‘‘I don’t think I would be where I am right now’’. Pupil perspectives on using mobile devices for learning

Ros Walker

Abstract

Are pupils in the United Kingdom using mobile devices to help their learning? If so, what are they using and why? This article is based on research carried out by questionnaire, observation and pupil interviews at two English academies. One of the academies provides mobile devices for the pupils, and the other bans the use of mobile devices. The extent to which pupils are using their mobile devices to help their learning and which features they find useful for their schoolwork were examined. Pupils were also asked about some of the common barriers to using a mobile device in school: bullying, cheating and disruption. Results show that pupils at both schools do use their mobile devices for learning, with significantly more use at the school which allows mobile devices. However, usage is also significant in the school which currently bans devices. Pupils use their mobile devices for a wide range of activities, and the way in which pupils use their devices raises important questions for schools considering the adoption of mobile technology for teaching and learning. This article argues that schools should be actively encouraging pupils to make use of mobile devices.

Keywords: mobile learning; pupil voice; mobile phones; e-safety; pupil engagement

(Published: 6 September 2013)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2013, 21: 22116 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21i0.22116

Keywords

mobileLearning; studentVoice;

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