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Research Results

Stage 1

Analysis of students' preparedness to implement new technologies and possible strategies of mobile learning through the eyes of our learners November 2011-March 2012

The results demonstrated that 88% of the students have smart phones, 52% - have tablets. They use in everyday life such phone options as player (60 %), calendar (63 %), digital camera (65%), to get access to mobile Internet (69 %), to write SMS (100 %). The majority of the students have a very advanced mobile (ICT) competence and skills because they can download an app (95%), record a presentation (80%), save multimedia and text materials on their device (84%), write a commentary in a moblog, share links with group mates (84%), search the web via mobile access (98%), etc. 78 % - use mobile devices in class and outside the class every day on their own, 16% - twice a week, 5% - twice a month, 1% - never. It means that technologically and psychologically they are ready to use mobile devices and apps both in classroom and autonomous work on the regular basis. The most convenient mobile device to use today is a smart phone, as we have free Wi-Fi at our department there is no need in expensive computer connected classrooms today.

As for their mobile learning experience, outside classroom every day 95,6% students use mobile devices on their own as an access to reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopedias), 65% - as multimedia material playback (podcasts, video casts) and 68% - as a means of interaction with group mates via Twitter, moblogs, e-mail, only 12% - use apps designed for learning foreign languages. 80% - employ mobile devices in learning experience both in class and outside class on their own every day, 16% - twice a week, only 1% - never use mobile devices.

In class students use mobile devices mostly as an access to dictionaries (68%), to encyclopedias (28%), as a presentation tool (37%) , as a voice recorder (18%). Answering the question "Where are mobile devices worth applying?" 86,2% - gave a positive response; 74 % said that they would like to use mobile devices both for classroom based and autonomous work, 16% - only for autonomous work, 7% - only in class, 3% - nowhere. Choosing some possible ways of mobile technologies implementing almost 60% said that they would like to use it for academic interaction and material sharing, 52% - for educational mobile apps, 42% - for the course mobile syllabus apps created by their instructors, 38% - for recording and filming presentations and speech production tasks.

According to our students' answers their instructors implement mobile devices (mostly tablets) at least once during a semester for communication outside the classroom (72%); for multimedia presentation of teaching content in class (52%), for sharing some educational content (50%), for voice recording (12%), never use any mobile devices (30%). As it was said above the next survey will be focused on evaluating our teachers' mobile competences and skills and their attitude towards the use of mobile devices.

The reports of the interviewed students:
• Mobile devices are the best tools to be used for both autonomous and collaborative work.
• The 21st century is the era of technology. We need m-learning!
• I used mobile devices everyday while studying in Germany.
• Mobile devices do not replace a teacher but they provide an amazing visualization of learning process.
• Mobile devices if used could simplify access to materials and improve academic interaction.

To sum up, today students more frequently use mobile devices and apps outside the class on their own than in classroom work, they use mobile devices predominantly as an access to reference materials, as multimedia material playback and as a means of interaction. They very rarely use in class educational mobile apps for FLT to do some grammar or vocabulary exercises; they don't use mobile devices for production (voice recording, presentation video clips, etc) or for collaborative activities (e.g. such as digital storytelling, web projects, etc.) based on possibilities offered by Google Maps, +Google, Geo-Everything, mind mapping and other apps. Unfortunately, today our instructors unwillingly employ mobile devices in their teaching experience, don't guide our students through already available educational mobile apps due to a number of reasons - absence of ICT (mobile) competence, lack of motivation, a ban on mobile phones use in class in some institutions and schools, absence of the so-called mobile phones Acceptable Use Policies for learners, etc. This survey proves one more time that the pressure towards the use of mobile devices is coming from students themselves, that it is a must to work out certain steps and strategies of mobile technologies implementation into traditional classroom to avoid undesirable consequences of mobile devices misuse in learning experience.

This survey encouraged us, first, to design some m-learning activities focused on the authentic real-life situations for developing learners' speaking, listening and grammar skills in class, second, to create collaborative learning activities based on Google Maps, +Google, Geo-Everything, mind mapping and other apps so that learners can get on with tasks outside the class, third, to employ smart phones for getting students' immediate feedback during lecture and seminar courses via a free mobile application - Student Response System (HiST, www.histproject.no). The next stage of our project consists in working out methodological strategies on how to implement mobile technologies into traditional classroom and making the decisions necessary to take advantages of these new technological opportunities in professional development courses for foreign language teachers.

Stage 2

Mobile resources and a moblog for teachers launched in December 2011.

Stage 3 and 4

Professional Development Course Mobile technologies in Language Classroom.

Stage 5

Mobile tests and tasks.

Stage 6

SRS implementation into Lecture Course: Research results.

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