How can teacher trainees use mobile phones and personal digital assistants to support their teaching and learning?

Jocelyn Wishart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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This paper reports on an overview of the results of three research projects conducted with small groups of graduate student teachers in the UK set up to identify the potential of handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs) to support learning and teaching during their one year intensive pre-service training programme. PDAs are early versions of Smartphones with internet access, cameras and basic office applications. Three applications, all linked to the use of the PDA for information management, were consistently and regularly reported by the student teacher as supportive. These included the calendar or diary scheduler with a task list for personal organisation, the spreadsheet management tool for organising pupil information such as attendance and grades and the word processor for making notes. The camera was also seen to be popular for recording both personal and school events. Students’ use of these latter two applications for text and image capture can be seen as supportive of a constructivist approach to learning with the student teachers building their knowledge through using the PDA to bring notes and images from different locations together for their university assessed work. Use of the PDAs to access email and the internet was also popular though, for most of the students, the socio-cultural context of being a student teacher on a relatively short placement in a school impacted negatively on their use of the devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages9
JournalBogazici University Journal of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Teacher training
  • Mobile phone
  • PDA
  • Mobile learning


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