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ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice Research

eFuture project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. 2012


Authors: Danguole Rutkauskiene, Daina Gudoniene, Caroline Michalak, Evaldas Karazinas, Harry Greiner, Marian Villanueva, Noel Kelly, Maria Fojk, John Paul Reilly, Shane Mann, Jesus Angel Garcia, Aitor Barrilero, Ana Isabel Charco

Editor Janet Allen

Cover and layout design Aiste Kojelyte

ISBN: 978-0-9560982-3-8


Contents Figures.................................................................................................... 5 Introduction............................................................................................ 9 1. ICT and mobile technologies in practice for Youth at Risk.......... 13 1.1. New methods and new possibilities for the use of ICTs, Web 2.0 and Mobile Learning....................................................... 15 1.1.1. Needs of youth at risk........................................................ 17 Pedagogical innovation.................................................................. 21 WEB 2.0 technologies and applications....................................... 23 Learning and Blogging................................................................... 26 Learning through Podcasting, Screen casting and Video Blogging.......................................................................................... 27 1.6. mLearning Resources.................................................................... 29 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5.

1.6.1. The challenges in mlearning.............................................. 32 1.6.2. The challenges in ICT......................................................... 32

2. Ireland, UK, Spain, Lithuania case (review on teacher‘s questionnaire data)..................................... 35 2.1. ICT for planning and delivery (review on teacher‘s questionnaire data)....................................................................... 37

3. Ireland, UK: ICT and mobile technologies in education (review on student’s questionnaire data).................................... 43 3.1. UK and Irish case........................................................................... 45

4. Spain: ICT and mobile technologies in education (review on student‘s questionnaire data).................................... 71 4.1. ICTS, the clue for the school performance improvement?.......... 73 4.2. Research results in ICT and mobile technologies in education (students case).............................................................................. 76


5. Lithuania: ICT and mobile technologies in education (review on student‘s questionnaire data).................................... 87 5.1. Vicissitude opportunities of the teaching process in Lithuania: teacher’s and student’s needs............................... 94

Conclusions.......................................................................................... 97 Acknowledgements............................................................................ 101 References.........................................................................................102 Annex 1. Questionnaire for students on using ICT and mobile technologies in practise..................................................... 105 Annex 2. Questionnaire for teachers on using ICT and mobile technologies in practise..................................................... 109


Figures


Fig. 1. Mobile phones in the virtual world (http://www.mg-bl.com).30 Fig. 2. Mobile learning platforms (http://www.mg-bl.com)............... 31 Fig. 3. ICT Use for Curriculum Planning and Delivery (UK and Ireland case).......................................................................... 37 Fig. 4. How teachers use ICT in different countries...........................38 Fig. 5. Essential technologies for communication and collaboration with learners..................................................................39 Fig. 6. Where does teacher have access to the Internet to prepare for lessons?..........................................................................................40 Fig. 7. Use of mobile technologies for teaching and tutoring............ 41 Fig. 8a. Being online: Irish case..........................................................48 Fig. 8b. Being online: UK case............................................................49 Fig. 9a. Online activities: Irish case....................................................50 Fig. 9b. Online activities: UK case....................................................... 51 Fig. 10. Social networking: Irish&UK case..........................................52 Fig. 11a. Ireland case..........................................................................53 Fig. 11b. UK case.................................................................................54 Fig. 12a. Irish case...............................................................................55 Fig. 12b. UK case.................................................................................55 Fig. 13a. Obstacles: Irish case............................................................56 Fig. 13b. Obstacles: UK case..............................................................57 Fig. 14. Learning methods: Irish case................................................58 Fig. 15. Learning methods: UK case...................................................59 Fig. 16a. Mobile phones: Irish case....................................................61 Fig. 16b. Mobile phones: UK case......................................................61 Fig. 17a. Short Message Service: Irish case......................................61 Fig. 17b. Short Message Service: UK case........................................62 Fig. 18a. Mobile internet: Irish case...................................................63 Fig. 18b. Mobile internet: UK case.....................................................63 Fig. 19a. Mobile internet services: Irish case....................................64 Fig. 19b. Mobile internet services: UK case.......................................65 Fig. 20a. Multimedia Messaging Services: Irish case.......................65 Fig. 20b. Multimedia Messaging Services: UK case.........................66 Fig. 21a. Multimedia Messaging Services usage: Irish case............66 Fig. 21b. Multimedia Messaging Services usage: UK case..............67 Fig. 22a. Push to Talk over Cellular: Irish case..................................67 Fig. 22b. Push to Talk over Cellular: UK case.....................................68

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Figures

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Fig. 23a. Voice over Internet Protocol: Irish case...............................68 Fig. 23b. Voice over Internet Protocol: UK case.................................69 Fig. 24a. Global Positioning System: Irish case.................................69 Fig. 24b. Global Positioning System: UK case....................................70 Fig. 25. Learner beeing online............................................................ 76 Fig. 26. Online activities......................................................................77 Fig. 27. participation in social networks.............................................78 Fig. 29. Stopping learning about computers and mibile phones......78 Fig. 30. Reasons..................................................................................78 Fig. 31. Methods used by learners.....................................................79 Fig. 32. Mobile phones for learning....................................................79 Fig. 33. SMS service............................................................................80 Fig. 34. Mobile phone possibilities in education...............................81 Fig. 35. Different activities can be developed online by using mobile devices.....................................................................................82 Fig. 36. MMS service...........................................................................82 Fig. 37. GPS in education.....................................................................83 Fig. 38. Gender.....................................................................................84 Fig. 39. Using internet at home...........................................................84 Fig. 40. Learners‘ online activity.........................................................89 Fig. 41. Students‘ online activities......................................................89 Fig. 42. Students on the social networks...........................................90 Fig. 43. Use of social networking sites for learning activities...........90 Fig. 44. Role of ICT in the learning......................................................91 Fig. 45. Reasons stopping learning about computers and mobile phones..............................................................................93 Fig. 46. Internet services through the mobile phone........................94


Introduction


Introduction In today’s world the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has become one of the most influential factors that determine both the present performance and the future conditions for a person, especially for Youth at Risk. ICT change conditions of work and education. We witness an increased demand for qualified personnel, new types of jobs and an emphasis on knowledge and information.

The use of ICT in education has introduced a new set of educational opportunities for educators and students. That is why it is so important to understand the attitudes of educators towards distance education as well as ICT based learning and mobile technologies. Mobile Information and Communication Technologies are important enablers of the new social structure. We are experiencing the first generation of truly portable ICT with the relatively recent advent of small, portable mobile devices that provide telephone, Internet, and data storage and management in products such as: i-Mate, O2, Palm, HP, and Bluetooth (all registered trademarks) that combine mobile telephony, removable memory chips, diaries, email, Web, basic word processing and spreadsheets, and data input, storage, and transfer (K.Peters, 2007). ICT and mobiles have established a new complementarily between formal learning in school and informal learning outside. This research report is an outcome of a European project called eFuture which aims to develop new methods for the use of ICTs, Web 2.0 and mobile learning in education to support Youth at Risk in entering the labour market and progressing to further education. The research activity was designed to identify current trends and

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

ICT mediation in a learning process redefines the traditional teacher – learner relationship and establishes new forms and methods in education. It places emphasis on learning results, i.e. the capability to access a wide range of information but not on the environment of the learning process (e.g. eye-to-eye communication, place, time, etc.). Different ICT and mobile technologies could be used for different social groups, such as Youth at Risk, in the Knowledge Society where technologies mediate new opportunities for learning.

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preferences of teachers and students in regards to the use of ICT and mobile learning in teaching and learning. The key questions framing this research paper are as follows: What are the theoretical debates about the concept of ICT based learning and mobile learning in education for Youth at Risk? What are the needs of Youth at Risk? How could new technologies assure successful delivery of education to this group? The research tasks: ■■ To indentify the needs of the partner countries on using ICT and mobile technologies in education. ■■ To provide recommendations on the implementation of an ICT based platform.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

The survey was carried out using online questionnaires distributed to teachers and students in Lithuania, Ireland, Spain and the UK. Overall 312 students and 67 teachers from second level schools, colleges and a university participated in the survey.

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This research paper explains concepts of providing ICT based learning, focusing on new opportunities and describing the needs of the target group of the eFuture project – a project for Youth at Risk.


1. ICT and mobile technologies in practice for Youth at Risk


1. ICT and mobile technologies in practice for Youth at Risk 1.1. New methods and new possibilities for the use of ICTs, Web 2.0 and Mobile Learning

The eFuture project aims to develop new methods for the use of ICTs, Web 2.0 and Mobile Learning which mainstream education and training providers can adopt to support large numbers of Youth at Risk in order to improve their capacity to enter the labour market and to progress to further education. An ICT model for education providers will be developed that will give guidelines on what Web 2.0 and mobile learning technologies, as well as different pedagogic approaches, work best in meeting different needs of Youth at Risk. In addition, it will provide advice on how best to implement these technologies and approaches in the organisation. The eFuture programme on life and work skills will consist of pick-andmix modules that mainstream education and training providers can implement into existing programmes to transform engagement and learning outcomes for Youth at Risk. Tutor learning resources will be developed as a set of training materials for tutors who want to deliver training with Web 2.0 and mobile technologies for Youth at Risk. The current severe economic downturn is adding to the existing crisis affecting 15-24 year olds in Organisation for Economic Co-Operation

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Every European country has a group of “youth left behind�. Across Member States they share the common fact of being disadvantaged, in many cases from the day they were born. They are mainly young people who never entered a formal path of education, come from an immigrant background and/or live in remote neighbourhoods. Their situation has become even more difficult with the economic crisis that currently affects many countries in Europe. Youth at Risk are now experiencing multiple barriers in accessing the labour market and are at a high risk of exclusion from the EU working society. At the same time, there is growing evidence that innovative ICT, Web 2.0 and Mobile tools can enhance the learning delivery for youth learners and their engagement with mainstream education. The great strength of such learning tools is their capacity to support informal learning, which provides a secure environment for acquiring knowledge and rebuilding confidence among youth learners.

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and Development (OECD) countries, where 12% were characterised as not in employment, education or training (NEET) in 2006. Tackling the Job Crisis (OECD, Paris 2009) warned of the emergence of a “lost generation” as happened in Japan in the 1990’s, when long term unemployment for youth doubled and led to long lasting scarring effects. CEDEFOP (Dec. 2009) cited data for an EU27 unemployment rate of 20.7% for youth compared to 7.9% for older workers, putting poorly educated youth at high risk of exclusion from the labour market. Improving Competencies for the 21st Century (EU 2008) urged a substantial reduction in the numbers of early school leavers and this priority was reflected in the Europe 2020 Agenda adopted in March 2010.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

The scope for using ICTs to help address these kinds of issues was addressed by the study Reaching the most disadvantaged with ICT what works? (OECD 2006). It proposed approaches based on ICTs within constructivist pedagogy but stated that it is seldom seen in programmes for youth despite its obvious potential.

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The use of hand-held mobile devices in education and learning depends entirely on their development and impact as an educational tool. Their main advantage is their portability, which enables them to be used for learning outside the classroom. In general, the educational uses of hand-held mobile devices are as follows: ■■ Enables curricular based learning activities, for example, interactive quizzes, puzzles, mathematical problems etc., to be sent to mobile devices. ■■ Promotes the use of voice, text and multimedia messaging among peer-to-peer mentors and study groups. ■■ Tailors learning for students with special educational needs, for example, by providing learning material with text or audio for students with hearing impairments. ■■ Improves literacy and numeracy levels among students by providing carefully designed lessons. ■■ Facilitates collaborative and project based learning. ■■ Provides the capacity to access Internet resources, for example, revision notes and news updates. ■■ Converges with other technologies, for example laptops, PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistants) MP3 players and data-loggers to


transfer different types of data to a central database where it can be viewed live via a mobile phone. ■■ Allows for the capture of images outside of the classroom which can then be sent back via Multi Media messaging (MMS), where the message can include not just text, but also sound, images and video. ■■ Facilitates wireless access to the Internet when used with a laptop, hence providing Internet access to students and teachers from any location in the school (National Centre for Technology in Education, Nov 2008).

When talking about the alternative education and programs for at-risk students we need to think about focusing on determining “essential” elements of programs that will help these students to gain knowledge and to finish school successfully. The research contains numerous lists of essential elements required to adapt programmes and to use ICT based learning, escpecially for the youth at risk group. Depending on the focus of the research or evaluation, the lists may vary slightly to accommodate the specific needs of dropouts, students with special needs, disabilities or other populations. Different alternatives for learning could be served for wide variety of youth at risk with varying interests, backgrounds and abilities. The literature includes research on several specific groups of youth at risk that are expected to benefit from alternative education. The most investigated among these populations are children who have dropped out of their regular schools or who are at risk of dropping out because of failure in a conventional school setting. It is essential that educators realize that a wide range of students can become at risk of school failure. Students at risk of dropping out are not necessarily those with the least intellectual ability, and that standard labels for student characteristics do not capture the nature of the interaction between at-risk students and the school. Ireland. Why we are looking at ICT for Youth at risk? There is a necessity to find alternative teaching methodologies as a means of improving retention and attendance rates for the school. Technology is part of a young person’s life outside of school and it follows it should

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

1.1.1. Needs of youth at risk

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become part of their life in school. How the target group for research was selected? As part of the school’s transition year program, every Transition Year student (aged between 14-16) was timetabled for a three week taster programme in the following areas: (1) The use of the Internet as a research tool. (2) A games programme called Scratch (3) Windows Movie Maker®. From this group of 95 students, a group of 50 students was selected. The selection criteria used were at risk factors i.e. attendance, family history of early school leaving, academic ability and levels of interest in the “taster programme”.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

United Kingdom. Why we are looking at ICT for Youth at risk? Youth at Risk are youth that are disengaged or those in danger of disengaging. This is a section of our youth who feel that education is not for them, that education is letting them down. Our objective is to try and reengage them, to offer them alternative ways to access education.

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Digital Technology has the potential to reach disengaged learners through motivational learning content in games and through the chance to access learning without having to attend institutions. ICT is a just one way that we can attempt to re-engage Youth at Risk. It offers the possibility of “personalising” the educational experience and giving the Youth at Risk some measure of control over how, when and where they learn. In taking the approach of “bite-size” ICT based learning opportunities we are giving Youth at Risk the opportunity to learn in small bursts, at a time and place, that is more of their own choice. “Evidence collected from Connexions’ Personal Advisors, teachers working with NEET youngsters and interviews with NEET youngsters themselves suggested that young people who were NEET were significantly less likely to have access to the internet and broadband connection. One member of the Connexions team suggested that as many as 40% of NEET youngsters did not have internet access and there was further evidence to support this view from a small survey of NEET youngsters undertaking a one day a week course to help to develop their work skills and qualifications, where 5 of the 12 students reported that they did not have access to the internet at home or in the hostel. In individual interviews with NEET young people, this was a keenly felt grievance...”[33]. The BECTA report “Assessing the potential of e-learning to support reengagement amongst young people with not in education, employment or training (NEET) status: An independent research and evaluation


study”, April 2008 found that “The findings of this study indicate that there is a clear case that ICT has a place in supporting young people 16- to 18-years-old who are NEET. However, the development of the implementation of appropriate support practices will not be simple. It is made more difficult because of the wide variety of differences that exist across the population of young people who are NEET. No single ‘one size fits all’ solution will be effective. Rather, a set of solutions that focus on different groups of young people, within a system that offers sufficient social intervention to engage young people who are NEET, will need to be identified” [34].

Spain. The definition of Youth at Risk (YAR). In general terms, YAR could be defined as those young people who are disengaged or about to disengage from studies and consequently suffer social exclusion, which has been defined by the European Commission as “…a process whereby certain individuals are pushed to the edge of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, or lack of basic competences and lifelong learning opportunities, or as a result of discrimination. This distances them from job, income, education and training opportunities, as well as social and community networks and activities. They have little access to power and decision-making bodies and thus often feel powerless and unable to take control over the decisions that affect their day to day lives”. Yet, YAR is not a homogeneous group of people as it is composed of a multiplicity of categories such as: “…marginalized youth, young offenders, long-term unemployed youth who are suffering the terrible consequences of the present crisis and NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and different factors and situations that put them at risk such as: dropping out of school, having a dysfunctional family, being in care, suffering from drug abuse, being homeless, etc” [35]. Our Objective: ■■ Avoid school abandonment, ■■ Try to reengage YAR.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

How the target group for research was selected? The target group for research in the UK was selected in two ways: drawn from postcode areas which historically showed significant dropout and disengagement rates and drawn from courses within the College and partner schools that historically showed particularly high dropout rates.

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Why ICTs?: e-Inclusion is necessary to ensure that “nobody is left behind” looking for the best implementation of technological resources and the best collaboration between parents, teachers and intermediaries. According to European programmes like INCLUSO, there is a significant body of evidence to suggest that ICTs, and particularly Web 2.0, can contribute positively to reengage and foster the socio-economic inclusion of young people. Some of the contributions of ICTs:

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■

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Inculcation of digital literacy and numeracy, Supporting team-working, Reducing stigmatization, Reducing “gang antagonism” and gang feuds, Increased confidence and self-esteem, Increasing motivation to learn more, Reduced marginalization.

Lithuania. There are several issues to consider in the area of special education and alternative learning possibilities for youth at risk by developing or adapting learning programs to ICT based learning. Some studies in Lithuania suggest that students with disabilities or special needs, such as the youth at risk group, Special ICT based education having more flexibility to study, gain new knowledge and to finish school successfully. According to current estimates, and youth at risk needs analysis of young people (aged 15-29) in the EU, they make up about one fifth of total population, but this rate is expected to drop to 15.3% by 2050. Regarding levels of education achieved by these young people, “more than 50% of young Europeans between 25 and 29 have completed upper secondary education and 29% higher education” but “less than one third of young people who have a disadvantaged socioeconomic background, complete upper secondary”. There is a need to make sense of the rapidly evolving and controversial theoretical debates and discourses that shape the domain of ICT, inclusion and youth, and to contribute to supporting consensus and “sense-making” in definition, evaluation and measurement. In this section, we present the elements discussed regarding what is known about the uses of ICT by young people, and by Youth at Risk.


1.2. Pedagogical innovation Information Communication Technologies introduced a new set of educational opportunities for educators and students. Analyzing the advantages that are provided to the learner by IT mediated education, different authors (such as Jackson, K.H. (2002), Gorski, P. (2001), Normantas, E., Rutkauskiene, D., Targamadze, A., Vidziunas, A. (1999)) emphasise the following: 1. Increased amount of information. The resources and materials

available via the World Wide Web expand information supply to a virtually infinite degree. The virtual libraries, collections of articles, dialogue forums, various databases, and historical archives from all around the world are available for everyone who uses the Internet. of interactive learning. These interactive opportunities can transcend the potential of most other educational media as a means to connect students with first person sources beyond classroom walls and national borders and across cultures. Information technologies allow interactive communication: students can ask specific questions regarding any topic to an expert in the respective field. Many sites, such as Discussion Forums, are designed to facilitate dialogue and the sharing of ideas among educators and students.

3. Interdisciplinary and multicultural perspectives in learning. At a

global level, e-learning provides individuals with wide intercultural competence, and social and global awareness. The use of World Wide Web and mobile technology resources allow learners to view the same issue from different cultural, national, and religious perspectives which cannot be done during traditional lessons/ lectures.

4. On-the-job

training opportunities. E-Learning provides an opportunity to learn without leaving the work place (Redecker et al., 2009).

Social computing tools (Web 2.0 technologies) are expected to enhance learning processes and outcomes in a number of ways. Firstly, it is believed students will respond better to the changed

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

2. Opportunities

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

cognitive processes and learning patterns that have evolved due to the ubiquity and widespread use of Information and Communication Technologies, thus facilitating knowledge acquisition. Furthermore, they reflect current communication and working patterns and are thus better fitted to preparing learners for the demands of society and endowing them with the necessary skills for a successful professional career (Attwell, 2007). Moreover, social computing tools recognise the diversity of users and are thus expected to contribute to the personalisation of educational experiences, offering opportunities for flexible, distributed learning, which could provide learners with more varied opportunities to engage with learning and develop their own creative skills (Rudd et al., 2006a,b,c; Green et al., 2005; Fischer & Sugimoto, 2006). Social computing applications are expected to promote independent, autonomous and self-directed learners endowed with a variety of social skills that enable them to connect, interact and collaborate successfully with a variety of people on different tasks and in diverse environments.

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Education institutions are susceptible to all of these strategies, although focus and implementation differ substantially between higher and secondary or primary education. Learning 2.0 opportunities outside the institutional framework, arise in particular, by combining networking potential of social computing with its strength in providing learning opportunities tailored to individual needs and preferences, especially for Youth at Risk. Teachers benefit in particular from social networking tools as they allow them to build up communities of practice for the exchange of knowledge, material and experiences. Evidence on adult education, workplace training and informal learning in general is scarce; the scope of Learning 2.0 strategies in this area is indicated under the heading “personal development” (Redecer at al.). Learning 2.0 is an emergent phenomenon, fostered by the bottom-up take up of social computing (or ‘Web 2.0’) in educational contexts. Although social computing originated outside of educational institutions, it has huge potential in formal Education and Training (E&T) for enhancing learning processes and outcomes and supporting the modernisation of European Education and Training (E&T) institutions. Many different tools and technologies are used for study processes to assure ICT and learning enhancement.


1.3. WEB 2.0 technologies and applications The tools based on Web 2.0 technologies allow learners to communicate and collaborate with teachers, among themselves and with other internet users. “Generally “Web 2.0� is commonly associated with web development and web design that facilitates interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the Internet. Web 2.0 also refers to a group of technologies that have become deeply associated with blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds, media sharing and social-networking sites, etc. that facilitates a more socially connected Web where everyone is able to add and edit online content.

E-learning 2.0 refers to second generation e-learning, which uses technologies of Social Web or Web 2.0, such as collaborative authoring and social annotation, in order to enhance e learning environments (Ghali, 2009). In e-learning 2.0 both students and teachers are involved in content creation and contribution process. E-Learning 2.0 is the next generation of e-Learning, that extends e-Learning 1.0 with new technological possibilities, provided by Web 2.0 services, in combination with social notion, which expresses in changed look on collaboration and sharing in educational process. There are a number of Web-based services and applications that demonstrate the foundations of the Web 2.0 concept, and they are already being used to a certain extent in education. These include blogs, wikis, and multimedia sharing services, content syndication, podcasting and content tagging services that are integrated to different platforms or campuses and are used for assuring successful online learning (Gudoniene et al.). Current use of Web 2.0: Social computing applications are currently not deployed on a large scale in formal Education and Training in Europe. However, there are a vast number and variety of locally-

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

The Social Web can play a vital role in changing the current Web from a Web of information to a Web of knowledge, essential for e-learning environments. On the Social Web, every web page is a resource for the community and every member of the community can evaluate, edit and share content with others. E-Learning with a combination of Social Web and Web 2.0 technologies, brought forward a new term: E-learning 2.0. (Ghali, 2009).

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embedded Web 2.0 initiatives all over Europe, which illustrate the variety and scope of Web 2.0 approaches in formal E&T. The following general approaches towards using social computing in formal educational settings can be discerned:

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

1. Opening up to Society: Many educational institutions appropriate

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social computing as a means of facilitating access to information by current and prospective students, making institutional processes more transparent and facilitating the distribution of educational material. In some cases, social computing tools are used to encourage the involvement of third parties, e.g. parents, prospective future employers or external experts. 2. Embracing Diversity: In a number of cases, social computing applications are used as a means of integrating learning into a wider community, reaching out to virtually meet people from other age-groups and socio-cultural backgrounds and linking to experts. They are channels for gaining knowledge and enhancing skills. From this point of view, Web 2.0 enables students to broaden their horizons, and collaborate across borders, language barriers, and institutional walls, thus anchoring their learning experiences in a rich world of diverse cultures, traditions, languages and opinions. 3. Networking: In many cases, social computing applications are primarily conceived of as communication tools among students or teachers and between students and teachers. The examples studied demonstrate that social networking tools (1) support the exchange of knowledge and material; (2) facilitate community building, providing teachers and learners with social environments that offer assistance and (emotional) support; and (3) provide platforms for collaboration, allowing teachers and learners to jointly develop (educational) content. 4. Achieving: Web 2.0 approaches can be used as a means to increase academic achievement. Social computing provides learners and teachers with a wide variety of didactical and methodological tools that can be adapted to their respective learning objectives and individual needs with a positive effect on their performance and achievement. Research evidence suggests that Web 2.0 strategies can be used successfully to enhance individual motivation, improve learner


participation and foster social and learning skills. They can further contribute to the development of higher order cognitive skills like reflection and meta-cognition, increase self-directed learning skills and enable individuals to better develop and realise their personal potential. implement pedagogical strategies intended to support, facilitate, enhance and improve learning processes. As the cases gathered illustrate, Web 2.0 tools are very versatile in accommodating diverse learning needs and preferences by addressing different sensory channels; by supplying more engaging (multimedia) learning environments; by supporting personalised ways of retrieving, managing and transforming information; by equipping learners and teachers with a variety of adaptable tools; and by integrating students into collaborative networks that facilitate the joint production of content and offer peer support and assistance. Thus, they allow for the implementation of learning strategies that are tailored to each learner’s individual preferences, interests and needs; providing learning environments which are better suited to accommodating individual differences, and supporting differentiation in heterogeneous learner groups.

The impact of Web 2.0: E-Learning 2.0 approaches promote the technological, pedagogical and organisational innovation in formal E&T. Social computing gives rise to technological innovation in E&T by (1) increasing the accessibility and availability of learning content; (2) providing new formats for knowledge dissemination, acquisition and management; (3) allowing for the production of dynamic learning resources and environments of high quality and interoperability; (4) embedding learning in more engaging and activating multimedia environments; (5) supporting individualised learning processes by allowing learner preferences to be accounted for; and (6) equipping learners and teachers with versatile tools for knowledge exchange and collaboration which overcome the limitations of face-to-face instruction. Using different technologies and tools is very popular today. Social computing and mobile technologies promote pedagogical innovation by encouraging teaching and learning processes that are based on

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

5. Learning: In many cases, social computing tools are used to

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personalisation and collaboration. As a consequence, interaction patterns between and among students and teachers are changed and the roles of teachers and learners are being re-defined. The teacher’s role is changing. Teachers have become designers, coordinators, moderators, mediators and mentors, rather than instructors or lecturers. Students do not only have to take responsibility for their own learning progress, but also have to support each other in their learning endeavours and jointly create the learning content and context. Learners need to assume a pro-active role in the learning process and develop their own – individual and collective – rules and strategies for learning. The learners from the social group of Youth at Risk are very active in using Web 2.0 technologies as well as mobile technologies. These enable them to intensify their collaboration with teachers regarding the study process. Web 2.0 technologies provide for a more dynamic, flexible and open learning environment than traditional approaches.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

1.4. Learning and Blogging

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A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reversechronological order. (Wikipedia, 2011). The blog has a number of potential areas where it can be used in education. The Blog can be used to replace the traditional web page. For example, a Lecturer could post the course literature and notes, recommended reading lists, calendars and all commonly offered documents and notifications. This in itself does not present anything new but it does provide a chronological sequence to the added information and makes the effort required to upload the comments easier for a lecturer, it does not require the same level of technical expertise when developing a traditional website (Carty, 2007). Students can be required to complete a blog as part of the module; the blog content would be the student’s critical analysis and opinions on content they were introduced to in each class. Students can use a blog as an on-line filling cabinet where they can post and store their documents from the first day they attend the institution until the last.


Blogs expand the walls of the classroom; they allow students to communicate with other students and groups with similar interests. Blogging provides students who may be reluctant to ask questions in the lecture hall, the opportunity to ask these questions after the initial lecture. A lecturer could upload the different components of each module and encourage students to ask questions. The linking characteristic of a Blog also promotes the referencing of information to the respective source. Blogs can be used to publish examples of completed assignments, either an assignment from a former/current student or example answers created by other persons or the lecturer. Lecturers can offer surveys to students on each topic or class or also ask students for feedback on a lecture. The blog can then be used to present the information and open discussions to ameliorate course content dissemination (Richardson 2007; Carty, 2007).

1.5. Learning through Podcasting, Screen Casting and Video Blogging The audio and video blog are tools which both the auditory and visual learner respectively will embrace. An audio blog is also known as a podcast. A podcast is relatively easy to create and does not require any great level of expertise. A lecturer can record all or parts of their own lecture and make it available to students or they may offer podcasts which are created by other experts. The podcast has created a new library of knowledge different in medium to the traditional text book library. http://WWW.indiepodder. org is a website that contains hundreds of podcasts ranging from

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

This provides great opportunity for reflection upon work studied and provides an ability to share information. At the end of undergraduate college life a student would have an easily accessible area in which to develop a detailed curriculum vitae or portfolio which could be made available to prospective employers. Educational institutions can also use Web Logs as their web pages, each community and faculty could contribute to the web page removing the fact that many institution web pages are not regularly updated. It would obviously be good practice to designate a web master who would review the content before it is published (Downes 2004; Richardson 2007, Carty, 2007).

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business to bicycle topics. A second podcast library website is www. podcastalley.com which hosts over twenty thousand podcasts on topics ranging from science to sports and from computing to television (Richardson 2007, Carty, 2007).

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

The site, www.youtube.com is the most popular video publishing web site currently available, a simple search of the site offers results for many different subjects of educational offerings from individuals throughout the world. The aforementioned sites not only provide a source of information for consumption but also provide a website in which the student may publish their own thoughts and opinions in both textual and visual formats. Educational institutions could record students or lecturers for their University blogs or web sites welcoming students and could also record tours of the campus in an attempt to attract prospective students. Librarians in Universities could record tours of the library showing students how to access resources and knowledge repositories.

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Not only are sites such as those described previously growing in popularity and content, but education specific podcasting websites are growing. Podcasts for education is a UK (http://recap.ltd.uk/ podcasting/) based website that lists over four hundred carefully selected podcast channels for educational use. This site lists podcast topics including history, foreign languages, quantum theory, computer science and medicine. The education podcast network (http://epnweb.org) provides over five hundred podcast links broken into their respective categories, which includes computer skills, information skills, social studies and mathematics (Richardson 2007, Carty, 2007). Screen casting is a relatively new technique which involves recording exactly what is displayed on the computer screen. The lecturer can also make use of a microphone and record their narration if they wish. Imagine the advantage a student has if they can first view the demonstration of a computer application, programming routine or any other topic in class and watch it again when they need to revise for examinations or assignments (Richardson 2007, Carty, 2007).

1.6. mLearning Resources


■■ (2G) Second Generation – Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is an example of a digital network which allows for data to be sent and received, ■■ Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) – This is a protocol for enabling wireless access to the Internet. WAP phones have the capacity to browse specifically written Web pages on the Internet, ■■ (2.5G) General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) – This technology allows faster data transmission and Internet access rates as it is “always on”, unlike WAP, which uses a dial-up connection, ■■ Bluetooth – This enables wireless communication and data transfer between different types of hardware devices, for example, PC’s, PDA’s etc., ■■ (3G) Third Generation – These systems are being implemented worldwide and will allow much faster connection speeds. They combine voice and data transmission and promise a wide range of advanced multimedia services to mobile users. The use of mobile phones, or other Internet enabled handheld devices, in education and learning is in its infancy, and depends entirely on their development and impact as an educational tool. Their main advantage is their portability, which enables them to be used for learning outside the classroom. In general, the educational uses of mobile phones are as follows: enables curricular based learning activities, for example, interactive quizzes, puzzles, mathematical problems etc., to be sent to mobiles [28]. Project partner’s countries already have different experiences in using mobile technologies such as when the mobile phone becomes as a bridge to the knowledge

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

A mobile phone is a handheld device that allows different possibilities such as messages (text, voice and multimedia) to be sent to another phone or group of phones. The vast majority of mobile phones have the capacity to also store information, play games and use calculators. More advanced phones have the ability to send and receive email and access an environment similar to the Internet. In general, mobile phones consist of a number of intricate components, such as a SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) card, circuit board, display screen, keyboard, microphone, speaker, battery and an antenna. Sophisticated networks and protocols facilitate the communication of voice, text and multimedia data between mobile phones. Examples of these are as follows [28]:

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society as in the UK example described below. Mobile technology in education involves facilitating the educational

Fig. 1. Mobile phones in the virtual world (http://www.mg-bl.com).

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

use of mobile phones, PDA devices etc. These services can support a variety of pedagogical paradigms and activities. The technologies being considered include: SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), WAP 2.0, DRM (Digital Rights Management), PoC (Push to Talk over Cellular), VoIP (Voice over IP), NFC (Near Field Communication), and GPS/AGPS (Assisted GPS).

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Mobile Communication is beginning to move away from line switched towards packet switched networks. At the same time, much technological convergence is taking place. This means that quite often the same content and same services can be used, shared and developed by compatible mobile devices and computers. Mobile learning is unique because it allows personalised learning anywhere, anytime. It can also be used to enrich, enliven or add variety to conventional lessons or courses. A lot of projects have been implemented based on mobile technologies and mLearning where an obvious benefit is that technology-supported learning can take place in many different locations. Perhaps more importantly, MoLeNET 2 projects found that mobile technology ‘provides learners with choice over and ownership of their learning’ and ‘with good planning in place, mobile technologies can encourage creativity and innovation by both learners and teachers’. They can also provide ‘a safe, private and non-judgemental environment for learners to try out ideas and make mistakes in order to progress’ while taking them out of the usual learning locations and sometimes into workplaces. This enables them to support ‘real world problemsolving’, which ‘encourages the development of complex ideas and


knowledge transfer’. At an institutional level benefits include improved learner attendance, retention and achievement, plus improved communication, staff motivation and increased ability of the institution to meet learner expectations. Projects also reported ‘closer relationships between ICT and curriculum staff’ and a new ‘buzz of excitement and enthusiasm’ within the institutions. Handheld technologies proved to be very useful for work-based and vocational learners, particularly in providing more convenient and timely access to learning resources, the internet, and assisting with evidence-gathering and assessment. They have also helped to engage reluctant learners and those who have not previously thrived in educational environments (MoLeNET 2).

Mobile learning using handheld devices is a good solution. Mobile

Fig. 2. Mobile learning platforms (http://www.mg-bl.com).

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

A software platform was developed, where the real and the virtual world can be connected in different ways. For example: graphical codes on buildings which can be read by camera phones. One of the most important advantages of these games is that they can be used as stand-alone applications, but also as support for traditional classroom-based learning processes.

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Learning enables users, teachers and Instructors to use their hand held devices as Pocket PCs and Mobile Phones for self learning, development and training. The beauty of the solution is that it allows the learners to read from a customized interactive interface for the mobile devices and it allows Instructors , who don’t have programming abilities, to improve and develop their own training courses, learning material, quizzes and surveys. The research on ICT and mobile technologies in education will be developed in the framework of the eFuture project and will aggregate different perspectives for teachers and students in using ICT and mobile technologies.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

1.6.1. The Challenges in mLearning

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Usually the learners are multi-tasking, media-savvy and always on the move. The learners use internet-enabled mobile devices for social communication and gathering information and want to be able to learn anytime, anywhere. Mobile content developed and presented by teachers has to be quick to use and effective - on the way to school or between classes students want to revise their knowledge and get the support they need in a clear and compact form. Education providers need to keep up with the fast-paced environment and adjust to the new, personalized learning styles in order to remain competitive. The designed content needs to be accessed from a whole range of mobile devices such as tablet PCs or smart phones and also be used on a desktop PC.

1.6.2. The Challenges in ICT ICT is very important in today’s education – it adds value to an educational process. The users today tend to choose traditional textbooks that are complemented by their digital equivalents or supplements. Different tools and environments give us the possibility to develop the content to be interactive and interesting to any age group by transferring textbooks into interactive books and create complementary interactive lessons for both mobile and computer use, together with assessment content. The learners need to be involved in the online learning process


and to benefit from social interaction while learning, consequently, collaborative online learning can be quite productive.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

This section presents findings from a survey carried out with teachers in Ireland, Lithuania, Spain and the UK. Teachers were asked to fill in an online questionnaire which was designed to measure the extent to which they are using ICT and mobile technologies in the planning and delivery of teaching and learning. In total, 67 teachers filled out the questionnaire and they represented three education levels: second level schools, vocational/further education and higher education institutions.

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2. Ireland, UK, Spain, Lithuania Case (review on teacher‘s questionnaire data)


2. Ireland, UK, Spain, Lithuania Case (review on teacher‘s questionnaire data) 2.1. ICT for Planning and Delivery (review on teacher‘s questionnaire data)

The studies show that the majority of teachers – even 83.3% in Lithuania, 86 % in UK, 87.5 % in UK and 100 % in Ireland - have ICT knowledge and skills and can develop content and deliver training using approaches based on various ICT (Fig 1). In most cases, the training process is organized using blended learning (through the use of ICT on the Internet and face meeting in classes); however, in any case, it is essential to ensure that the training content would be developed qualitatively and the accessibility and validity of ICT tools for content imbibing.

Fig. 3. ICT Use for Curriculum Planning and Delivery.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Information communication technologies are the whole of digital approaches and tools which allow creating, collecting, storing, transforming and disseminating the information. It is important to emphasize that the purpose of information that is transferred using these technologies is to define, communicate, collaborate, and share information, all of this is ensured by various ICT tools. ICT has an impact on nearly every aspect of our lives - from working to socialising, from learning to playing. With regard to an educational context, the purpose of ICT could be comprehended widely for use as general learning, cooperative learning, reflection, etc. The digital age has transformed the way young people communicate, network, seek help, access information and learn. Teachers must identify that young people are now an online population in which they access through a variety of means such as computers, TV and mobile phones.

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

The use of new technologies is very important for curriculum planning and delivering. These technologies can be mixed with individualized constructive learning strategies. Social skills are acquired through regular communication, active sharing of your knowledge and experience, and general group activities in virtual learning environments or social networks. ICT is rapidly changing the relationships between teachers and students, and helps contribute to new information and knowledge receiving methods and other students’ activities. The purpose of information technology training is to aim the student’s technological knowledge and skills at a better understanding of school objects, educational ability and willingness to communicate, not only with surrounding community and family, but also with their peers around the world. ICT offers particular opportunities to develop the student’s daily activity, use the advantage of letter, word and image as a communication tool for developing of independence, search for information and process it, plan daily activities and improve personal skills. Many of the respondents state that they use various ICT for teaching and delivery (~83.3%), lesson planning and assessing and evaluating (64% in Spain, 68 % in Lithuania, and 87% in the UK and 100 % in Ireland) (Fig 4).

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Fig. 4. How teachers use ICT in different countries.


Fig. 5. Essential technologies for communication and collaboration with learners.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Information education and encouragement of the use of ICT effectively and regularly form students’ computer literacy and modern working skills. The purpose of teachers and educators is to help and encourage the students to use advantages of modern technology flexibly and creatively in order to reach learning objectives and educate their personal values. In education, there should be development of innovation curiosity, willingness to learn new and more effective activity approaches, interest in new technologies which allow training content faster and more effectively, culture of online space, respect for ethical and moral values, building self-esteem and respect for others. ICT encourages students’ creativity, ability to work as a part of a team and to communicate in the global information technology environment. The majority of respondents say that the communication and collaboration is very important on the Internet, as well as its management and use.

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If ICT knowledge is acquired consistently, it could be mixed with a variety of subjects and topics. All of which could improve the education of today’s learner competencies. ICT can be very useful for developing the skills of communication, cognitive, work and business activities and competencies which help students to gather information, educate abilities and skills, and adopt them in daily practical work and achieve learning objectives.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

In many cases, the respondents noted that they have access to the Internet to prepare for lessons at home and at work. Part of the respondents (66.7%) prepare for lessons at the library, and even less of the participants (33.3%) prepare for their lessons using mobile technologies.

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Fig. 6. Where does teacher have access to the Internet to prepare for lessons?

Mobile technology is becoming an increasingly important tool for the organization of the learning process. Figure 7 shows what functions of mobile phones are used by learners. Various training and learning


opportunities can be ensured using mobile phones. Such tools like Short Message Service, Multimedia Messaging Service, WAP, PoC can ensure communication and collaboration. In many cases, teachers use Short Messaging Service as a reminder or as a tool for transferring of information.

Mobile technologies are becoming more sophisticated and we should use their advantages for learning objectives. We can say that learners who are older than 10 years have mobile phones and could use them to satisfy their learning needs. While E-learning can be organized as independent learning, it still requires the need to sit at the computer. The next step is called m-Learning, which allows learning not only in one place. Handheld computer devices provide the opportunity to move freely and learn together though wireless connection. Thus, m-Learning is one more step toward the student who is learning at their own pace. There are new technologies which are actively developing in today’s society, for example GPS technologies. This tool allows you to display learning objectives in a real environment and provide them to learners.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 7. Use of mobile technologies for teaching and tutoring.

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3. Ireland, UK: ICT and Mobile Technologies in Education (review on student’s questionnaire data)


3. Ireland, UK: ICT and Mobile Technologies in Education (review on student’s questionnaire data) 3.1. UK and Irish cases From listening to music, to taking and editing pictures of teachers, the young community have found various ways to misuse the new technology being made available to them in such small and compact mobile phones. Obviously, anything that can disrupt learning, or teaching, cannot be accepted in a classroom environment and should be dealt with accordingly. It is an opinion that as technology advances at such a blistering pace, policies such as ‘mobile phones should be switched off and in your bag’, can be modified to benefit not only students, but teachers and schools alike.

Nowadays mobile phones can be as useful to people as a pencil and paper. The ability to download ‘apps’ to phones such as the iPhone can also make it, not only personalised, but useful for people in most situations. From word processing software to a program that keeps an eye on the stock market, the range of potential uses can just not be argued with. So if this level of technology can benefit city workers to journalists, why can it not be taken into advantage at school? Instead of taking out a dictionary, students could simply use a translator, and instead of trawling through books for a piece of literature, they could find the book online and be directed to a specific word, and so on. The specific area that the Centre for Health Informatics in Trinity College is involved in is online communities for children in hospital. Research has proven that children with chronic medical conditions suffer from a number of psychosocial problems due to their feelings of isolation, which can hinder their treatment and recovery. They are faced with a myriad of challenges that their healthy peers may never experience. Challenges that impact a child’s ability to cope socially, emotionally, and or physically are often referred to as ‘psychosocial’ challenges and include isolation, change in family dynamics, and loss of social interaction with peers. These problems can hinder a child’s treatment and recovery.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Mobile phones can cause huge distractions not only for students, but for teachers as well. Also mobile phones can be a danger to the school environment; however they can have their benefits in the classroom.

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

The Centre for Health Informatics has been developing and researching virtual environments for children in hospital since 2001. The culmination of the research has resulted in the development of an interactive portal called Áit Eile (Another World) www.aiteile.ie and with the latest research, a new initiative called Solas. Solas similar to Áit Eile, facilitates communications through video link, email, live chat and SMS texting (as mobile phones are prohibited in the hospital) and also provides for creativity. The children can compose music, create pieces of art, listen to audio books, play games and they even have their own blog space. In the case of Solas we are dealing with more chronically ill children who are undergoing severe treatment regimes and whose condition necessitates them to be in protective isolation for long periods at a time. They are restricted in their access to visitors from family and friends, and can often suffer as a consequence. Based on comprehensive analysis of needs of this particular target group a more focused and customized system has been developed. In May 2004 the success of Áit Eile was recognised at European level when the project received a prize at the eEurope awards for eHealth. [22]

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Ericsson Education Ireland began work in the field of mobile learning in 1999. The Leonardo da Vinci “From e-learning to m-learning” project, led by Ericsson Education Ireland, addressed the development of courseware for mobile phones, smart phones and PDAs. What was important about this project was that the main pedagogical problems of developing mobile learning for PDAs were solved in the project in which a comfortable didactic environment was created by using Microsoft Reader Works, providing each student with Microsoft Reader software to display the content and which was adjudged highly satisfactory by surveys of students who had studied a full course by mobile learning on a PDA. As the major objection raised against mobile learning is screen size, it was important that this problem was solved and by-passed at the outset. The main activities of this project were to achieve the production of acceptable courseware for smart phones in XHTML. Also in this project the next generation of mobile learning course development was based on FlashLite. FlashLite is a toned down version of Flash designed for mobile devices. The use of FlashLite development was motivated by the fact that there are thousands of developers who have used Flash to develop eLearning content and that there is a lot of eLearning content available in Flash, so for the first time in the


history of m-Learning you can reuse the pedagogical and technical skills of the developers and the content as well.

EE Ireland ran another project called “The incorporation of mobile learning into mainstream education and training.” The thesis of this project is quite different from that of the previous projects. The thesis is that it is now time for mobile learning to emerge from its project status and enter into mainstream education and training – as the related fields of distance education and e-learning have done before it. For the first time a mobile learning project is focusing on the field as a whole and not on the development of mobile learning for an institution or a group of institutions. The trouble with projects is that they tend to collapse and disappear when the project funding is discontinued. What usually happens is that the project group is dispersed, staff contracted in for the project are let go, other staff discontinue their work and move to other tasks, and the expertise built up by the project group is dissipated and not maintained. The University of Ulster, Magee College, Northern Ireland, has found that the sending of SMS messages to students who have been identified as being at risk, has been a very successful approach for keeping students in the system and for maintaining the government per capita grant. The University of Ulster sent out messages to students of the type “Sorry, we missed you today”. The university feared that this might be intrusive. On the contrary the students did not find it intrusive at all. The students loved it and wanted the university to expand the service to other areas – like assignment deadlines. Children and young people in Ireland, as shown throughout the “Risks and safety for children on the internet: the Ireland report“(2011), in

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

The IST project “M-Learning” was led by the United Kingdom government Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA). This project had an important social dimension. It recognised that in the United Kingdom there were many 16 to 20 year old youths who were unemployed and had urgent needs for additional training, but who refused to attend a training centre or college. They all had, however, a mobile phone which they used constantly. The project, therefore, set out to develop courses for them on their mobile phones in the fields of literacy, numeracy and social skills.

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

many respects are among the leaders in most aspects on internet use compared to their counterparts from across Europe. Use of the internet at home among Irish children is well above the European average (87% vs. 62%). Access via school or college is much the same (66% vs. 63%). Using the internet ‘when out and about’ is also higher for children in Ireland than in Europe generally (21% vs. 9%) reflecting the growing popularity of mobile internet access through smart phones, laptops and other handheld devices. 53% of children use the internet daily or nearly daily. This rises to nearly three quarters of 15-16 year olds. However, this is somewhat behind the European average of 60% and well below the high figures of 80% daily use reached among Northern European and Scandinavian countries. Similarly in relation to time spent online, Ireland lies below European norms. Irish children spend just over one hour per day online (61 minutes). In the United Kingdom, by contrast, children spend about 50% more time online (99 minutes per day on average).

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eFuture online survey questionnaire was filled by 48 3rd-5th year students (62.5% male, 37.5% female) from Ireland and 86 college students from UK (44.9% male, 55.1% female). All students have a computer at home and use the Internet at home as well. Students provided their approach to computers and mobile phones usage for education. Students spend a lot of time online: 66.3% of respondents in the UK and 43.8% of Irish students spend more than 2 hours online every day. It is interesting that the majority of Irish students (52.1%) spend 1-2 hours online per day. [Fig. 8a, 8b].

Fig. 8a. Being online: Irish case.


Respondents provided information that more than 52.1% young people are usually online for different aims – from learning to playing games.

Online activities differ depending on country. Main online activities for Irish students are chatting with friends (74.5%) and playing online games (42.6%), but only 19% of respondents reported studying for school subjects [Fig. 13a]. UK students prefer many things online: chatting with friends (71.8%), studying for school subjects (70.6%), surfing to learn new things (61.2%) and others [Fig. 13b]. Maybe UK students have more subjects to study online at school, and it is a reason why they spend much more time for e-learning as compared to their Irish peers. Otherwise, Irish students love online communication and social networks much more than in the UK. Almost every Irish student has a profile on a social networking site like MySpace, Xanga or Facebook (93.8%), as compared to the UK where this number is 87%. The majority of Irish (62.5%) and UK (61.5%) students have never used social networking sites for school/homework or other learning activities [Fig. 9]. However, given students’ activity on social networks could be a reason to use social networking for educational purposes.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 8b. Being online: UK case.

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 9a. Online activities: Irish case.

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In the UK, two distinct categories of teen engagement with digital media were identified: friendship and interest. While friendship participation centered on discussions with existing friends, interest participation involved accessing online information and communication communities in different social networks. It was found that young people are learning basic social and technical skills through their use of digital media 70.6% of respondents are studying different school subjects. Chatting with friends takes a big part as well, 71.8%. According to researchers, young people are motivated to learn from their peers online. The Internet provides new kinds of public spaces for youth to interact and receive feedback from one another. It is good to know that 49.4 % of respondents are doing homework online, which indicates that the teachers are well qualified and are preparing different subjects for delivery online. Surfing to learn new things is came out as important as well; receiving 61.2%.


Different online activities were indentified and selected such as studying for school subjects, chatting with friends, meeting new people online, surfing to learn new things, playing online games, shopping, homework, designing Web sites or profiles, etc. For the question, “How the technologies could be used to help the learning?” The respondents identified that “definitely, Blackboard really helps me to keep track of deadlines and assignment criteria. This wasn’t used when I studied gcse’s at ccn last year which was disappointing. On line feedback forms for the information centre and college would be good”. One more opinion about ICT “I think it’s helpful because there are plenty of websites that can be used. However, I also like to use books in my research and asking teachers for support as well as technology is good to complement a subject, but using it is nothing different to teaching yourself an entire unit“.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 9b. Online activities: UK case.

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 10. Social networking: Irish&UK case.

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Students were asked to tick what is useful in helping with schoolwork/ learning in their opinion. [Fig. 15a, 15b] Sending an attachment with an email is useful for majority of UK students (78.6%), but only 22.2% of Irish students think the same. Using search engines (e.g. Google) is useful for majority of UK students (78.6%), but only 33.3% of Irish students think the same. For Irish students the most useful for learning activities are Taking quizzes for self-evaluation (46.7%) and chatting with classmates (44.4%). Irish students responded that 37.8% of the time they browse the web for school related activities as compared to UK students who think that browsing the web (76.2%), using e-mail (67%), bookmarking web pages (54.8%), chatting with classmates (53.6%) are helpful with schoolwork/learning. So, UK students see more possibilities to use ICT in education than Irish peers. The question posed to both Irish and UK respondents about having a profile on a social networking site like MySpace, Xanga, or Facebook found most all respondents in Ireland have an account in one of the mentioned social networks.


The same situation in the UK where most respondents have an account in one of the most popular social networks but they declared different tools helping with schoolwork/learning such as sending an attachment with an email 78.6%, browse the web 76.2% and use search engines (e.g. Google) 78.6 %. All other categories such as sending email, reading email, bookmark web pages are very important as well (fig. 11b)

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 11a. Ireland case.

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

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Fig. 11b. UK case.

Most respondents indiciated that they feel that technology could be used to help in learning. Computers can support the learners construct their own understanding. Learners who gather information from the Internet can be self-directed and independent in the learning process. Depending on the possibilities suggested by teachers, the learners may be in complete control of their topics and their explorations. Students can work through a computer-based activity using their own ICT resources. Sometimes technology allows independent completion of work. There is opinion between respondents that “Skype can do


conference calls so if a teacher is or away or absent for example, they can still speak to the whole class. Also if they are online and a student needs help, it would be greatly useful to have them there. I think it’s pretty stupid that teachers aren’t allowed to add or communicate with students through external sites such as Facebook, Skype, and Twitter“. Those who begin to fall behind can receive an instructor’s individualized attention while others can begin to tackle more complex tasks. Does anything stop your learning about using computers and mobile phones?

This question is important as 27.7% of respondents in Ireland declared that there are the reasons that stop them using computers and mobile phones and 31.4% respondents in UK declared the same problem as well.

Fig. 12b. UK case.

Mentioning school policies and rules around using mobile devices as a distraction and may influence that vision and subsequent implementation efforts. Furthermore, while learners value the

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 12a. Irish case.

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interactivity and accessibility of content and their peers through the devices, teachers are concerned that these highly engaging and compelling devices may cause more distractions than benefits and fear that students will surf the Internet, text friends or play games.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

What are the reasons stopping the learning to use computers and mobile phones identified by respondents? Lack of time was mentioned by 25% of respondents, aware of courses currently offered online mentioned by 25% of respondents and lack of support from supervisor/manager and school policy/rules was mentioned by the largest number of respondents at 62.5%.

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Fig. 13a. Obstacles: Irish case.


Learners usually can build on their own understanding by using computers as resource tools, as work stations for individual learning, or as communication channels to share their ideas with other learners. Individual understanding and experiences could be shared. By uncovering students’ individual understandings, teachers can determine the influence of students’ prior knowledge and further their education through new experience. Computers can be used to assist active experiences by gathering data and resources, conversing with colleagues, struggling through a challenging puzzle or application, or they can assist in reflection. For example, while an online conversation through e-mail is an active event, such discussions usually prompt reflection. They help us think about ideas and check our understanding. In another reflective application, teachers can enlist computers as authoring tools for students’ journals which are excellent vehicles for thoughtful examination of experience, but in this case learners must be encouraged by teachers to use computer and mobile phone capabilities.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 13b. Obstacles: UK case.

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 14. Learning methods: Irish case.

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Irish respondents mentioned methods of learning they like most of all as: 38.3% of respondents like learning from a teacher, paper workbooks to work through alone, with access to tutor help from a teacher if needed. This was selected as the most effective way of learning as well as drop-in workshops to get help on specific topics was mentioned by 34.8% of respondents.


UK respondents mentioned methods of learning they like most of all as: 48.8 % of respondents like learning from a teacher, paper workbooks to work through alone, with access to tutor help from a teacher if needed this way was selected as the most effective way of learning as well as drop-in workshops to get help on specific topics by 28.4% of respondents; learning from other students was selected by 31% of respondents. The respondents were asked to declare the other learning methods they like. Opinions given about learning methods were as follows: ”if the college provided laptops in my statistics class, so my tutor could go through step by step and students too with SPSS and Excel software, everyone would have not been confused and produced a better assignment”. The priorities are given to online courses as “more trips

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Fig. 15. Learning methods: UK case.

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Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

out to places of interest that are related to the subject being studied, availability of online resources and ability to submit work online, online courses rich in multimedia, writing out notes an key points and when the teacher explains the topic in their own words”. Comments on the method of learning from friends were, “your friends that know it more because they can learn you in an easier way & using words that are easier to understand as well as doing questions from exam papers and writing out what you have to learn lots of times so you will remember it better”. Another respondent mentioned an experience of the American education system “where tutors and teachers have Twitter accounts for their students to follow them, and it appears and continues to be a great success for everyone involved. This needs to be encouraged across the whole of Britain. The teaching and education system needs to catch up with the modern society and ever-changing and ever-evolving technology. There is positive opinion on “spaced repetition systems (see supermemo, anki etc.) for data memorization. This is a learning method that, if embraced, can drastically improve test performance and general knowledge talking with people who know more than me (especially the ones that are actually interested in the subject)”.

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Mobile learning is a method of learning with portable technologies, including but not limited to handheld computers, MP3 players, notebooks and mobile phones. M-learning focuses on the mobility of the learner interacting with portable technologies, and learning that reflects a focus on how society and its institutions can accommodate and support an increasingly mobile population. There is also a new direction in mobile learning that adds mobility of the instructor and includes creation of learning materials “on-the-spot”, “in the field” predominately using a smart phone with special software such as AHG Cloud Note. Using mobile tools for creating learning aides and materials becomes an important part of the learning process. Mobile learning (M-Learning) is convenient because it is accessible from virtually anywhere. M-Learning, like other forms of E-learning, is also collaborative; sharing is almost instantaneous among everyone using the same content, which leads to the reception of instant feedback and tips. M-Learning also brings strong portability by replacing books and notes with small RAMs, filled with tailored learning contents. In addition, it is simple to utilize mobile learning for a more effective and entertaining experience.


The respondents of the research specified the types of mobile phones they have such as Nokia, Blackberry, HTC, Sony Ericson, Samsung, iPhone, LG.

Fig. 16a. Mobile phones: Irish case.

Fig. 16b. Mobile phones: UK case.

The use of SMS is as a means of providing learners with important information. (SMS is a mobile phone technology that allows short text messages to be sent and received on a mobile phone.)

Fig. 17a. Short Message Service: Irish case.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

Only 22.9% of respondents are using the mobile phones to learn in any school subjects in Ireland and 21.2% of respondents in the UK.

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SMS is in use by 77.3% of Irish respondents and (fig. 20 a) as compared to 94.6% of respondents in the UK.

Fig. 17b. Short Message Service: UK case.

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Most respondents are using mobile Internet access, making mobile email access and Web searching possible from phones and roaming mobile computers. Wireless Internet services have been available for years but are now becoming easier to find public access and more affordable.

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Mobile technologies provide a possibility to use mobile web which creates a situation in which information is quickly and easily available online. Within the classroom, this means nearly any bit of factual information we need is accessible in a matter of seconds—if one knows how to navigate the web efficiently and effectively. Teachers can invite learners to practice the skill of information access and see this activity as a valuable part of academic conversation (and not just as the fastest way to answer any question). This task can be effective even in a wired classroom, using desktop computers or laptops, but having students use mobile devices demonstrates to them how finding information is not contingent on access to a not-so-mobile device. They are therefore able to practice the skill of quick information access and credibility detection - a skill that will be useful throughout their lives regardless of what they choose to do professionally.


Fig. 18a. Mobile internet: Irish case.

Fig. 18b. Mobile internet: UK case.

In most cases, respondents used very different internet services with mobile phones. 79.3% of Irish respondents mentioned web browsing with mobile devices the most important as well as secure login to web pages, learning environments and social web services (34.5%). Irish respondents are not using calendar, RSS and WAP 2.0 services.

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81.4% of Irish and 67.1% of UK respondents selected that they are using mobile phone to access the internet services.

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Fig. 19a. Mobile internet services: Irish case.

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90.2% of UK respondents mentioned that web browsing with mobile devices is the most important as well as secure login to web pages, learning environments and social web services (66.7%). UK respondents are using calendar activities (19.6%), RSS (13.7%) and WAP 2.0 services (13.7% of respondents).


Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) messages are usually delivered in a completely different way from SMS. The first step is for the sending device to encode the multimedia content in a fashion similar to sending a MIME e-mail (MIME content formats are defined in the MMS Message Encapsulation specification). The message is then forwarded to the carrier’s MMS store and forward server, known as the MMSC. If the receiver is on another carrier, the relay forwards the message to the recipient’s carrier using the Internet. A question was given to respondents as to whether they are using MMS on their mobile phones for learning.

Fig. 20a. Multimedia Messaging Services: Irish case.

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Fig. 19b. Mobile internet services: UK case.

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37.4% of Irish respondents selected that they are using MMS in education and 46.5% of UK respondents using for education as well.

Fig. 20b. Multimedia Messaging Services: UK case.

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Respondents were asked what they are using MMS for? Ireland respondents selected 70% are using possibilities of person to person MMS with rich content, mobile slide shows had 10% of respondents and user generated content from device to device was 20% of respondents.

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Fig. 21a. Multimedia Messaging Services usage: Irish case.

A very similar situation is in the UK where respondents selected 100% use possibilities of person to person MMS with rich content, mobile slide shows 20.7% of respondents, user generated content from device to device was 24.1%, as well as micro blogging 20.7% and e-mail in mobile devices was 31% of respondents.


Usually traditional mobile phone networks and devices utilize fullduplex communications, allowing customers to call other persons on a mobile or land-line network and be able to simultaneously talk and hear the other party. Such communications require a connection to be started by dialling a phone number and the other party answering the call, and the connection remains active until either party ends the call or the connection is dropped due to signal loss or a network outage. A question was posed to respondents about using push to talk possibilities.

Fig. 21b. Multimedia Messaging Services usage: UK case.

Only 12.2% of respondents in Ireland are using that possibility (fig. 25a.) and 5.6% of respondents are using in the UK (fig. 25b.).

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Fig. 21b. Multimedia Messaging Services usage: UK case.

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Fig. 22b. Push to Talk over Cellular: UK case.

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Usually the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is not used widely for personal needs as it is technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analogue) phone line. Some VoIP services may only allow you to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers. Also, while some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter.

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Fig. 23a. Voice over Internet Protocol: Irish case.

There was a question to respondents about using VoIP. 7.1% of respondents in Ireland (fig. 26a.) mentioned that they use VoIP and 15.7% of UK respondents mentioned that they are using VoIP as well.


Fig. 23b. Voice over Internet Protocol: UK case.

Fig. 24a. Global Positioning System: Irish case.

In total 26.2% of respondents in Ireland are using GPS in education (fig. 27a.) and 41.1% of UK respondents are using GPS in education also (fig. 27 b).

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Another possibility for learning is Global Positioning System (GPS) which allows the possibility to create meaningful learning activities, to integrate GPS into mathematics, science, language arts, social studies, provide Problem Based Learning and Authentic Assessment, to help learners to develop vital language arts and communication skills that they will need to complete hands-on, inquiry-based, collaborative projects involving higher order thinking skills, and to have learners develop important analytical skills that will help them become productive. There was a question to respondents on using GPS.

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Fig. 24b. Global Positioning System: UK case.

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A question was included for respondents about technology and what they would like to use for learning and how it would help them. Most all respondents agree that the technologies in education offer a big benefit on a successful education process by using �computer, internet, learning about technology itself, VoIP with teachers, would help to contact outside of college hours, college site could be accessible via phone, so I can check anything on the subject, interactive mini whiteboards or something similar, faster, more updated, more accessible computer systems, iPad to download learning resources like books, recording devices to record lectures for revision out of class. I use books, internet sites and lesson notes to help me learn. GPS issued for maps in geo, Google to research different topics, smart phone tech in general, my current phone does not support aps and is a very low end model. I could use a smart phone for reviewing information on the fly and looking up data when I do not have the relevant book to hand“.


4. Spain: ICT and mobile technologies in education (review on student‘s questionnaire data)


4. Spain: ICT and mobile technologies in education (review on student‘s questionnaire data) At a time where the new technologies overcome every part of our society, and everyone feels obliged to get onto the train of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) as we feel that every aspect in our life is filled with Internet, computers, mobile phones,etc. Therefore, it´s time to consider how this new technological age can help us to improve education. eFuture project deals with different research carried out in Spain related to the use of new technologies applied to teaching methods. The main goal is to be aware of the latest events and what could take place to achieve a good relationship between education and new technologies.

Certainly, ICT helps with teaching certain contents, however, it is important to consider whether the use of new technologies implies an improvement in pupils. There are reports on different studies carried out by different Spanish Universities where it is clearly concluded that there is not always a clear improvement in the student performance when using new technologies. That is, providing them an electronic blackboard, a tablet computer and a high speed connection doesn’t guarantee good academic results. Secondly, we can find the following references on [31]: “new technologies are affecting in a negative way teenagers´ marks. This is the conclusion of a group of engineers at the Navarra University have reached from 320 polls hold to youngsters from 12 to 16 years old in public and private schools in Guipuzcoa (Spain)”. According to information given by Tecnun, students who failed a subject use new technologies more than three hours a day; those who use them up to four hours have failed three subjects failed and those with four or more subjects failed are close to five hours. The bulk of the free time spent in this section is directed to television and Internet,

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4.1. ICTs, the clue for the school performance improvement?

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although the clearest relationship is between the number of fails and the hours they spent using internet, with a lineal increasement. Irene Ibargoyen, one of the Spain IT experts, points out the progress posed by new technologies in many factors of learning. However, she explains that regulation is necessary in order for their use not to mean more fails. ”Teenagers take time to study for hours at the computer” she says. And also, “It´s the responsibility of parents who are those who have the duty to control the time of their children”. This is not the only study linking new technologies with failure in school. The report about Educational Technology 2008, presented by CECE, points out that the Spanish problem is not the lack of equipment but how it is used.

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On the other hand, according to a specialized magazine by teachers, schools that have more computers per student had the worst results in the last report Pisa.

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In particular, the data based on the average performance of Spanish schools indicate that the increase of one computer for every ten students in a school is related to a drop in students’ performance average in 15 points. The report does not conclude that computers are negative for learning, but in Spain, for the moment, it has not found the formula to take advantage of this resource. Moreover, this is not a single case. In Western Europe there are many countries that do not see the beneficial effect of the increase of computers in classrooms and they even clearly notice that an increased presence is negative. The UK and Ireland cases are the clearest because in these countries the drop in school performance is close to 15 points if the ratio of school rises to more than one computer per ten students. But in the case of Spain, why don´t we have good results with the investment in new technologies? The clear conclusion we draw from this review is an important observation: if we want to avoid the dropout-risk students we are going to require a smart implementation of technologies resources and a synergy between parents and teachers, otherwise the chances of failure will grow. In [2] we also find extensive information which explains the contradiction in the use of Information and


One more experience was introduced in MIMIO/WACOM research 2008-2009. The project involved a group of 25 schools that had several portable interactive whiteboards MIMIO INTERACTIVE with the addition of wireless interactive tablets WACOM and a kit with wireless keyboard and mouse GYRATION. The purpose of the investigation, which involved more than 200 teachers, was to find the best ways to use these instruments of learning, identifying the best teaching and learning activities that can be developed and their impact on student learning. The conclusions drawn from this research declared that most teachers appreciate that these activities enhance students’ motivation and attention, facilitating the understanding of the issues and allowing their use in class as an educational resource. In addition, most teachers also state that these activities are a good support for carrying out corrections in class and collective development of collaborative activities, involving more students to the task, providing more opportunities for creation and expression. However, there are not only advantages, but disadvantages as well associated with the use of the ICT which are: technical problems (Internet access, problems with computers and software), the shadows on the board and certain slowness in writing with the pointer. The time the calibration takes (and sometimes pre-assembly), the time of preparation for classes (search for support materials, prepare activities, etc.) and uncertainty expressed by some teachers because of lack of competence in the use of ICT. As one teacher said: “We must have a good command of the PDI and have everything well prepared, otherwise you lose time and it is difficult to control the class”. However, 79% of teachers said that ICTs facilitates teaching and learning and achieving educational goals. And 70% think they improve the learning of students, but then only 32% of them believed that this improvement affects the students’ academic qualifications. Finally, note that about two thirds of teachers (63%) feel pleasant about doing activities with ICT MIMIO that facilitates innovation in the classroom, increasing their motivation, satisfaction and professional self-esteem. They also state it involves more work, but they believe it is worth considering the advantages that using technology entails.

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Communication Technologies (ICT). Also, it is detailed how, despite students learning more, they don´t improve their marks. Basically, the problem is not always in the use of ICT by teaching contents.

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4.2. Research results in ICT and mobile technologies in education (students case)

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One hundred and four learners (104) were involved in the research and their different experience in learning is included in this report. The respondents mentioned that they are spending more than two hours on the internet (63.4%), while 18.9% of respondents mentioned that they are spending 1-2 hours on the Internet, and 12.9% of respondents are spending up to one hour online; 5 % of respondents are not accessing the internet as they have no internet connection.

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Fig. 25. Learner beeing online.

The respondents mentioned that they are involved in such online activities as studying for school subjects, chatting with friends (91.8%), meeting new people online (23.7%), surfing to learn new things (29.9%), playing online games (29.9%), shopping (10.3%), homework (33%), and designing Web sites or profiles (12.4%).


The respondents were asked to provide information on whether they have an account on social networks and whether they are using the networks for implementing learning activities. The learners usually use ICT in a far more creative and innovative way at home than at school since ICT is used for different purposes at home than is generally the case in school. They collaborate and they communicate more when at home. There is a group of students who work on school projects, work creatively with educational software and digital resources, use social networking tools for communicating with peers, and participate in competitions. Large numbers of teachers are able to assist those students, nevertheless, a large number still work ‘traditionally’, without computers, and do not see the benefit of using computers. ICT in education and training is still not a priority in some educational systems. The Internet has also enabled increased cooperation on a national and international level and so pushes for more transversal skills – teamwork, network, communication and presentation skills. The use of ICT accelerates the demand for new skills. 87.9% of respondents have an account in one or more social networks and just 12.1% are not involved in any social network. Ony 23% of Spanish respondents mentioned that they use social networks to work on homework or learning activities, etc.

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Fig. 26. Online activities.

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Fig. 27. participation in social networks.

Fig. 28. Using network sites for learning.

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Web2.0 is a new creative way to use the Internet and this is a new opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge; others have, for example, banned Facebook from schools. Still we all need to be able to access, and make effective use of, digitally based services including those based on Web 2.0. At the same time, we must be aware of legal and security issues - identity theft, and viruses. Information security is an important part of digital competency as well and some school policies stop the possibility learning about using computers and mobile technologies for education.

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Fig. 29. Stopping learning about computers and mobile phones.

The respondents (30.7%) provided information that some reasons stopping learning about computers and mobile phones were lack of time (78.6%), ICT skills are poor (7.1%), skills to use mobile phone for learning are poor (4.8%), not aware of courses currently offered online (7.1%), lack of suitable computer equipment (19%) and lack of support from supervisor/manager, school policy/rules (7.1%).


Different learning methods may be used in education and this is a way to help improve your quality of learning. By understanding your own personal styles, learners can adapt the learning process and techniques used. The respondents will help us to understand better the possibilities of distribution and changing information between learners.

Fig. 31 . Methods used by learners.

The respondents mentioned that the most important learning method is drop-in workshops to get help on specific topics (3.85%), followed by support and advice via telephone and/or email (3.84%); learning from other students (3.45%); paper workbooks to work through alone, with access to tutor help from a teacher if needed (2.87%); and finally learning from a teacher (1.98%).

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Fig. 30. Reasons.

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Fig. 32. Mobile phones for learning.

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The target of the eFuture project is younger people aged 16-24, people with high interest in mobile technologies and in lifelong learning, and their teachers. This mobile learning approach tries to push the advantage that students (12 –16 years old) really like to use their mobile phones, laptops and PDAs. This project is going to bring to schools, students and their teachers, a mobile learning platform that will assure the interdisciplinary work, collaboration and challenges beyond the four walls and it creates new learning opportunities. It is very important as well to use existing experiences in the field of mobile learning, and integrate them in an innovative mobile learning support and information application.

Fig. 33. SMS service.


The respondents (89.1%) provided information that they are using short message service for learning process and just 10.9% of respondents mentioned that they are not. What respondents said in relation to using mobiles between learners?

The respondents mentioned that person to person SMS are most important between learners (94.7%), calendar request (24.5%), Internet access configuration messages (19.1%), rich contents download services (16%). Respondents noted different activities using mobile devices such as Web browsing with mobile devices (74.6%), secure login to web pages learning environments and social web services (54%), web based calendar and calendar activities (6.3%), RSS feeds from calendar activities (1.6%), timed messages from calendar activities (6.3%), RSS-feed for WAP 2.0 Services (3.2%).

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Fig. 34. Mobile phone possibilities in education.

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Fig. 35. Different activities can be developed online by using mobile devices.

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eFuture research shows that technologies span from highly diffused SMS (Short Message Service) to MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services), from WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) to HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) and from GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) to GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) to UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System). Very different devices used by learners vary from mobile phones to PDAs, from last generation smart phones to laptop computers. Our aim is to extend an existing e-Learning platform, IWT (Intelligent Web Teacher), in order to allow the design and delivery of significant learning experience among a large and diverse set of mobile technologies.

Fig. 36. MMS service.


The respondents (60.4%) mentioned that they don’t use the MMS service and just 39.6% of respondents are using it.

Fig. 37. GPS in education.

Spanish respondents mentioned that 64.6% of learners are familiar with mapping, navigation, directions applications, and 36 % of respondents are familiar with tracking and location related triggers. The respondents totally 64 % women and 36 % men participated in the research in Spain.

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

As another possibility for use in education is GPS, where learners can do some work using GPS. It is an excellent tool applicable to many disciplines, including mathematics, geography, earth science, environmental studies, and more. Using GPS and Geocaching in the core curriculum has become a powerful tool in enhancing student understanding of geography, scientific inquiry, math concepts, physical education, problem solving, and language arts.

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Fig. 38. Gender.

Fig. 39. Using internet at home.

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From this research about the use of ICTs in education some important conclusions can be drawn. Firstly, it is clear that, in general, the use of new technologies such as workshops with computers and Internet access or classrooms with electronic whiteboards, provide an important support to the teacher as well as a pedagogical tool and also provide an extra motivation to students who have such tools.

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However, as we have seen in research, the figures obtained in terms of performance improvement are not encouraging in all cases. The introduction of new technologies in schools do not provide direct improvements in the same way as in the early computer era, the introduction of computers and large computer systems did not always improve outcome in the old commercial, banking, etc. It took a while to adapt until the computer application began to provide real benefits. We need a process of adaptation, it is necessary to train teachers so they can conveniently exploit the new tools available and it is necessary to sensitize parents to form a team with the teachers. Without the appropriate synergy between school and family, the risk that the use of new technologies by students has no relation with their studies is high. That is the reason for the decrease in student performance when implementing new technologies in some centres in Spain. Therefore, a project of implementation of new technologies to prevent student dropout should not be based just on establishing a global network of education, to provide computerized teaching resources available or give each student a tablet pc so you do not need books or notebooks — the technology applied is the last step.


Moreover, organizing the way you are going to use those resources in an educational technology is more important than the possibilities offered by new tools. It is not worth using a digital whiteboard to teach math functions if the teacher simply shows them already done.

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In summary, new technologies are needed, and also within our reach. However, it is true that “if we want different results, we must do different things,� is not as easy as providing these resources to learners. The didactic approach, the control of the use made of these resources outside of schools and healthy students training in the proper use of these resources by both parents and teachers is essential for the project to go forward.

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5. Lithuania: ICT and mobile technologies in education (review on student‘s questionnaire data)


5. Lithuania: ICT and mobile technologies in education (review on student‘s questionnaire data) Today’s learners are growing by communicating in social networks: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Hi5, etc. Learning through mentoring is becoming reality and common, but learning from each other and social networks is the strength. These networks allow student and teacher to be very close each other.

Collaborating using ICT can become more purposeful, and the teacher can pay more attention to pedagogical and social aspects of education institution activity. Most respondents spend time chatting with friends (85.2%), playing online games (70.4%), homework (64.8%), surfing to learn new things (57.4%).

Fig. 41. Students‘ online activities.

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Fig. 40. Learners‘ online activity.

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More and more students spend time on social networks or using social software. Social software consists of a group of software systems which allow users to communicate and share data. This communication that is based on the Internet became popular on social websites such as MySpace and Facebook, media sites Flickr and YouTube. Many of these programs have features such as open access, service-oriented design, ability to send data and other information. The following picture shows how many respondents have a profile on a social networking site like MySpace, Xanga or Facebook. The results show that many students (85.5 %) use social networks (and we would like to believe that they spend this time to perform learning activities).

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Fig. 42. Students on the social networks.

The internet has changed our lifestyle incredibly. Nowadays we cannot imagine our life without e-mail or Google. It is common that we can reach information anywhere and anytime, unless issues with interruptions of communication or failure of computer.

Fig. 43. Use of social networking sites for learning activities.


Integrated social networks ensures communication and collaboration opportunities for many of the students. Communication tools include collection, storage and presentation of communication, usually written, but also audio and video. Interactive tools control the mediation interactions between pair or group of users. They are concentrated in establishing and maintaining relationships between users by facilitating dialogue. Usually communication tools are asynchronous. In contrast, interactive tools are synchronous which allow users to communicate in real time (by phone, web phone, video calls) or almost synchronous (text chat, etc.).

Fig. 44. Role of ICT in the learning.

The virtual space that is developed by internet, mobile phones, online games, iPad and other technologies became natural living place of the younger generation. They exchange documents and photos, send

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Communication includes content of the conversation, speaking or writing, and interaction includes interest of users. The following picture shows the main needs of respondents to use e-mail, browse the web and use other search engines and so on. 77.4% of learners state that . They use search engines such as Google.

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and download videos, communicate in different platforms at the same time, search information (and cheating ways) for tasks at school and even do homework together on virtual networks. Lithuania teachers’ community is very big and communication on social networks gives an opportunity for teachers to exchange experience and get support from others (www.teachersnetwork.eu/elgglt, Lithuanian social network for teachers). It should be paid much attention to the teacher ICT needs. Although teachers’ individual needs are different, often their working conditions pose common challenges and social networking tools can help overcome them. One of these challenges is the lack of collaboration with colleagues, professional feedback and learning from colleagues. Another challenge is the changes of frequent curriculum and training guidelines. These changes lack the educational opportunities and force teachers to adapt and improve their skills constantly. Teachers have to search flexible ways on how to work or meet the new social challenges, adapt to new teaching subject content and methodological requirements, and improve their skills considering changing paradigms of education.

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The respondents mentioned several reasons what stops the learning about computers and mobile phones in the picture below. 25 % of respondents mentioned that school policies and rules is the reason why they have no possibility to use computers or mobile phones at school and 31 % of respondents mentioned that they have no time for learning.


Instant messaging is real time and is often part of private communications. Popular and consumer-oriented programs are Instant Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Skype and Messenger. These tools allow users to create contact lists by entering e-mail addresses or user IDs. If a person uses the internet at anytime, he/she is available for chatting. Real-time chat technology allows users to connect to chat rooms and communicate with many people at the same time in public. Users can join an existing chat room or create a new one. Users can write messages, which can be viewed by others, read and discussed, get responses to messages, etc. Instant messaging gives an opportunity to communicate and collaborate in real time. The need for communication is implemented by using mobile technologies which are the part of our commonalities.

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Fig. 45. Reasons stopping learning about computers and mobile phones.

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Fig.46. Internet services through the mobile phone.

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The majority of the respondents state that they use mobile phones for web browsing (92.5%), secure login to web sites, learning environments and social web services (35.5%).

5.1. Vicissitude opportunities of the teaching process in Lithuania: teacher’s and student’s needs According to research results, we can meet authors’ opinion that it is important not only to provide information technology to schools but also to use it effectively for training and learning in order we develop active information society (Brazdeikis and others, 2008). Lithuania education system begins the second step of deployment process in education. This is a diversification of traditional educational process and consolidation of effectiveness inserting the use of ICT to traditional educational process (Merkys and others, 2007). The use of ICT doesn’t depend on the content of ICT, that school has, and access to the computer is not a problem for students and teachers anymore. ICT literacy is sufficiently good. Much more important is to provide digital sources and transfer pedagogical technology.


Contemporary role of the teacher is related to significant responsibility, new requirements (especially for the didactic) for the competency and professionalism. On the one hand, the teacher must adapt to the learners, be able to emphasize what is the most important in an infinite stream of information, help to find, organize and manage knowledge. On the other hand, teachers need to learn from the changes and learners. In addition, teachers must justify the values in changing world (Ciuzas, 2007). The computer that is in the classroom doesn’t guarantee the effective educational activity. It depends on teacher’s ability to adapt it in educational practice (Peciuliauskiene, 2008). With regard to vicissitude of educational process from the viewpoint of the teacher, mostly it is highlighted as a need for the development of teacher competency in the context of ICT skills implementation stages.

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The efficiency of education depends on the quality of technical tools, teacher literacy and educational competency, support by using ICT, orientation to development of general skills, quality of training programs and innovative school environment (Paulionyte and others, 2010).

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Conclusions


Conclusions Methods of education are changing rapidly, facing new challenges both at institutional and at individual levels. Due to the increase in national and international competition, institutions are struggling to diversify their target-audiences, offering attractive programmes for lifelong learning namely for professionals, unemployed, elderly as well as Youth at Risk. E-learning programmes promote different communication and collaboration technologies, including mobile technologies. These are particularly popular among young people, especially Youth at Risk.

Almost every student has a profile on a social networking site like MySpace, Xanga or Facebook, so students’ activity in the social networks could be a reason to use social networking for educational purposes. An educational model could be selected for the communication and collaboration in the study process where the teacher is seen as a facilitator and the student is the active agent that pursues knowledge and develops his/her competences. Mobile devices engage learners - young people who may have lost interest in education - like mobile phones, gadgets and games devices. By using mobile devices in education such learning objectives can be achieved: ■■ pre-work for class session (introductory material, set context, etc.), ■■ follow-up for class session (reinforcement of key points), ■■ performance support / just-in-time / reference solution (for cases where laptop/desktop access is problematic, and users need information on the job), ■■ review of key concepts for exam preparation, ■■ providing summary or key content only (such as book abstracts), ■■ corporate communications (CEO updates or other regular organization news),

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Full implementation of educational concepts/models, new learning and teaching methods, and the use of modern information technologies (ICT) need the involvement of competitive teachers and other educational staff.

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■■ for formal learning, especially where the content can be broken up into very discrete pieces (such as language learning), ■■ assessments of learning. One of the main issues that must be solved is the provision of appropriate equipment and computer training programs where ICT and e-learning could be applied to teaching practice. It is important to promote the use of innovative learning and teaching methods based on ICT and mobile technology. To monitor and evaluate progress it could be pursued using surveys at schools, quantitative indicators to assess how many teachers have learned to use ICT at school and how many students use ICT during the study process.

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Thus, traditional teaching is changing. It is often debated whether technologies will replace the teacher at future school. Today the teacher is more active in traditional pedagogy. But now when even more new information communication technologies are integrated into educational process, both teacher and student are active.

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Research on ICT and mobile technologies in education is developed in the framework of the eFuture project and will aggregate different perspectives for teachers and students in using ICT and mobile technologies. The work on this paper has been sponsored by the project ‘Transforming progression and learning outcomes for youth at risk


Acknowledgements through ICTs, Web 2.0 and Mobile Learning’ – eFuture. Project number: 511827-LLP-1-IE-KA3-KA3

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[1] The Bordeaux Communiqué. European Council, 13-14 March,

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References 2008. [2] Education and Training in Europe: Diverse Systems, Shared Goals for 2010. The work programme on the future objectives of education and training systems. European Commission, 2002. [3] Redecker, C. and etc. Learning 2.0: The Impact of Web 2.0 Innovations to Education and Training in Europe, 2009. [4] Carter, R., Lange, M. Successful eLearning Strategies, 2005, 32 p. [5] Social networking, http://www.whatissocialnetworking.com. [6] Social networking wheel, http://wintecwebmedia08.files. wordpress.com/2008/09/social_networking_wheel.jpg. [7] Twenty Social Networking Sites for Teachers, http:// sharetheaddiction.edublogs.org/category/social-networks.

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[8] Grodecka, K., Wild, F., Kieslinger, B. How to Use Social Software in Higher Education, 2009.

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[9] ICT and youth at risk, http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC58427.pdf [10] Rutkauskienė, D., Gudonienė, D. Socialinė tinklaveika ir iššūkiai. Konferencijos pranešimų medžiaga, 2010. [11] Rutkauskiene, D. Gudoniene, D., Huet, I. Teachers Competences in Higher Education Institutions. Conference proceedings, 2009. [12] Rutkauskiene, D. Huet, I. Gudoniene, D. E-Learning in Teachers and Tutors Training Using ICT Based Curriculum, 2010. [13] Kiviniemi, K., Kurkela, L. The Role of Social Media in Informal and Formal Learning. 10th International Scientific Conference Virtual University VU’09: book of abstracts and final program, Bratislava. - ISBN 978-80-89316-12-0 and Proceedings 10th International Scientific Conference: Virtual University VU’09, December 10 – 11, 2009, Bratislava . - ISBN 978-80-89316-11-3. [14] Merkys, G., Urbonaitė-Šlyziuvienė, D., Balčiūnas, S. Mikutavičienė, I. IKT taikymas ugdyme, 2008, 99 p.


[15] Čiužas, R. Mokytojo ir mokinio vaidmenų kaita edukacinės paradigmos virsmo sąlygomis, 2007, 87 p. [16] Paulionytė, J. ir kt. IKT ir inovatyvių mokymo(si) metodų taikymo pradiniame ir specialiajame ugdyme pasiūla, taikymo praktika ir perspektyvos Lietuvoje ir užsienyje, 2010, 130 p. [17] Pečiuliauskienė, P. Kompiuterizuoto mokymo metodai pradedančiųjų mokytojų edukacinėje praktikoje, 2008, 89 p. [18] Brazdeikis, V., Navickaitė, J., Sederevičiūtė, E. Kompiuteriai mokyklose: kiek ir kaip naudojami?, 2008. [19] Rutkauskienė, D., Gudonienė, D. E. švietimas: tendencijos ir iššūkiai. Konferencijos pranešimų medžiaga: Web 2.0 saitynas. Vilnius, 2010. [20] Peters, K. m-Learning: Positioning Educators for a Mobile, Connected Future. IRR ODL, Vol 8 No2, 2007.

[22] The Role of Mobile Learning in Europe Today, 227828-CP-12006-1-IE-MINERVA-M. [23] Carty, R. An Investigation of the Use of Web 2.0 in Education and the Development of a Resultant Personalised Learning Environment. A Dissertation. November, 2007. [24] Richardson, W., Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Corwin Press ISBN 1-4129-2767-6, 2010. [25] Downes, S., Educational Blogging, www.educause.edu/ir/ library/pdf/ERM0450.pdf. [26] Risks and Safety for Children on the Internet: the Ireland Report. January, 2011. http://www.webwise.ie/GenPDF. aspx?id=4766. [27] Gudoniene, D. Cibulskis, G. Learning Technologies for Virtual Mobility: Teacamp Project Case. Conference proceedings, 2011. [28] This Advice Sheet and other relevant information are available at www.ncte.ie/ICTAdviceSupport/AdviceSheets/.

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[21] Hicks, P., Power, G., Woods. G. Solas: An Online Environment to Facilitate Social Connectivity and Creativity. The IADIS International conference proceedings, 2006.

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[29] http://educativos.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/el-abuso-delas-nuevas-tecnologias-conduce-al-fracaso-escolar/. [30] http://peremarques.blogspot.com/2011/02/reducir-el-fracasoescolar-mejorando-el.html. [31] http://peremarques.pangea.org/casio/. [32] http://www.elperiodicodearagon.com/noticias/noticia. asp?pkid=26787. [33] The Potential of ICT to Reduce Student Dropout and Disengagement from Education: University of East Anglia, http:// www.uea.ac.uk/~m242/neet/ict.pdf.

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[34] BECTA report “Assessing the potential of e-learning to support re-engagement amongst young people with Not in education, employment or training (NEET) status: An independent research and evaluation study�, April 2008, http://www.e-learningcentre. co.uk/Resource/CMS/Assets/5c10130e-6a9f-102c-a0be003005bbceb4/form_uploads/elearning_reengagement_neet_ overview.pdf.

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[35] http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/ bitstream/111111111/14508/1/jrc58427.pdf. [36] ICT and Youth at Risk, http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC58427.pdf. ICT based learning: skills, knowledge, needs


Appendix 1. Questionnaire for students on using ICT and mobile technologies in practise 1. How many hours per day do you spend online? _________ 2. What are your online activities? (Please tick all that apply)

□□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□

Studying for school subjects Chatting with friends. Meeting new people online. Surfing to learn new things. Playing online games. Shopping. Homework. Designing Web sites or profiles. Other: _____________________________________________.

3. Do you have a profile on a social networking site like MySpace,

4. Please state/say which one you use: ___________________ 5. Have you ever used these sites for school/home work or other

learning activities Yes/No

6. Which of the following do you think is useful in helping with

schoolwork/learning?

□□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□

Send email Read email Send an attachment with an email Organise mail folders Create address books Browse the web Bookmark web pages Use search engines (e.g. Google) Set up a web site Create a web page from scratch Insert links

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Xanga, or Facebook? Yes/No (If Yes, please answer the questions a and b.)

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□□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□

Insert graphics Create tables Upload pages to the web server Take the Quizzes for self-evaluation Chat with classmates Communicate through Skype with teachers Other:______________________________________________

7. Do you feel technology could be used to help your learning?

8. Does anything stop your learning about using computers and

mobile phones? Yes/No

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If Yes, please tick all that apply from the following list:

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□□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□

Lack of time My ICT skills are poor My skills to use mobile phone for learning are poor I am not aware of courses currently offered online Lack of suitable computer equipment Lack of support from supervisor/manager, school policy/rules Other:______________________________________________

9. Which methods of learning do you like most? Please rank

from 1 to 6 according to the following scale: 6 - Excellent, 1 – Insufficient.

□□ □□ □□ □□

Learning from a teacher Learning from other students Support and advice via telephone and/or email Paper workbooks to work through alone, with access to tutor help from a teacher if needed □□ Electronic workbooks to work through alone, with access to tutor help from a teacher if needed □□ Drop-in workshops to get help on specific topics


□□ Other (please specify) ________________________________ 10. Do you use your mobile phone to learn in any subjects? Yes/No

Mobile technologies. Please select what do you use your mobile phone for? 11. Do you have a mobile phone? Yes/No. If Yes, please write what

kind of mobile phone you have?

12. Do you use SMS-Short Message Service?

Yes/No, if Yes please tick the appropriate boxes: □□ □□ □□ □□

Person to person SMSs Calendar Requests Internet Access Configuration Messages Rich Contents Download Services

Yes/No, if Yes please tick the appropriate boxes: □□ Web browsing with Mobile Devices □□ Secure Login to Web Pages, Learning Environments and Social Web Services □□ Web Based Calendar and Calendar Activities □□ RSS Feeds from Calendar Activities □□ Timed Messages from Calendar Activities □□ RSS-feed for WAP 2.0 Services 14. MMS Multimedia Messaging Service.

Yes/No, if Yes please tick the appropriate boxes: □□ □□ □□ □□ □□

Person to person MMS with Rich Content Mobile Slide Shows User Generated Content from Device to Device Mobile Blogging Dual Device Option: Mobile Devices and/or email

15. PoC (Push to Talk over Cellular).

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13. Do you use internet services?

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Yes/No, if Yes please tick the appropriate boxes: □□ Push to Talk Communication in Teaching and Learning □□ Immediate Sharing of Documents 16. VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol.

Yes/No, if Yes please tick the appropriate boxes: □□ Audio and Video Communication and conferences with Mobile Devices 17. GPS (Global Positioning System) and AGPS (Assisted GPS).

Yes/No, if Yes please tick the appropriate boxes: □□ Mapping, navigation, directions applications, □□ Tracking and location related triggers 18. What technology would you like to use for learning and how will it

help you?

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The research is organized in the frames of eFuture project

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Appendix No. 2. Questionnaire for teachers on using ICT and mobile technologies in practise (511827-LLP-1-2010-1-IE-KA3-KA3MP) coordinated by FIT ltd., Ireland. The aim of the research is to analyze existing and emerging ICT, Web 2.0 and Mobile learning methodologies for youth learners. The research is anonymous and will be used only for the project purposes. Method: interviews and multiple questions. eFuture project team is thankful in advance for answering the questionnaire. 1. Please describe what ICT, Web 2.0 and Mobile learning

technologies are used in your institution for study process?

□□ □□ □□ □□ □□

Lesson Planning Teaching and Delivery Assessing and Evaluating Personal, Professional use of ICT Other:

3. Do you use mobile technologies for Curriculum Planning and

Delivery:

□□ □□ □□ □□ □□

Lesson Planning Teaching and Delivery Assessing and Evaluating Personal, Professional use of mobile technologies Other:

4. Are there any Mobile and/or Web2.0 technologies that you don‘t

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2. Do you use ICT for Curriculum Planning and Delivery:

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currently use that you think would be useful in working with youth at risk individuals or groups?

5. Which of the following do you think are essential in ensuring

Research on ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice

communication and collaboration with your learners:

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□□ IT skills and desk top facilities including Internet and Intranet access □□ Have access to curriculum materials, held electronically □□ Offer on-line tutorial support □□ Participate electronically in their personal development □□ Operate support systems to facilitate electronic learning □□ Use e-mail □□ Access institutions databases remotely □□ IT facilities access to Intranet and appropriate skills training □□ Using of mobile learning technologies □□ Other ______________________________________ 6. Information about respondent:

Where do you have access to internet to prepare for the lessons delivery (please check all that apply)? □□ □□ □□ □□ □□

Home Library Other If Other, please specify: Work Mobile phone

7. Please describe the level of education in your institution:

8. Age of learners you are working with: 9. What mobile phone do you have? 10. Have you ever used a mobile device for teaching?


Yes/No 11. If Yes, please select what resources are you using:

□□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□ □□

SMS (Short Message Service) MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) WAP 2.0 DRM (Digital Rights Management) PoC (Push to Talk over Cellular) VoIP (Voice over IP) NFC (Near Field Communication) GPS/AGPS (Assisted GPS)

12. Are you a teacher with:

□□ e-learning experience □□ limited e-learning experience □□ without any e-learning experience 13. What is your subject of education?

14. How many years teaching experience do you have? 15. Your country? ___________________ 16. Information about the respondent 17. Your country ___________ 18. What Year are you in? ____ 19. What is your gender? M/F 20. Do you use the Internet at home? Yes/No 21. Do you have a computer at home? Yes/No

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______________________________

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ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice Research Authors: Danguole Rutkauskiene, Daina Gudoniene, Caroline Michalak, Evaldas Karazinas, Harry Greiner, Marian Villanueva, Noel Kelly, Maria Fojk, John Paul Reilly, Shane Mann, Jesus Angel Garcia, Aitor Barrilero, Ana Isabel Charco Editor Janet Allen Cover and layout design Aiste Kojelyte

A run of 100 copies Published in 2012 Ireland

ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice. Research.  
ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practice. Research.  

This research report is an outcome of a European project called eFuture which aims to develop new methods for the use of ICTs, Web 2.0 and m...

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