Integrating mobile technologies into the construction classroom: Drivers and constraints for ubiquitous computing.
Davies, Kathryn; Prigg, Chris
Citation:Davies, K., and Prigg, C. (2013). Integrating mobile technologies into the construction classroom: Drivers and constraints for ubiquitous computing. 38th Annual Australasian Universities Building Education Association (AUBEA) Conference. 20-22 Nov 2013; Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2782
Within Unitec Institute of Technology, the Department of Construction is currently planning the introduction of mandatory use of laptops or other mobile devices within the Bachelor of Construction programme. This paper explores the principal drivers and constraints around formal integration of mobile technologies, also referred to as ubiquitous computing, into the construction teaching environment. Many studies investigating the impacts of mobile technologies have identified benefits to students from their use in the classroom. These stem partly from the skills developed by the students from exposure to technology as well as from specific software and applications related to the subject matter involved. In addition, however, there are potentially significant gains to be made in student engagement and active learning, student directed learning and collaborative and group learning. All of these aspects support the Unitec Living Curriculum model. In contrast, unstructured or unmanaged use of technology in class has been shown to cause significant problems in student attention, disruption to other students and to be generally detrimental to learning. Interviews with staff and students indicate that there is strong support for such a move, but a number of concerns have also been identified that require resolution before any such change can be fully implemented. Key limiting factors include the provision of devices and specification of minimum standards; infrastructure including wireless capacity and room design; and staff access to technology and development opportunities. On the positive side, cloud computing offers significant potential for enhanced computing power and consistency in classroom applications.