Last Monday, I gave a poster presentation entitled “MoLeaP – the mobile learning project database” at the “Mobile learning: Crossing boundaries in convergent environments” conference in Bremen (conference website).
The following abstract was published in
Rummler, Klaus; Seipold, Judith; Lübcke, Eileen; Pachler, Norbert; Attwell, Graham (eds.): Mobile learning:
Crossing boundaries in convergent environments. Book of abstracts. 21-22 March 2011, Bremen, Germany. ISSN 1753-3385
which is available for download at http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/downloads/MLCB_BOA_Bremen-2011_Crossing-Boundaries-full_2011-03-18.pdf.
MoLeaP – the mobile learning project database
This poster aims to introduce ‘MoLeaP – the mobile learning project database’, a service provided by the London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG; www.londonmobilelearning.net) via www.moleap.net. MoLeaP is a public and free-of-charge online database for education professionals interested in mobile learning practice underpinned by theory. Projects, applications, and resources can be submitted by users in order to make materials and experiences available to a broad audience and to encourage the implementation of mobile learning projects in different learning contexts, such as school/college/university, family, workplace, and/or everyday life to enhance the replicability of mobile learning projects, and to contribute to sustainability in teaching, learning and research on mobile learning. The database categories are based on a conceptual framework of a socio-cultural ecology of mobile learning and are derived from a methodological framework for the description and analysis of mobile learning practice.
mobile learning project database, replicability, transferability, socio-cultural ecology, methodology
Research on mobile learning is essentially related to the implementation of mobile learning projects in different contexts such as education or everyday life. Projects are characterized by different approaches to teaching and learning, locations and a broad variety of technologies; also, they are dealing with mobile technologies as topic or they support their use as learning and teaching tools. As the rapidly emerging field of mobile learning originates a tremendous amount of mobile learning projects, ‘MoLeaP – the mobile learning projects database’ is conceptualized as a resource and tool for people who are interested in mobile learning, especially in sharing their experiences and projects with others, or in learning from already existing projects. The database – which is based on the idea of collaborative knowledge building – aims to provide opportunities for the systematic gathering of practice,
- to distribute knowledge which was gained within such projects in order to make practice less ephemeral,
- to enable synergies,
- to contribute to sustainability in teaching, learning and research, as well as
- to enhance replicability of mobile learning projects.
Also, MoLeaP aims to provide a rich resource for mobile learning experiences in order to allow researchers and practitioners from all over the world easy access to projects and relevant resources. The categories for project description might assist practitioners in planning mobile learning projects and enhance dissemination, replicability, and transferability of projects by providing a common basis. It is hoped that the database will be able to support educators in the implementation of mobile media and mobile learning projects in any educational context and that it contributes to sustainability in teaching, learning, and research.
2. Theoretical and Methodological Background
The project database combines theory, research and application and aims to provide straightforward functionality on the basis of design principles derived from principled conceptual work (Seipold, Pachler, & Cook, 2009; Seipold & Pachler, 2010; Pachler, Bachmair, & Cook, 2010) in an attempt to facilitate the sharing of pedagogical practice. The categories, which are used to describe and analyze mobile learning projects, are based on the theoretical background of a socio-cultural ecology of learning with mobile devices (Pachler et al., 2010; Pachler, 2010). The socio-cultural ecology consist of the three key components: structures, agency and cultural practices and aims to describe mobile learning as a process within changing mass communication and thus changing appropriation mechanisms attendant to engagement in masse communication. As a consequence, the database is open to any projects with mobile media, irrespective of the notion of learning underpinning it and irrespective of the setting.
2.1 Categories for Project Descriptions
The theoretical work of the LMLG has led to a set of categories, which are intended to be applicable to projects taking place inside and outside of educational institutions; they provide the basis for the categories of MoLeaP. The structure of the database has been designed to be helpful to colleagues planning mobile learning projects by flagging key considerations to be attended to during the planning and evaluation phases, in addition to fostering shareability by providing a common ‘language’ (soft ontology) to talk about practice:
1. General project data:
language of the project description; project name; URL; country; year; project owner and copyright holder; contact; partners; project workers; language in which the project was conducted; types of mobile devices; further media; age of participants; number of learners involved; number of teachers involved; number of supporting staff; role of supporting staff; duration; location; location latitude & longitude (of the location where the project was conducted; for further implication in location-aware contexts); type of educational establishment; phase of education; subject domain; teaching/ learning focus; tags/ keywords; optional text field.
background information, i.e. how many persons; type of educational establishment; duration; devices used; technical support etc.; learning and teaching aims; and envisioned role of mobile devices.
3. Approaches to teaching and learning:
how are the devices used; key activities, key tasks, and key pedagogical/‘didactic’ issues.
4. Technologies and requirements:
interoperability, storage, usability etc.
5. Project outcomes.
6. Lessons learned/ issues emerging.
7. Recommendations and future possibilities.
8. Replicability and transferability.
9. Recommended literature and references (optional).
10. Project analysis (optional).
2.2 Categories for Project Analyses
The analysis framework might best be described as heuristic and hermeneutic with relevance for mobile learning in the context of a socio-cultural ecology, covered under meta-categories rather than a rigid analysis scheme. The analysis framework is open to examples from school contexts as well as to examples from everyday life. We opened the analysis to aspects of identity construction, and social inclusion/exclusion in order to be able to access the most evident issues of cases of mobile use from everyday life. Also here, the criteria for the analysis relate to key concepts of the theoretical framework of the LMLG of a socio-cultural ecology. As this framework deals with a number of theoretical concepts, which are not self-explanatory, contributors to MoLeaP are free to provide a project analysis that refers to the following categories:
1. Agency, structure, cultural practice:
e.g. new habitus and social segmentation; ‘at-risk learners’; literacy, traditional vs. new; understanding media as cultural resources; participation in cultural practices.
2. Approaches to teaching and learning:
e.g. informal/situated/collaborative/problem-based learning; bricolage; knowledge building; meaning-making.
3. Notions of mobility:
e.g. mobile device used as tool; mobile devices used in relation to meanings; mobility in contexts (place, time, concepts, social constellations, activities, curriculum, cultural resources, and meanings).
4. User-generated contents and contexts:
e.g. transformation of mass communication; mobility; learning as meaning-making in context; ubiquity, choice, appropriation; context crossing.
5. Replicability and transferability:
e.g. replicability and transferability of the ‘didaktik’ script, using it in a new context; scalability.
2.3 Categories for applications and resources
In order to address not only practitioners through project concepts but also people who are only interested in the use of single applications, or in references to literature and project websites, MoLeaP covers these aspects as well. The option to systematically submit references, e.g. to project websites, to the database makes project websites quotable and allows researchers to refer to such projects in texts by means of references. The categories for the submission of applications and resources differ from the project categories in order to meet the requirements for providing information about applications and resources.
The poster will show a short abstract, followed by an overview on aims, theory, project categories and analysis categories. Also, it will provide a short introduction to the features of the website.
Pachler, N. (2010). The Socio-Cultural Ecological Approach to Mobile Learning: An Overview. In B. Bachmair (Ed.), Medienbildung in neuen Kulturräumen. Die deutschsprachige und britische Diskussion (pp. 153–167). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
Pachler, N., Bachmair, B., & Cook, J. (2010). Mobile learning: structures, agency, practices. New York: Springer. Seipold, J., & Pachler, N. (2010). MoLeaP – The Mobile Learning Project Database: A Pool for Projects and Tool for Systematic Description and Analysis of Mobile Learning Practice. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, 6(1), 157–171. Retrieved from http://www.rcetj.org/index.php/rcetj/article/view/87/192.
Seipold, J., Pachler, N., & Cook, J. (2009). Towards a methodology of researching mobile learning. In N. Pachler & J. Seipold (Eds.), Mobile learning cultures across education, work and leisure. Book of abstracts. Proceedings of the 3rd WLE Mobile Learning Symposium, 27 March 2009 (pp. 121–128). London. Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/symposium/downloads/3rd_wle_mlearning_symposium_-_book_of_abstracts_single_page_display.pdf.
Seipold, J. & The London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG) (2008-2011). MoLeaP – The mobile learning project database/ MoLeaP – Die m-learning Projektdatenbank. Retrieved from http://www.moleap.net.
The London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG) (2007-2011). The London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG). Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net.