From M-learning pilot activity to embedded practice: using formative evaluation to inform scaled-up implementation
MetadataShow full item record
This paper describes the implementation of a mobile learning strategy centred on the use of PDAs by learners in the 9-14 age range having 24/7 access. It is presented from two perspectives. The first is from the practical perspective of project management – that is, the practicalities of engaging and sustaining schools, their management, teachers, parents and pupils in mobile learning. The second is a more formal description of the processes and interactions that describe mobile learning embedded in schools and beyond. The formal model draws together the important variables that impact on mobile learning as it may be implemented within a school’s pedagogical vision. From the school-centred account, we move to a description of the wider engagement of schools within a Local Authority as exemplified by Wolverhampton’s ‘Learning2Go’ project. The considerations to be taken into account in engaging, managing and sustaining mobile learning practices in a cohort of schools in which over one thousand handheld devices are in use are discussed. Practical factors to be taken into account in this wider roll-out include national political imperatives as well as large-scale training, technical support and ensuring the sustainability of the model. The paper moves to consider the educational rewards and outcomes of these efforts. The education system in England has an in-built monitoring system in the form of end of key stage tests. Some of the challenges and opportunities of attempting to measure the outcomes of innovative practices using traditional pencil and paper tests are discussed. The particular support that mobile learning offers to a pedagogy in which formative assessment plays a key role is discussed.