Opinions of teachers in Spain regarding the influence of mobile technology on student learning
Mr Raúl Santiago Campión, Mr Fermin Navaridas and Mr Javier Tourón | Presentation (PDF)
University of La Rioja
Question: Is mobile technology an effective tool for learning?
This presentation shows the most relevant results of a study on opinions of the teachers in Spain about the effects of the integration of mobile devices into the teaching-learning process. Among other objectives, this study has tried to analyze the influence of mobile learning over three very important learning factors: affective-emotional (motivation), ethic-social (social skills) and the cognitive one (cognitive skills). In order to carry out this study, a descriptive, methodological approach was adopted, using the survey technique as the most adequate method to collect teachers´ opinions in a relatively fast and precise way. Obtained results show a widespread agreement among teachers about the pedagogical potential of mobile devices as a tool to improve learning quality. In general terms, conclusions suggest an improvement in the students’ interest on educational tasks, an increase during study activities, a better collaborative work, as well as an improvement of creativity and information acquisition.
The descriptive results from the personal and contextual variables analyzed in this study revealed the following general profile for the teachers taking part: a relatively young teacher (36-45 years old), with a degree, who teaches in secondary education with an average level of teaching experience (between six and 15 years) and with no significant training in in the pedagogical use of mobile technology. Some of these characteristics must undoubtedly serve as indicators for reflection when it comes to defining the model of teacher that the educational authorities opt for and seek to encourage via teacher training strategies or policies in the context we studied. These authorities must be aware that the successful integration of new technologies in the curriculum depends to a large extent on an ambitious teacher training policy. To this end, and in accordance with the guidelines drawn up recently by UNESCO (2013), in order to take advantage of the benefits offered by mobile technology, it is essential that teachers know and understand the new technological resources and the pedagogical potential for improving the quality of learning, so that they can respond effectively to the educational challenges posed by the information society.
The teachers we surveyed tend to use mobile technology as a didactic support for integrating, completing or developing curricular content produced by others (Educational Applications) in subjects such as languages, art, history and mathematics, etc. The use of mobile devices as a means of educational communication and expression (for example the possibility of holding meetings with parents, publishing or requesting information on learning assessment, exchanging opinions or sharing experiences through social networks, etc.), and the productivity of teachers (for example creating presentations, drawing up teachers guides and making documents with curricular contents, etc.), were also relatively frequent purposes amongst the teachers we surveyed. However and contrary to the results obtained in other research by UNESCO (2013), the use of mobile technologies for teacher management and administrative duties was found to be a less frequent reason for using these devices in the group of K-12 teachers who took part in this study.
Raul Santiago holds a PhD in Education. He is a full professor at the University of La Rioja. He has participated as a consultant and technical advisor in the development of ICT-based educational projects and in various national and European projects in the same field (LEONARDO, SOCRATES and LINGUA).
Javier Tourón Professor of Research Methods and Diagnosis in Education, is professor in the Department of Education of the University of Navarra, PhD in Education and Biology.
Fermin Navaridas holds a PhD in Education. He is a full professor at the University of La Rioja. He is a specialist in Methodology.