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Friday, January 13 • 10:15am - 10:35am
"Infrastructuring Mobility in Teacher Education- An Interactive Symposium"

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This practitioner research presentation – organised and facilitated as an interactive symposium – will illustrate key developments in the history of mobile educational technology within the School of Education at NUI Galway. Our goal in this session is to share our story of working collaboratively and intensively to deploy - in a participatory and principled fashion - mobile learning within our teacher education programmes and school. We will illustrate this shared narrative by reference to key moments in the process of embedding systematically mobile learning within the School of Education, NUI Galway, and exemplars of our students’ work, specifically their mobile digital artefacts. Furthermore, through engaging dialogically with the MiTE community through an interactive symposium at this year’s conference, we hope to reflect further on the key issues emerging now for mobile learning in teacher education. Consequently, we hope to contribute collaboratively to MiTE 2017’s shared sense of, and insight into the promising but challenging field of infrastructuring and scaling up mobile learning within teacher education colleges and universities.

From a theoretical perspective, our predominant focus as mobile teacher educators is to encourage and promote our students and teachers to use technology creatively and in an integrated fashion, rather than as a passive, informational technology that is, so to speak, bolted-on to our teacher education programme designs. Therefore, we are inspired significantly by constructionism and a focus on learning by design (Barab & Squire, 2004), and technology-enhanced learning models that undergird an integrated view of technology/mobility, e.g. TPACK, Mobile Pedagogical Framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Kearney et al, 2012).
In discussing the role of education in society today, and where mobile learning might fit within this complex and changing context, it is interesting to reflect on words penned, in January of fateful 1916, by the Irish revolutionary and educationist, Patrick Pearse. Just over one hundred years ago, Pearse wrote: “Education has not to do with the manufacture of things, but with fostering the growth of things. And the conditions we should strive to bring about in our education system are not the conditions favourable to the rapid and cheap manufacture of readymades, but the conditions favourable to the growth of living organisms.”  

Through practitioner methodologies such as action research and design-based research, we aim to conceptualise and develop mobile learning beyond the readymade, as Pearse (1916) described it, and create bespoke designs that mediate conditions favourable for learning in a range of contexts. In particular in this symposium, we look at how we have endeavoured – across teacher education programmes, and working with both pre-service and experienced teachers – to design, deploy and evaluate mobile learning for a range of uses and in a range of educational contexts, elective and formal. The settings in which we work with mobile technology include: systematic deployment of mobile learning to enhance Ireland’s flagship Irish-medium teacher education programme; science education and STEM design; specific subject teaching (e.g. English, geography, mathematics); reflective practice among pre-service teachers; the foundational disciplines in teacher education (e.g. history and philosophy of education); and cultural heritage education and museums.

Our interactive symposium will look at, and report on our experiences of mobile technology across four key levels, including: (1) leading learning, (2) implementing technical, (3) mobilising institutional and (4) disseminating/sharing innovation. We will open the symposium with a digital story designed to outline the narrative of the development of mobile educational technology within the School of Education, NUI Galway. In this introductory, scene-setting part, we will adapt and use a model for digital storytelling design which we ourselves deploy with our pre-service teachers. Following this, short presentations will pick up on key themes and topics of our experiences developing mobile educational technology, with west coast-to-west coast Pecha Kucha sessions delivered collaboratively by the presenters, both physically and virtually in California and Galway. The final part of the symposium will involve a panel discussion where conference participants and the presenters will discuss key issues involved in the larger, sustainable and systematic infrastructuring of mobility in teacher education. As a legacy output from the symposium, we will develop an iBook of the presentations, discussions and interactions, which will be shared with the MiTE community as a touchstone, time-capsule artefact, showcasing historical and contemporary developments, as well as future visions, for mobile educational technology within teacher education.


Barab, S. & Squire, K. (2004). “Design–Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground.” In Kolodner, J., Barab, S., Eisenberg, M. (Eds.) Journal of the Learning Sciences. 13(1), pp.1-14. (Special Issue: Design-based research: clarifying the terms).

Kearney, M., Schucka, S., Burden, K., & Aubusson, P. (2012). Viewing mobile learning from a pedagogical perspective. Research in Learning Technology. Retrieved from: http://researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/14406. Date last accessed: 13th July 2016.

Mishra P., & Koehler, M.J. (2006). “Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge.” Teachers College Record, 108(6), pp. 1017-1054.

Pearse, P. (1916). The Murder Machine. Retrieved from: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/E900007-001/. Date last accessed: 13th July 2016. 


Connie Davidson

Faculty, CalStateTEACH

avatar for Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir

Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir

Program director, NUI Galway
I am interested in all of the following! Assessment, reflection, using mobile technology for assessment and peer feedback. Initial teacher education. Language learning, active learning. Using the ipad on the go - for organisation, for taking notes, for sketchnoting, to connect with... Read More →
avatar for Seán Ó Grádaigh

Seán Ó Grádaigh

Lecturer, NUI Galway, School of Education
With a background in second-level teaching and educational technologies, Seán is currently employed as a Lecturer in Education in the School of Education, NUI Galway. Seán developed and coordinated the first fully integrated 1:1 mobile device deployment on an Initial Teacher Education... Read More →
avatar for Tony Hall

Tony Hall

Lecturer in Educational Technology, School of Education, NUI Galway
Tony is Lecturer in Educational Technology and a design-based researcher in the School of Education, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway). http://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/people/education/tonyhall

Friday January 13, 2017 10:15am - 10:35am PST