Exploring the Educational Affordances of the Current Mobile Technologies: Case Studies in University Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives

Daniel Churchill,
Jie Lu,
Tianchong Wang 

University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong



The increasing popularity of mobile computing devices such as tablets gives rise to the teaching and learning “on the move”.  In addition to mobility, new features afforded by the current generation of mobile devices, such as large screen size, multi-channel connectivity, easy multimedia production and sharing, and multi-touch operation, have driven many educators and policy-makers to explore the potential benefits for teaching and learning. This presentation will report two case studies exploring how teachers and students understand educational affordances of these devices respectively. The first case study reports on an ongoing investigation of how a sample of teachers from different disciplines at a university in Hong Kong adopting iPads in their teaching practice and how their perceptions change through the process. It is attempted to understand teachers’ private theories that may impact on the integration of mobile technology in their teaching practice. The second case study reports another investigation with nine sample students attending a postgraduate course at the same university in Hong Kong. The students were surveyed regarding their perceived affordances of mobile technology for learning.  Students’ learning behaviours with the mobile technologies were observed as well. A mismatch between how teachers integrate the technology into their pedagogical design and students’ preferences of how the technology should be applied for learning was identified from the preliminary findings of two case studies. A set of practical recommendations for teachers and students are provided.

Print Close