Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mobile devices, e-learning and higher education

As I prepare for another conference, I am again considering how beneficial the e-learning environment truly is. I can update my courses, interact with my students (both synchronously and asynchronously), and still conduct class despite travel time. My path as an instructor is much more effective because of the learning management system (LMS) and the opportunity to use my Blackberry Apps (like Skype, Yahoo IM, Twitter, and Blackboard mobile) to continue my connection with students. As I reminded students about the upcoming travel, I encouraged them to tweet, IM, email and connect with any questions they had on assignments. It was reassuring to know that I wouldn't be reliant upon an internet connection at a random hotel (or the fees some charge) and that my trusty mobile device can do it all. 

E-learning is making my job easier. It is opening access to my students in new ways. It is becoming a common part of the instructor-student connection. 

Check out this video examining mobile devices and teaching and learning;

Though we are increasingly using mobile devices in higher education, we want to do so with intent and by examining their impact and effect on the faculty-student communication relationship and on the learning environment overall. There is a history of research on faculty-student communication outside of the classroom and that research is now including computer-mediated communication between faculty-students. Since many of my students already use Twitter and Instant Messenger -- and since most don't have a home computer (they use their smart phones) but rely upon the university computer services, any way I can become more mobile in my communication is a positive for my students.

Want to explore this further? Suggested reading:

DeBard, R., & Guidera, S. (2000). Adapting asynchronous communication to meet the seven principles of effective teaching. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 28(3), 219-230.

Edwards, J. T. (2009). Undergraduate students' perceptions and preferences of computer-mediated communication with faculty. American Communication Journal, 11(1).

Hickerson, C.A. & Giglio, M. (2009). Instant messaging between students and faculty: A tool for increasing student-faculty interaction. International Journal on E-Learning, 8(1), 71-88.

Waycott, J., Bennett, S., Kennedy, G., Dalgarno, B., & Gray, K. (2010). Digital divides? Student and staff perceptions of information and communication technologies. Computers & Education, 54(4), 1202-1211.

Woods, R. H. (2002). How much communication is enough in online courses? Exploring the relationship between frequency of instructor-initiated personal email and learners' perceptions of and participation in online learning. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29, 377-394.

1 comment:

  1. Blackberry is a one Phone Company that gives the best among its users. Like you, as an instructor, it is important to keep in touch with your student and those blackberry apps make it possible. That's blackberry.