Mature Students Using Mobile Devices in Life and Learning
Journal article, 2011
The paper reports on research concerned with learners’ uses of mobile technologies based on an international survey that targeted students registered in selected master’s and doctoral programmes in Australia, Hong Kong, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The survey findings were enriched by local knowledge, as the authors administered questionnaires in their own countries. The research gives an account of uses of handheld devices by students from departments of education, educational technology, engineering, and information technology in the domains of learning, work, social interaction and entertainment. The paper illuminates learners’ choices in the midst of evolving social practices, and challenges the common preconception that mobile devices are not suitable for academic study. In today’s global education marketplace, educators must know the technology habits and expectations of their students, including those from other countries. Knowing about students’ previous practices and the techno-cultural setting they come from can help institutions determine what mobile applications are most appropriate to support learning.