Publication Details

Ferry, B. (2008). Using mobile phones to augment teacher learning in environmental education. ASCILITE 2008 - The Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (pp. 295-298). Deakin University.


This study contributes to the professional development of teachers in the use of mobile phones to inform their pedagogy. The focus is on how action learning sets helped preservice teachers (PST) to effectively use mobile phones to augment their understanding of the impact of their teaching of an environmental education unit in local primary schools. These school-based, action learning sets consisted of groups of four to six PST allocated to the five schools that participated in the study. For six weeks the twenty-two participating PST worked in pairs to teach a class for two hours per week. During this time the PST had access to mobile phones that had an inbuilt camera, Excel, Word, audio recording, video recording, Internet, email and other web features. These phones were used to support and inform the teaching of an environmental education unit that had as it focus waste and energy management. The findings indicated that in this context, the action learning sets provided a vehicle for sustained and targeted professional growth. Besides providing evidence of teacher learning and a record of teaching dilemmas that arose, the mobile phones were used to send supportive SMS messages among PST immediately before or after teaching.

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