Danaher, Patrick Alan and Hafeez-Baig, Abdul (2007) Meanings emerging in the practice of wireless technologies: findings from two academic focus groups at the University of Southern Queensland. In: 3rd International Conference on Pedagogies and Learning, 27-28 Sept 2007, Springfield, QueensLand.
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[Abstract]: A key challenge confronting contemporary universities is how most appropriately to harness the opportunities for teaching and learning afforded by new information and communication technologies (ICTs), including wireless technologies such as handheld wireless devices, smart mobile telephones, personal digital assistants and short message services. While much has been promised about such technologies revolutionising how, when and where education will take place, this pedagogical potential will not be realised unless and until they become instantiated in the practice of, and meanings emerge from that practice that connect with the lifeworlds of, learners and educators alike. This paper presents selected findings from two focus groups conducted in late 2006 with academic staff members of two faculties at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Australia. The research was part of a broader study interrogating student and staff experiences and expectations of the social and educational uses of mobile technologies and distilling implications for possible teaching and learning policy-making at the university. On the one hand, the findings demonstrate multiple and sometimes competing understandings of the possible utility of mobile technologies in current and future educational practice at USQ. On the other hand, there is also evidence of an emerging consensus about the requirements if such practice is to generate transformations in pedagogies and learning across disciplines and faculties. Thus m-learning, e-learning and multi-modalities can function as the sites of ongoing regeneration of educational policy, practice and meaning-making if those requirements are accepted and enacted.
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