Frustrated students are starting to doubt the future of progress. For the past two weeks I’ve inflicted a Mobile code hunt on their them, in attempt to demonstrate that mobile phones have potential outside the walls of the classroom. They’ve sat, squinted and swore for an hour trying to figure out how to download a QR code reader to their Mobile phones so that they could find the answers on a QR code. This morning, of the 20 students, only one managed to download the reader (the other students phone models did not support the code or they had no air time). While it was clear that many students were adept at managing their phones and could work around a small screen, the problem of a common platform made me doubt the possibilities that mLearning holds for whole class learning. The range of different phone models makes it extremely difficult to supply instructions on how to configure the phone.
mLearning certainly holds enormous pedegogic and practical potential. But whether the phone has the ability to act as “a classroom in your pocket” will depend on the degree of uniformity amongst phones. The wide variety of phones amongst students meant that nobody was able to assist each other, as each had a different phone. Background of the mobile phone owner will also play a part in their ability to master the tool. It was interesting to note that students that had some business or other experience beyond the classroom were able to make better use of their phone.
Ah well, back to the drawing board, more prototypes, more thought is required.