Education in precarious times: a comparative study across six countries to identify design priorities for mobile learning in a pandemic
Ó Grádaigh, Seán
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Hall, Tony, Connolly, Cornelia, Ó Grádaigh, Seán, Burden, Kevin, Kearney, Matthew, Schuck, Sandy, Bottema, Jeroen, Cazemier, Gerton, Hustinx, Wouter, Evens, Marie, Koenraad, Ton, Makridou, Eria, Kosmas, Panagiotis. (2020). Education in precarious times: a comparative study across six countries to identify design priorities for mobile learning in a pandemic. Information and Learning Science. doi:10.1108/ILS-04-2020-0089
Similar to the current global Coronavirus crisis, the flu pandemic of 1918 forced the closure internationally of schools, and in general brought a halt to formal education. A major difference between then and now is that there was no possibility at that time to move education online; and furthermore, even in the current era, mobile learning has really only become generally usable and ubiquitous in the last twenty years, through the increased connectivity, functionality and portability of mobile devices. This paper is based on the emergency changes we have had to make in the European DEIMP Project (2017-2020), Designing and Evaluating Innovative Mobile Pedagogies . DEIMP is undertaken by a transnational consortium comprising partner institutions and schools from six countries: the UK (coordinating), Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Based on its work developing educational technology with and for schools, DEIMP has produced twenty-one principles underpinning innovative mobile pedagogies, clustered in five themes: adaptive, authentic, collaboration, mobility, and student choice. It is possible to see evidence of the principles in the mobile learning responses in different countries, as a consequence of the current, COVID-19 Pandemic. However, for effective coordination to happen across the twenty-one principles, this study highlights how both the digital divide and digital use divide need to be uniformly tackled and addressed. Solving these two priority challenges as well as implementing the twenty-one principles will, we hope, help us respond effectively in the uncertain present, and plan systematically for an unpredictable, post-pandemic future.
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