Faculty Metamorphosis Through Mobile Technology

Concurrent Session 8
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Mobile technology significantly influences students' learning. Research delineates the necessity of faculty professional development and support for the inclusion of mobile technology within pedagogy.


I have taught for 24 years in 2- and 4-year colleges and in high school. I teach currently English composition and a variety of literature courses in the traditional classroom, online, and hybrid at Lincoln Trail College. I designed and taught 4 literature courses and 1 composition class online; 1 hybrid composition course; and all of my traditional classes are integrated with Desire2Learn. My E.D.D. in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Higher Education Leadership researched 'A Qualitative Case Study of Social Technology's Influence on Student Writing' (2015). I also hold a Master's in Secondary English Education from Lynchburg College (1989), a Master's of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism (1982), a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mary Baldwin College (1981), and her Master Online Teacher certificate from the University of Illinois and the Illinois Online Network (2011).

Extended Abstract

Faculty Metamorphosis through Mobile Technology Presentation Description and Goals
Presentation: This presentation for Research Trends and Highlights will evaluate how the infusion of mobile communications technology is influencing students and faculty in the classroom. Today's students, better known as the Net Generation - a generation of young people raised under the continuous umbrella of the Internet - find the increasing use of technology ingrained in their daily lives, whether they are in class or sleeping. Implications of this infusion of constant interconnectivity through mobile social technology were identified in diverse studies (DeSantis, 2012; Dobbin, Dahlstrom, Arroway, & Sheehan, 2011; Madden, Lenhart, Duggan, Cortesi, & Gasser, 2013; Wolven, 2015). To bridge the gaps between students and faculty, Wolven (2015) delineated the need for faculty to incorporate this technology within assignments and course pedagogy. The study further identified a need for increased faculty professional development in the utilization and implementation of mobile technology in the classroom. To teach the Net generation, many of whom believed continuous connection to social media and the Internet was a necessity, student engagement was increased when technology was imbedded into the assignments (Ng'ambi, 2011; Park, 2010). Despite some faculty apprehensions concerning the integration of technology within the course pedagogy, Pigg, Grabill, Brunk-Chavez, Moore, Ronsinski, and Curran (2014) noted, "As communicative devices, smartphones are remarkable agile and mobile writing technologies that provide users with the ability to leverage the speed, reach, anonymity, and interactivity afforded by computer networks" (p. 92). Institutions and faculty needed to recognize the importance of this technology on students' writing and learning, and infuse this technology and the proper use of it within classrooms and pedagogy.
Wolven (2015) delineated the necessity of faculty and school incorporation of social technology within class and course pedagogy to aid in educating students on the proper utilization of the technology both inside and outside of the classroom. Code switching between formal and informal writing was defined by Wolven (2015) as the ability of individuals to transition tone, voice, and linguistics between different communications mediums and diverse audiences. Furthermore, the necessity of educational institutions in building a framework to invest time and increased professional development for faculty in the utilization and infusion of mobile technology in the classroom fostered increased student engagement and prepared students for "real world" applications after graduation or certification. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that educational institutions were incorporating "centers that support teaching and learning with technology as part of an effort to build a new ëinnovative infrastructure' for instruction" (Young, 2015, para. 1). Theoretical and practical implications from diverse studies indicated the inclusion of social technology within class assignments and course pedagogy combined with a framework of professional development and support for the instructors created an environment where students and faculty benefited.
Research indicated faculty were incorporating and utilizing technology and mobile devices within the classroom and in the course pedagogy to a point (DeVoss et al., 2010; Herro et al., 2013; Wolven, 2015). Trainin and Friedrich (2014) identified the positive rewards students and teachers reaped when faculty were given quality professional development in the integration of technology and mobile devices within the course pedagogy. Utilization of mobile technology not only increased student engagement (Ng'ambi, 2011), but also improved learning and communication between the student and his or her peers as well as the student-teacher relationship. As technology continued to evolve, student expectations of up-to-date, wired campuses and classrooms became a reality (Aziz et al., 2013; Ferdousi & Bari, 2014). Students' expectations were that the instructors not only knew the mobile technology, but utilized it to engage the class, communicate with students, personalize the educational quality of the class, and enhance learning of the subject matter (Aziz et al., 2013). To meet students' expectations for a mobile technology use and connections, educational institutions and faculty must meet the demand for a technologically-wired campus, classroom, and pedagogy. Educational institutions must prepare the faculty through time investment and professional development in the proper utilization of mobile technology within the course curriculum, so that the instructors' self-confidence and knowledge in utilizing the technology is strengthened. This reinforced the necessity for educational institutions and teachers to invest in professional development in integrating technology, especially mobile devices, into class activities and pedagogy, spending not only the time, but the money to support such an endeavor.
Presentation goals: This presentation will delineate:
? the integration of mobile technology within the social and cultural lives of students;
? the expectations of the Net Generation for a wired campus where they have 24/7 connection to the Internet via mobile devices;
? the students' increased engagement and learning when mobile technology is imbedded within course;
? the need for faculty to integrate mobile technology within courses to better engage students;
? the need for educational institutions to create a learning framework to invest time, support, and professional development training faculty in utilizing mobile communication devices within class assignments and course pedagogy.
Audience engagement: The presenter will disseminate a tri-fold handout to participants on the main points of the discussion with an online link to the presentation and presenter's contact information. A short PowerPoint will be utilized for main points. The audience will be engaged through a tag board question of what questions they want answered or information they want to take away from the session. The presenter will collect those tag board questions and answer them during the session. There will also be an interactive question and answer period as well as requests for participant contribution of how they utilize mobile communication devices within their own classrooms and course pedagogy, or challenges they have had in doing so.