Leveraging Mobile Technology for Sustainable Seamless Learning in Singapore Schools
Over the next 10 years, we anticipate that personal, portable, wirelessly networked technologies will become ubiquitous in the lives of learners—indeed, in many countries, this is already a reality. We see that ready-to-hand access creates the potential for a new phase in the evolution of technology-enhanced
learning, characterised by ‘seamless learning spaces’ and marked by continuity
of the learning experience across different scenarios or contexts, and
emerging from the availability of one device or more per student. The challenge
is to enable learners to learn whenever they are curious and seamlessly
switch between different contexts, such as between formal and informal contexts and between individual and social learning, and by extending the social spaces in which learners interact with each other. In this research, we study the potential of mobile learning research for designing seamless learning environments that can bridge both formal and informal learning, present a research agenda and discuss important methodological issues that concern research into formal and informal learning.
We want to go beyond classroom learning and explore the continuous, pervasive (therefore seamless), and longitudinal use of mobile technologies. Therefore, we aim to design "mobilized" curricula that facilitate and scaffold student-centered learning activities that encompass formal and informal settings, that is, in and out of the formal classroom.
Starting from 2006, we have been working with the primary school to explore how to use mobile technologies (e.g. Pocket PCs, cell phone computers, and netbooks) to improve student inquiry-based learning. We collaborate with a local Singapore primary school to explore a sustainable model for integrating 1:1 mobile technology into student-centered, inquiry-based learning. A curriculum task force involving teachers and researchers is later formed (January 2009) to develop a methodology for designing science inquiry-based curriculum. Each and every student in the class has his or her own personal, mobile computer for use 24/7.
The research work also includes pilot-testing the resulting curricular materials
in classroom settings. In addition to using quantitative and qualitative research
methods for studying the experimental classrooms, an ethnographic research approach is used to study several selected students from class in their home. Our intent in studying the broad range of planned and emergent activities that occur in class and outside of class over two years is to design a model of 1:1 computing in Singapore schools grounded in evidence-based research.