Our researchers have contributed to a national project that will help teachers use mobile devices to promote learning.

Students increasingly have mobile devices with them in the classroom. It's a technology they are familiar with and comfortable using. This represents a so far untapped opportunity to engage students in learning in a way that works well for them.

Matt Thompson, Rachel Byars and Elise Allen at Otago Polytechnic contributed to a national research project led by AUT, experimenting with different ways they could use mobile devices in their teaching. Matt was also involved, as local coordinator of this community of practice and liaising with AUT. The project also included a survey of over 350 learners from across six tertiary institutions to discover their perspectives on the uses of mobile devices for learning. Funding was provided by Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

The research indicates that the use of mobile devices to access content and resources can lead to increased engagement both inside and outside the classroom, and familiarity with technologies currently being used in the work environment. A range of strategies have been developed for teachers and their institutions, to help introduce the use of mobile devices in learning. It is hoped that these strategies will contribute to transformed teaching practice throughout New Zealand's tertiary sector and abroad.

June 2017

Image credit: Hands on Support, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0