Does mobile technology support peer learning for Key Stage 3 children?

Alsugair, Balsam; Hopkins, Gail; Brailsford, Tim and FitzGerald, Elizabeth (2011). Does mobile technology support peer learning for Key Stage 3 children? In: 7th International Conference on Intelligent Environments (IE'11) Doctoral Consortium, 25-28 Jul 2011, Nottingham, UK.




It has been estimated that 85.5% of school aged children own a mobile phone in the UK from which 29% of them access the Internet. It is assumed that this ownership provides the children with the opportunity to establish and maintain social connections with their fellow peers. According to Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory this social interaction with peers plays a role in children’s cognitive development that has been exploited in modern educational systems in various ways.

This ongoing research aims to make further use of this association between ownership of mobile devices, social interaction and learning by ultimately introducing a technological solution for children to communicate with their peers and access peer generated content. It will investigate whether the mobility and the information source; peer versus non-peer, enhances children’s learning.

Two separate investigations have been conducted, so far, to determine the sources and the tools children use to obtain support for their learning. A survey of 74 Key Stage 3 children and two focus group sessions with 34 similar age children found that they actively use technologies, such as Facebook, SMS and email, to establish peer interaction.

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