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Text in the city – competing “translations” in a Metropolitan University

Bird, Peter and Stubbs, Mark A. and Whitton, Nicola (2009) Text in the city – competing “translations” in a Metropolitan University. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

It is well understood that introducing mobile learning technologies into Higher Education is not without issues. M-Learning has the power to be highly disruptive to the way in which university courses are delivered and raises issues not only about how people teach and learn but also has the ability to challenge the culture and structure of the educational institute itself. Introducing a scheme where lecturers’ announcements in a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) are directed to students via SMS would appear to be straightforward, given that it doesn’t increase the tutors workload, and almost all students have suitable devices. However, even with this apparently simple upgrade to a VLE, there are competing solutions, divergent requirements, data protection and software integration issues. The paper looks at experiences in a current trial project and analyses some of the issues using Actor Network Theory (ANT). It also suggests changes in organisational practice that might help to solve these conflicts and unify requirements and solutions.

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