Handheld Learning 2007, Day 1, Reflections on Pedagogy, Jocelyn Wishart


I don’t have notes for the first session from the London Knowledge Lab.

The second presentation in this session was by Jocelyn Wishart from the University of Bristol, entitled, “Cs (seize) the moment: Engaging with the theory and pedagogy of m-learning.”

Big ideas: 

Control: informal learning is more motivating because learners have more control and freedom.

Constructivism: built on ideas of Piaget, further developed by Papert who created the concept of constructionism. It involves learners making their thinking and understanding visible, e.g. using Sketchy to show a science concept, or teachers reflecting on notes they’ve taken.

Challenge, Curiosity, and Complexity: motivation to learn with mobile devices. We learn because we’re curious and drive to achieve competence (e.g. Bruner, 1966).  Mobile software can evoke challenge, curiosity, and complexity.

Conversational Learning: the mobile device acting as a communication channel (Roschelle & Pea, 2002). Conversation also reinforces and illuminates the process of coming to know by constructing knowledge in a two-way interaction between student and mobile device (O’Malley, 2005). The technology can take the place of the teacher/peer, or provide an environment that enables conversations between learners (Sharples et al., 2007).

Confidence: linked to challenge, also to successful learning.

Context: using mobile devices for fieldwork (Soloway, 1999 for early examples). Booted up Bristol Project (Squire, 2005).

Collaboration: using mobile devices, but usually web-based. Can be with peers (Ramsden, 2005), or experts (Wishart, 2005). Also mentioned the EDUINNOVA project.


  • building the above concepts into software and activities designed for mlearning
  • however, the theories and cognitive aspects are inter-related and create a complex web creating motivation and understanding.

From the audience: there is a need to build in space for reflection somewhere. There’s also a need for scaffolding of learning. Also, the complex web of the concepts should be dynamic, not static (you could use Sketchy for it).

For a more detailed account, see


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