Proposal for a Round Table at ECER 2015 in Budapest accepted

Our proposal for a Round Table at the ECER 2015 conference in Budapest was accepted for Network 6 ‘Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures’.

Colleagues involved

  • Judith Seipold (convenor), London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG), CH
  • Norbert Pachler, UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK
  • Klaus Rummler, Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zürich), CH
  • Ben Bachmair, formerly Universität Kassel, DE
  • Maria Ranieri, Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT
  • Keith Turvey, University of Brighton, UK



Mobile Learning: Learning Across Contexts – Learning In Transition.


Mobile learning as a global phenomenon is considered to offer new opportunities for teaching and learning as mobile technologies can be used inter alia to realise personalised and learner centred approaches (see e.g. Sharples, Corlett, and Westmancott, 2001), to find ways to include learners who are at a distance to formal education (see e.g. Pachler, Bachmair, and Cook, 2010), to realise collaborative and networked learning formats (see e.g. Traxler, 2010), to address topics that are related to ethical dimensions in educational contexts (see e.g. Wishart, 2011) etc. This is why some advocates of mobile learning argue it is (a pathfinder for) ‘new’ and ‘future’ learning. However, the question arises why this shift in the belief that learning changes significantly through the use of mobile technologies? What is actually behind populist assumptions such as ‘new’ and ‘future’ learning? In what way does or is learning changing – and what can research, theory, practice and politics contribute and learn from this change?
The round table will adopt a dialogic approach with presenters engaging participants in a critical discussion around topics such as ‘innovation’ and, related to it, the ‘transformation’ of learning that is inherent in the affordances and use of mobile technologies in educational contexts. The round table will discuss mobile learning as agentive and meaningful activity and cultural practice rather than adopt a techno-centric perspective. Impulses for innovation and transformation in learning through mobile learning will be explored as well as differences and commonalities across different European countries; there will also be a consideration of structural limits confronting mobile learning.
The round table will frame learners as drivers of innovation and transformation of learning, and their agency and their cultural practices will be in the foreground. It will also give attention: to structures that are relevant for learners in their learning, appropriation and meaning-making processes; to the educational system that has to react to mobile learning practice in order to ensure sustainability; and to learning theory, practice and methodological implications.
Specific reference will be made to: to participatory narrative methodology (Turvey, 2014); ‘problem spaces’ (Turvey & Pachler, forthcoming); learner generated contexts (Seipold, 2014); contextual learning (Bachmair & Pachler, 2015); social justice as institutional prerequisites within life accomplishment and together with the recognition of difference (Bachmair, forthcoming); mobile storytelling (Ranieri, 2015); consequences for learning and policy development (Seipold, 2012); and to implications for teacher education and teachers’ perspective on mobile learning (Maurer & Rummler, 2014; Turvey, 2014).
Relevant framing questions for discussion at the round table are:

Agency and structures

  • What is the role of learner activity in transformation?
  • What is the relationship between learner agency and structures?

Places and contexts

  • Under which conditions is this merging of contexts fruitful for learning? When is it disruptive?

Benefits and limits

  • What are the benefits of mobile technologies and their affordances for learners, teachers, and the education system?

Role of teachers and learners

  • What are the consequences for the roles of learners and teachers?

Policy, educational system and teacher education

  • What does learner centring mean for institutional learning?
  • What is the impact of the introduction of mobile technologies on educational structures?
  • What systemic action is needed to ensure sustainable structures and approaches?
  • What are the implications for teacher education?

Research and interdisciplinarity

  • What are the relative contributions of different scientific disciplines?


Date, time and place

Will be available by the beginning of July.