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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Students and mobile devices

Many educators advocate, promote and encourage the dreams of agency, control, ownership and choice amongst students whilst educational institutions take the responsibility for provision, equity, access, participation and standards. The institutions traditionally procure, provide and control the technology for learning but now students are acquiring their own personal technologies for learning and institutions are challenged to keep pace. These allow students to produce, store, transmit and consume information, images and ideas; this potentially realises the educators' dream but for institutions is potentially a nightmare, one of loss of control and loss of the quality, consistency, uniformity and stability that delivered the dreams of equity, access and participation. This paper traces the conflicting dreams and responsibilities.
"To return to our starting point of dreams and responsibilities, student devices unlock the dreams of agency, control, ownership and choice amongst students but put the dreams of equity, access and participation at risk. Universities cannot afford, procure, provide nor control these devices but they cannot ignore them either. Clearly such a stark choice is an over-simplification; there is no simple question and no simple answer."