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Investigating and critiquing teacher educators’ mobile learning practices

Kevin John Burden (University of Hull, Hull, UK)
Matthew Kearney (School of Education, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 19 June 2017




This study aims to investigate contemporary mobile learning practices in teacher education, exploring the following research question: how are teacher educators exploiting the pedagogical features of mobile learning?


The study uses data from an online survey that elicited information about how 46 teacher educator participants were using distinctive mobile pedagogical features (Personalisation, Authenticity and Collaboration) in their mobile learning practices. It uses the iPAC theoretical framework to analyse the data collected.


Findings indicated high self-ratings of authenticity, and positive perceptions of collaborative sharing (Collaboration construct), often involving generative tasks that required use of creative, media production mobile applications. There were weaker perceptions of personalisation and online conversation (Collaboration construct). In light of these findings, we discuss implications for teacher education and recommend future directions for research and development.

Research limitations/implications

This study underlines our contention that teacher educators struggle to exploit the entire range of mobile pedagogical approaches. The findings suggest that teacher educators are cautiously exploring the potential for online collaboration mediated through mobile devices, but have not yet fully grasped the opportunities to design tasks which exploit (and model) the personalised nature of m-learning. The limitations of the study include the size of the sample (46), its self-selected nature and its bias towards Australian and the UK respondents.

Practical implications

In response to the issues raised in this paper, the authors are developing a mobile learning toolkit ( for teacher educators.


There is a scarcity of m-learning studies in teacher education exploring pedagogical insights, and the views of teacher educators themselves are often absent.



Burden, K.J. and Kearney, M. (2017), "Investigating and critiquing teacher educators’ mobile learning practices", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 110-125.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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