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Session 1B


Introducing active mobile learning: learn how to use wireless collaboration in your teaching

Dominic Pates | Senior Educational Technologist | LEaD

James Rutherford | Senior Educational technologist | LEaD

This workshop is designed to enable innovation and provide staff with ideas for incorporating mobile devices into teaching and learning practices, via wireless collaboration. The workshop supports those who might be redesigning curricula, investigating alternative approaches to teaching, or considering activities and strategies for supporting students throughout their studies.

Addressing the mobile learning paradox

Mobile computing technologies have long been having an impact on learning (Traxler, 2008), but their usage in higher educational learning spaces is typically a personal experience. Given that learning can be considered as much a social activity as a personal one, this suggests a paradox that can be roughly summarised as 'mobile is mostly personal, whereas learning is also social'. The field of mobile learning has only fairly recently begun to look at how applying mobile technologies can enhance collaborative learning (Jaldemark et al., 2018), thus attempts to bridge this gap are in their relative infancy. LEaD’s investigations into wireless collaboration since 2014 have been an attempt to bridge that gap. We see wireless collaboration – an industry term for an emerging technology that facilitates wireless sharing from mobile devices to common displays like projector screens – as a means of resolving the aforementioned paradox and therefore opening up the range of possibilities for effective educational uses of mobile devices.

Enabling active mobile learning

This workshop introduces the concept of active mobile learning, which we define as using mobile technologies and their affordances to support active learning practices. Today, in an age of ubiquitous WiFi and mobile connectivity, it is possible to work, learn or study anywhere and at any time. When used for educational purposes, mobile devices can offer personalisation, encourage accelerated learning environments, and provide real-time assessment. They can also encourage a greater emphasis on challenge-based activities or support more active learning approaches within curricula, and encourage more collaborative learning by placing the learner at the centre. With wireless collaboration technologies integrated into learning spaces, staff can more readily promote student success by integrating active mobile learning principles into the curriculum.

Supporting staff with technology-enhanced curriculum redesign

By incorporating wireless collaboration tools, frameworks such as the SAMR model (Adams Becker et al, 2017) can be utilised to support staff development in building capacity toward active mobile learning practices. Staff development activities can span from one-off training workshops to a sustained Community of Practice. They can be used to help teaching staff make better use of their devices, to develop their abilities, competences and even perceptions of using these tools for educational purposes. This workshop takes one step towards addressing challenges that staff might have in adopting such practices.


Participants will:

  1. Gain an introduction to wireless collaboration as an emerging technology to support teaching and learning
  2. Consider benefits and challenges of using mobile learning in teaching
  3. Analyse and apply principles of mobile learning for rethinking teaching activities.

The workshop will also function as a launch event for a new Community of Practice centred around wireless collaboration. Indicative questions include what do mobile devices allow you to do in teaching and learning that you can’t do without them and how might I incorporate active mobile learning into my teaching.


Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Davis, A., Freeman, A., Hall Giesinger, C., and Ananthanarayanan, V. (2017). NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Jaldemark, J., Hrastinski, S., Olofsson, A. D., & Öberg, L-M. (2018). Editorial Introduction:

Collaborative Learning Enhanced by Mobile Technologies. British Journal of Educational Technology. Vol. 49. No. 2, pp 201-206.

Traxler, J. (2008). Learning in a Mobile Age, International Journal of Mobile and Blended

Learning, Vol. 1. No. 1, pp 1-12.