A formal procurement is now being undertaken for the the FST Flexible Learning Mobile Tablet device project. This procurement is being run using the Crescent Purchasing Consortium – Desktop Hardware and Peripherals Framework and the invitation to tender has been issued to Suppliers that are listed on both the Apple Equipment Lot and the Maintenance & Installation Services Lot.
A preferred supplier will be selected towards the end of May 2015. This should enable the project to move ahead to deliver iPADs to existing staff and current level 5 students in FST from mid-June.
Take a look at this short video which summarises a mobile learning approach used successfully at another University with ecology students. Though the case study is about ecology students on a field trip the principle of situated learning and the utility of mobile devices in supporting such learning, can be applied in other contexts.
The project to help transform learning and teaching through mobile learning is now well underway. It was recently agreed that iPADs would be the device that the Faculty would exploit in this work. The plan will essentially involve providing all level 5 and 6 students with iPADs as well as all staff.
At present the project team are finishing of an invitation to tender to be issued for companies to bid to supply the iPADs and an attendant support programme.
Alongside this the team are busy putting together a development programme for staff in the Faculty which will range from the basic operation of the device through to using the iPADs for in and out of class activities.
To find out more about the ideas behind the project visit the project website.
During the recently completed Review of Infrastructure and Environment for Learning and Teaching there was much discussion around the future use of mobile devices in learning and teaching. Staff generally agreed that:
- Total ownership of mobile devices, plus reliable wireless, supports new in class learning methods
- Mobile devices are potentially significant for group work
- A number of simple in-class approaches for engagement derive from tablets/mobiles
- There is concern that mobile devices in class is thought to = student engagement
- Staff need a lot of guidance and support to get started
The review concluded that the University should:
- Have a defined strategy(ies) for mobile learning and use of devices
- Provide guidance on reliable, effective mobile learning
- Develop an approach to ensure ‘total ownership’ of a suitable mobile device1
- Ensure that the wireless network can support ‘total ownership’
- Ensure students have ubiquitous access to networks and power
- Enable students to network their own devices easily in campus locations
- Ensure social spaces support the use of personal devices and associated informal, collaborative, networked modes of learning
- Assess the impact of mobile/lighter devices on open access computing laboratories