MLearning where the 'm' stands for messing about
Turton, Lee-Anne; Perkins, Maureen
Citation:Turton, L., & Perkins, M. (2015, October). MLearning where the 'm' stands for messing about. Presentation conducted at the Unitec research symposium, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3477
In our field-based Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) programme our students work alongside children who are 21st century learners, navigating fast changing environments that are increasingly shaped by digital technologies. By introducing our students to new possibilities we intend that they will understand the importance of collaboration, flexible and agile teaching practices, critical thinking, digital, visual and media literacy. Our ongoing action research project is informed by literature on mobile and elearning as well as communities of practice, and our programme’s commitment to the integration of bicultural pedagogies. Some of this work is contributing to a larger national mobile technologies research project funded by Ako Aotearoa but we have personal and professional commitment to ongoing work in this area that will continue to inform both the tertiary and early childhood education sectors. Early childhood literature identifies the following participation repertoires for young children developing multiliteracies, which can reasonably be extended to any learner: observing and listening in, playing with tools, using tools for a purpose and transforming tools. Our research has been built on these repertoires as we observe and read about other more skilled users, we play around with tools such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and cameras, modeling a playful approach to learning, we become more proficient in specific purposes for digital technology – such as assessment, and then begin to change the way these have been used previously to suit our specific needs, with feedback from our community of practice. Our project has focused initially on four main areas of intervention in our research; a community of practice for our students and graduates on Facebook, the change to eportfolios for practicum and work experience documentation and assessment, the development of general digital literacy among our students and the exploration of augmented reality as a tool for creating wonder and interest in digital technologies. As a result of our work we are seeing a stronger sense of community across all six cohorts of our programme.The bicultural nature of our programme is being further developed through concepts of ako and tuakana-teina relationships where the power is more equally shared and the roles of teacher and learner are less distinct. Student expertise is invited and shared and lecturers have permission to be non-experts who are learning alongside students. A digital literacy thread has been firmly woven through learning outcomes in recent reviews of our course learning outcomes and graduate profile. In addition our community of practice is being extended to teachers in our partnership centres as we become more involved in their professional development and research into digital literacy and mobile devices. Our involvement as early adopters in the first prototype space at Unitec reflected our personal interest as well as our intent to explore the role of physical spaces in the development of collaborative digital literacy. We were able to involve another team member in this work as well as share information with our own team and others at Unitec about the opportunities and challenges we were experiencing in developing our skills and confidence in the pedagogies described in the teaching and learning models that are such a vital part of Unitec’s “relook rethink redesign” strategic plan process.