Do smart devices make smart learners?

Pettit, John and Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (2008). Do smart devices make smart learners? In: Proceedings of the MLearn 2008 Conference, 7-10 Oct 2008, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, UK, pp. 232–239.



This paper follows up a paper presented at the mLearn 2007 conference (Kukulska-Hulme and Pettit, 2007). It reports on interview data gathered to complement the questionnaire findings reported in that earlier paper. Both papers relate to a study of participants who were each lent a smartphone, which they were encouraged to adopt and embed in their working practices as members of staff at The Open University. The interviews were intended to discover the detail of how participants used the new devices, and to explore which factors motivated and de-motivated them personally as they decided whether and how to adopt the device. Some participants already used a smartphone or PDA, and the findings therefore throw light on their willingness to substitute a loan-device for one they already owned. The study gives evidence of some of the participants’ highly personal reactions to features of this particular smartphone, and their preferences in terms of which interventions and support were most effective. It also indicates that the wireless infrastructure was widely regarded as a critical factor in influencing adoption of the device. The findings from the interviews are relevant to a range of professional and educational contexts where participants are being encouraged to adopt a new mobile device and/or extend their mobile practices.

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