Ubiquitous mobility with mobile phones: A cultural ecology for mobile learning
Cook, J. , Pachler , N. and Bachmair, B. (2011) Ubiquitous mobility with mobile phones: A cultural ecology for mobile learning. E-Learning and Digital Media, 8 (3). pp. 181-195. ISSN 2042-7530
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/elea.2011.8.3.181
This article argues that mobile phones should be viewed as new cultural resources that operate within an individualized, mobile and convergent mass communication; such a recognition facilitates the options for a cultural ecology. A particular challenge here is to find adequate curricular functions in school where the inclusion of these new cultural resources can and should be introduced. The authors expand their argument, first, by discussing mobile devices as cultural resources theoretically from the perspective of their position within what they call a triangular-oriented mobile complex; second, by means of this triangular analysis of structures, agency and cultural practices the mobile complex is investigated with the purpose of positioning the school in relation to this complex; third, they present the notion of user-generated contexts as a means of integrating meaning-making from the world outside of schools into the school and its curriculum. User-generated context is conceived by the authors in a way in which users of mobile digital devices are being ‘afforded’ synergies of knowledge distributed across people, communities, locations, time (life course), social contexts and sites of practice (such as socio-cultural milieus) and structures. In order to concretize this notion of context they give a brief example. The article then goes on to draw on a case study of a school project that examines mobile devices and associated media within school mathematics. This analysis leads the authors to propose some guidelines for mobile learning. They conclude by noting some significant methodological challenges for their future research around the mobile complex and user-generated contexts.
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