The University of Texas at San Antonio
Location: USA, Texas
Target Audience(s): Higher Education Faculty
Short Session Description (one line): Looking at the Beliefs About Mobile Learning Inventory (BAMLI) in Higher Education
Full Session Description (as long as you would like):Introduction
This presentation aims to provide information regarding the use of mobile devices for learning in higher education. Mobile learning can be defined as learning that takes place “anytime, anywhere” (Wagner & Wilson, 2005). The use of mobile devices facilitates this learning. Mobile devices can be anything that is portable, or provides Internet connectivity, social interactions and data collection capabilities. This presentation will discuss the ways in which technology professional development supports faculty in the creation and implementation of mobile learning (mLearning) activities in their classes. Additionally, the Beliefs About Mobile Learning Inventory will be described and disseminated.
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:
1) Define mobile learning
2) discuss how the provision of technology professional development facilitates the creation and implementation of mobile learning activities by university faculty members
3) discuss the challenges of using mobile devices for anytime, anywhere learning in higher education
4) describe the Beliefs About Mobile Learning Inventory (BAMLI)
5) discuss the outcomes the BAMLI
Technology and its increasing use have transformed the way we live, access information and communicate in the world today. The use of technology has become a ubiquitous part of our everyday life. From the grocery store check out line to the car repair shop, to the doctor’s office, the use of technology has permeated and changed the way we live.
In the past five years the amount of mobile devices being used globally has grown exponentially. Today the number of people who own a mobile device has increased to 5.3 billion, which is approximately 77% of the global population (MobiThinking.com, 2011). Mobile devices are being used globally from Africa to Asia. In 2006, Asian homes carried 52% of all mobile broadband subscribers globally (Srivastava, 2004). These users reported communication as the primary reason for mobile ownership. Communication is also the primary reason many developing countries have skipped providing landline telephone infrastructures in rural areas for mobile ones. Just as we have moved from the horse and buggy to cars for transportation needs, the mass implementation of mobile devices for communication has become an essential part of our daily lives in both developed and developing countries.
The global use of mobile devices has also penetrated the world of higher education. In the world of higher education the use of mobile devices for learning has risen dramatically. This comes at a time when universities need to take advantage of these recent technologies. The ability to access information from any location allows for ubiquitous learning. Several researchers (Alexander, 2004; Kukulska-Hulme & Traxler, 2005) argue that the physical location for teaching and learning has been redefined through the use of mobile devices. This lack of a specific location has been determined to provide a mobile means for learning (Wagner, 2005) and teaching.
The use of mobile devices for teaching and learning in higher education is still under investigation. Herrington, Herrington, Mantei, Olney, and Ferry (2009) found that university faculty are more likely to revert back to old pedagogies before trying new ones. It is crucial for university faculty to make revolutionary changes in the way they teach by obtaining new pedagogies for learning to meet the needs of the digital natives.
The New Media Consortium’s annual Horizon Report identifies, describes, and disseminates information about the latest trends in technology use that may impact the way we teach, learn, and research. The report identifies six emerging technologies that are projected for teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within three adoption periods of the next year, within two to three years, or within four to five years (2009). According to the report, mobile technologies were expected to become a mainstream addition within the next year. This report was published in 2009, which means as of 2010 these devices have begun to reach saturation.
This presentation will look at the ways in which a series of technology professional development sessions supported faculty in the creation and implementation of mLearning activities in their coursework. As part of the E3 project, 27 faculty members across colleges and departments were invited to participate and become a member of the eCommunity of Practice. This membership granted them access to netbooks, mobile devices, applications, and one-on-one technology support as well as whole group technology professional development sessions that occurred once a month over the course of one calendar year. These professional developments sessions focused on using the mobile devices and applications to integrate within the university courses they taught. The topics of these professional development sessions included using a course management system, Google, mobile devices, and developing syllabi for 21st century skills and learners. The three faculty members were chosen based upon the number of technology professional development sessions they consistently attended over the course of one year as well as sought out additional one-on-one support for further implementation.
Additionally, results from the globally administered Beliefs about Mobile Learning Inventory ([BAMLI], Fraga, 2010) will be discussed. This inventory was used to determine the beliefs university faculty have about mobile learning and its use in higher education. This includes their interpretation of mobile learning and how they use mobile learning in the university courses they teach. A convenience sampling was used to gather data from tenured/tenured track faculty members within different disciplines from institutions of higher education in various countries around the world.
The BAMLI is organized into six major categories, hardware, accessibility, achievement, students, instruction and demographics. These categories were derived from themes that emerged from a previous unpublished study (Fraga, 2010b). The inventory begins with basic information about ones’ beliefs and definitions about mobile devices to a culmination in their beliefs about mobile devices for instruction. Each category was structured to build upon the previous category with the final category providing demographic data about the respondent. This demographic area was purposely placed at the end of the inventory to not distract the respondent from thinking about their personal beliefs (Fink, 2003). Each category contains 4-6 statements to control respondents tendency to ‘over think’ each of the category topics and statements (Fink, 2003).
The first five categories use a Likert-type scale that ask faculty members to decide if they strongly agree, agree, are undecided, disagree or strongly disagree with each statement. The undecided category was included for respondents unfamiliar with this relatively new field and who currently do not have a specific belief one-way or the other regarding mobile learning.
There are many choices of traditional (brick and mortar four year university) and nontraditional universities (virtual, blended or hybrid university) for college students. In the Web 2.0 and iTunesU, an online location to access, manage and distribute educational content (Apple 2011) world of readily accessible information, all universities must begin to provide alternative means to deliver content for the current as well as future generations of students described by Prensky (2001) as “digital natives” where computers, gaming and the Internet have always been part of their lives.
No longer can universities sit back and expect business as usual by relying only on traditional academic practices. In a speech by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (2009) regarding colleges of education and preparing teachers for the 21st century classroom, he called for America's colleges of education to dramatically change how they prepare the next generation of teachers so that they are ready to prepare their future students for success in college and careers. "By almost any standard, many if not most of the nation's 1,450 schools, colleges, and departments of education are doing a mediocre job of preparing teachers for the realities of the 21st century classroom… America's university-based teacher preparation programs need revolutionary change--not evolutionary tinkering (US Secretary of Education, 2009).”