From a Tweet by @KINOWORDS in #medialiteracy I just picked up on this article from The Young and the Digital by S. Craig Watkins – Mobile Phones and America’s Learning Divide. A thought-provoking piece that considers the potential of mobile phones as catalysts for the narrowing or widening of the digital divide. Made me wonder about what we are doing on this side of the pond.
I know that we (meaning UK)e.g. JISC, have done quite a lot looking at using mobile devices for teaching but have we addressed this issue of the role of the mobile phone in the digital divide? Do we know how different groups of young people use their mobile phones? Do people perceive their mobile phones as potential learning devices?
I’m hoping our Uni Student Digital Literacy Survey will give some pointers on how our students use their phones. At present the feedback we’ve had from lecturers shows that nearly everyone uses their phone for texting and phoning followed closely by photographing. When you have a device with is basically a computer that can also make phone calls, that activity seems a bit limited :$