Epping Forest College Title: Enhancing learner voice through use of mobile technology Author: Gina Binazir Institution: Epping Forest College Academic Year: 2009/2010 Keywords: Engagement, Communication, Confidence, Convenience, opportunity Technologies: iPhone, PDA, flip, fizzbook, mirror camera, netbook, Main Subject Area: Learner engagement Main Level: L2, L3 Introduction and Overview: The research was around whether use of mobile technology would enhance learner voice. Mobile devices were used with a number of students as Voice Champions raising the awareness of learners to make their voice heard Aims: IPhones, PDA and fizz book were used to communicate with students about major events. The iPhones had unlimited internet access only so we used them for e-mailing major events. This really enhanced communication immensely for several reasons; learners felt motivated in using the equipment and showing off to their friends which in turn got them interested to get involved Addressing the challenge: In my case, the devices were mainly used for collecting and disseminating information about learner voice. The devices were used to inform students about major events, student union meetings, workshops, feedback from students, asking their views about recreational activities in college. Asking them to comment on existing facilities and what could be improved. Outcomes and Challenge: â€˘
Impact on teaching and learning It is difficult to identify the immediate impact on teaching and learning. This would be a longer term outcome in terms of increasing learner confidence and motivation to be in college and use their equipment. There was a variety of mobile equipment for learners to use as appropriate. Learners who had iPhones themselves benefitted by having the Fizzbook. We had a bank of devices that learners could use for the task they had to complete
All learners who were given mobile devices were using them, not just for college work but for their personal use. This gave them a sense of achievement. They felt they were trusted and in return showed responsibility â€˘
Managers reaction Excellent way of communication with learners, Made my life much easier.
Lesson learned: Choice of devices, with hindsight we could have ordered different devices. The PDA's were not very useful, they were bulky and needed frequent recharging. Next steps: We have seen the benefits of this for learner voice. It makes sense to sustain this and open it up to class reps as well as voice champions to capture the feedback on teaching and learning and all the cross college issues.