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Mobile Teaching and Learning Good Practice: Case Study

Title of Case Study: Using Mobile Technology in a Learning Resource Centre Author: Linda Bruce/Brenda Desmond/Dave Pickersgill Institution: Academic Year:

The Sheffield College June 2010


Apple DSi Graphics tablet iPod learner confidence Learning Centre LRC Nintendo Notebook Sheffield


Apple iPod Nano Bamboo Graphics Tablets Dell mini-9 Nintendo DSi Text Wall

Main subject area:


Main level;


Text Wall

Introduction/overview: In collaboration with the ‘Sheffield Diploma Consortium,’ the Sheffield College was successful with a MoLeNET3 bid (2009/10). Within the College, the focus is on Hillsborough and Norton Colleges. We are working with a six local schools – All Saints, Chaucer, City, Myers Grove, Stocksbridge and Wisewood. We were also successful with a bid to become a MoLeNET Academy. The Learning Resource Centres at both Hillsborough and Norton Colleges received some hardware from MoLeNET3. The LRC are open to all students in the College. Aims: The LRC team wished to increase use of the LRC by (i) attracting hard-to-reach learners and (ii) enhancing the service which is available to our learners. Addressing the challenge: • •

• •

A text wall was introduced in both LRC in order to facilitate feedback from users. A lunchtime ‘games club’ was instigated, making use of Nintendos, initially with such games as Brain Training, Maths Training and Scrabble. We intend to purchase more games. These will enable students to understand more about the world of sport and business, assist them to take the real driving test and improve their word power and spelling. We also carried out an informal survey of student ownership of games devices. Graphics tablets are loaned to students either to use with the notebooks or with their own computers at home. Dell mini-9 notebook pcs are used to supplement the available desktop devices, utilising a wi-fi Internet connection. The notebooks are loaned out to individual students in the LRC

when all the networked pcs are busy. We are also loaning the notebooks to students to do group work, thus assisting those who need to work together. The iPods are loaned out to students who wish to use them for exam revision, as we can download podcasts on most subjects. They are also used by students who have to make short videos as part of their course work. The e-readers are currently being trialled by ESOL students with the quick reads. We have also downloaded a wider selection of e-books, mostly classics. Wi-fi became available at the Hillsborough LRC, increasing use of learners own devices, utilising our connectivity, resulted.

Outcomes and reactions: • The text wall allowed simple feedback from users • The ‘games club’ encouraged a number of reluctant learners to make increased use of the LRC. Positive interaction between staff and learners resulted, as learners assisted staff to negotiate many of the available games. • The Dell 9s were a useful supplement to the facilities available in the LRC. • In short, all the available technologies are used, assisting learners. Learner’s reaction: Learners are very positive in their reaction to the introduction of this technology Teacher’s reaction: Learning Assistant, Melinda Green believes; "students are already really enjoying using these devices, so we're excited about trying out some other ideas to ensure we're utilising them as effectively as possible. After that, our next challenge is to develop a QR-code treasure hunt ready for Induction in September."

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Managers’ reactions: MoLeNET Project Manager, Dave Pickersgill believes that ‘the increased use of mobile devices in the LRC is having a knock-on effect on the rest of that Centre – many staff and students are becoming excited as they realise the positive effects mobile devices can have on both teaching and learning.’ Lessons learned: There were a small number of inappropriate messages to the text wall. Use of the ‘auto refresh option’ ensured that these were not displayed on a large screen. Next steps: • A wider selection of Nintendo games will be obtained using other funding sources • learners will be encouraged to suggest suitable games. • Wi-fi access is planned for the LRC at Norton from September 2010 Links: How to download eBooks using a Sony eReader

An introduction to QR codes

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