mlearn project

Charles Sturt University's Mobile Learning Project

Creating Spaces

One of the unique affordances of mobile technology is its ability to create new learning spaces. eLearning was often described as ‘anywhere, anytime’, but mobile technology allows learning and teaching to become something that is ‘everywhere, all the time’. It is a subtle difference but with significant impact. The ability of this technology to connect, combined with powerful applications to consume and produce allow the device to create a space. This permits a new user-centric model where space is defined by the user and the device, not the physical location or proximity to a campus. This has specific benefits and implications for staff and students at CSU.

The allowance of the technology to create new spaces releases us from the desk, or any other physical inhibitor. It means that staff and students can move into new physical environments and leverage spaces appropriate to the task:

The device freed me up to work in environments that were more conducive to creative activity. It also allowed me to show my students these places. For example, we held one writing class at the botanical gardens…to capture pictures, sound etc. After a time, we came back together to share…about a particular section of this space.

Academics also shared experiences of shifting from traditional spaces for convenience and comfort, “using the iPad for marking on the train and sitting up in bed”.

This also applies to students on practicum, where they can incorporate the device into the specific learning experience much more easily, as well as staff who are able to capitalise on the overall portability of the device:

Once I got the iPad I did not need to lug the laptop around as much. I also think that getting away from my desk may have had physical benefits, but these may have just been mental benefits (but it was beneficial nonetheless).”

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