Mobile enabling of virtual teams in school: An observational study on smart phone application in secondary education


Some 37 years after Alan C. Kay proposed that a portable, connected device could be used to support learning that concept has come astonishingly close to today’s netbooks and smart phones providing the advantages of an active medium. Considering the saturation levels attained today with mobile devices and the ability to be Internet connected, the stage has been set to integrate those devices into the classroom. An investigation was conducted to include the efficient integration of smart phones in everyday learning considering didactic, organizational, and technical concepts. Research was initiated by collecting and categorizing potential scenarios in which mobile phones could be productively used, and analyzing scenarios for virtual teams. A Q&A Game was selected with the didactical goal to enhance the students’ comprehension for a complicated subject matter. 24 students from a 6th grade secondary school (11-12 years old, 50% males, 50% females) who were familiar with Internet services participated in the test which was conducted at their school. It was astonishing how fast, trouble free, and smoothly they gathered the skills to accomplish the required tasks. The students showed not only an overall enthusiasm for the devices, but also explicitly for the teaching methods. Several critical success factors for the efficient use of smart phones in classes were then enumerated. The results indicated that smart phones are an efficient way to realize virtual teams in educational environments offering a wide variety of ways to support virtual teams in learning scenarios. In this paper technical and didactical recommendations that can be used to plan smart phone supported virtual team scenarios are presented.

Talk: 2nd International Conference on Education Technology and Computer (ICETC ‘10), Shanghai; 06-22-2010 - 06-24-2010; in: “Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Education Technology and Computer (ICETC ‘10)", IEEE, Vol.2 (2010), ISBN: 978-1-4244-6367-1; 74 - 79
Thomas Grechenig
Thomas Grechenig
Ao.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.