16 SES 09 A JS, Reflections on Using Mobile Devices for Learning
Joint Paper Session NW 13 and NW 16
Facing the digital revolution in 21st century, constant changes of a globalised world and the needs of the knowledge society, international organizations as OECD and the European Commission have been developing education policies, most of which aimed to reform the member states’ education systems. Through the use of “soft” technologies of powers (Peters et al 2009; Simons et al 2009) - as the creation of international ranking and the adoption of common frameworks – European schools have been invited to renovate their pedagogical practices, making sure all students achieve the essential skills for the future. An important lever of change is the integration of ICT in classroom, as documented by the NMC Horizon Report Europe: 2014 Schools Edition, a joint publication of European Commission and the New Media Consortium.
Access to ICT tools and Internet is supported within a strategy to innovate teachers’ performance, to improve the quality and effectiveness of students’ learning, and to extend the openness and connectedness of school with the external world. Given the strong demand for personalization of learning and the scarcity of financial resources, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has become one of the emerging trends, driving educational technology adoption in school. The practice of students bringing their own mobile devices to class seems to offer the possibility to improve students’ engagement and achievement, a more comfortable - personalised as well as collaborative - learning experience.
Observing the implementation of these devices at school, many researchers support the blurring line between the time inside and outside school: “schools should be providing ways for students to continue to engage in learning activities, formal and non-formal, beyond the traditional school day” (NMC Horizon Report Europe, p. 12). Differently, the purpose of this paper is to address the BYOD strategy from a theoretical pedagogical perspective, exploring its influences on the morphology of school experience, what Masschelein and Simons call the scholastic form (Masschelein, Simons 2013).
This paper addresses school as particular arrangement of time, space and material, where students and teachers can temporarily detach themselves from cultural, political and economical backgrounds and gather around something. This particular form of gathering makes things public and allows studying to take place. Suspension is one of the necessary elements to make things public: when things are suspended they are no longer (or not yet) anyone’s or any institution’s property. That allows a space for things to be studied with a distance and - to put it differently - to become deprivatized (Masschelein, Simons 2015). Consequently, to make this possible, the time of the school has to be freed from family and economic interests.
BYOD transforms the traditional experience of school, where there was no personal digital device allowed in school. Does the presence of digital device per se follow the ongoing learning era and lifelong learning? How should we revisit the understanding of the school’s free time in the presence of a mobile digital device?
Starting from these questions, this paper investigates how the school morphology might be subject of transformation with the implementation of personal digital devices. We will discuss the implications of entering a these devices into school, and how it influences the school time as a free time and if and how it fortifies the learning discourse discussed in in defence of school (Masschelein, Simons 2013) . We analyse some influential educational policies that support this method, looking both at the European and at the national level. This reading will be juxtaposed to the observation of the actual implementation of this model in an international school and examples will be offered from the Italian and Belgian context.
Attwell, Jill. Bring Your Own Device; a Guide for School Leaders. Vol. 3. Brussels: European Schoolnet, 2015. Ball S., Education Reform: A Critical and Post-structural Approach, Buckingham, Open University Press, 1994 Ball S., “Big Policies/Small World: An introduction to international perspectives in education policy”, Comparative Education, 34 (2): 119-130, 1998 Barry A., Osborne T. and Rose N. (Eds.), Foucault and political reason: Liberalism, neo-liberalism and rationalities of government, London, UCL Press Limited, 1996 Olssen M., Codd J.A., O’Neill A., Education Policies. Globalization, Citizenship, Democracy, London, Sage publication ltd, 2004 Peters M., Besley A. C., Olssen M., Maurer S., Weber S. (Eds.), Governmentality Studies in Education, Rotterdam, Sense Publishers, 2009 Simons, M., Masschelein, J., “The Governmentalization of Learning and the Assemblage of a Learning Apparatus”, Educational Theory, 58 (4): 391-315, 2008 Simons M., Olssen M., Peters M. (Eds.), Re-Reading Education Policies: A Handbook for Studying the Policy Agenda of the 21st Century. Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei: Sense Publishers, 2009 Masschelein, J., Simons, M., Bröckling, U. and Pongraz, L. (Eds), “The Learning Society from the Perspective of Governmentality”, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2007, Special Issue. Oxford: Blackwell Masschelein J., Simons M., In defence of the school. A public issue, E-ducation, Culture & Society Publisher, Leuven, 2013 Masschelein J., Simons M., “Education in times of fast learning: the future of the school”, Ethics and Education, 10 (1), 84-95, 2015 Packer, Martin J. The science of qualitative research. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
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