Research into the autonomous use of MP3 audio recorders by students in UK higher education demonstrated that students were innovative in their autonomous use of the devices. They used them to capture learning conversations from formal and informal situations to personalise and enhance their learning. However, today smartphones and other smart devices have replaced the necessity for students to carry multiple mobile devices including MP3 recorders. This chapter builds upon the earlier work and presents a small qualitative study into how students are autonomously using their smart devices to support their learning. The research explores the hypothesis that students are being innovative in the ways in which they are using their smart devices to support their formal and informal learning. The study involved five students who own smart devices who were invited to discuss their ownership of smartphone and tablet technologies and the ways they used them in their studies. The students first completed a short questionnaire and were then interviewed in small groups. The results agree with previous research into student use of smart devices and describe autonomous engagement facilitated by personally owned smart technologies. The study identifies continuous patterns of pervasive engagement by students and concludes that more thought should be given to disruptive innovation, digital literacy and employability.
Nortcliffe, A. and Middleton, A. (2013), "The Innovative Use of Personal Smart Devices by Students to Support their Learning", Wankel, L.A. and Blessinger, P. (Ed.) Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Mobile Applications: Smartphones, Skype and Texting Technologies (Cutting-Edge Technologies in Higher Education, Vol. 6 Part D), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 175-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2044-9968(2013)000006D009
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