This week I (Dr. Kevin Burden) visited Genova in Italy to meet up with Professor Davide Parmigiani who teaches on the primary teacher education programme in the Department for Education at the University of Genoa. I first met Professor Parmigiani at the Association for Teacher Education (ATEE) annual conference in Braga, Portugal where he presented a paper on the use of mobile technologies in teacher education, alongside a presentation I was giving with my colleague Paul Hopkins. Like myself Davide is a great proponent for more appropriate use of technology in teacher education and this year he has been exploring how his students use their own devices to learn and teach with during their time on the five year teacher education course he runs.
Our work together
My visit was funded from our university allocated Key Action 1 Erasmus mobility grants which have allowed a number of staff in the Faculty of education to travel across Europe to meet new partners and develop potential new networks. In our case Davide and myself were exploring how we might develop an association of teacher educators for the use of mobile technologies which lies at the heart of the MTTEP project itself.
As you can see from these pictures we spent a good part of our time together discussing our respective research interests and discussing how to expand and build upon the work we have each undertaken with mobile devices in teacher education.
BYOD at Genoa
In the case of Genoa University Davide is convinced that BYOD is the way forward since the University are unlikely to fund a deployment of mobile devices themselves. He also believes that tablet devices are more useful for his trainee teachers than mobile phones which he finds too small for any genuinely creative work. His initial research which has been undertaken in partnership with Marta Giusto one of his year four trainees, suggests that whilst students use their devices to exchange information with each a lot (a process he refers to as 'interactivity') they are less inclined to add anything of greater value and therefore much of their learning remains relatively shallow. He hopes to address this problem in the forthcoming academic year when he intends to focus more on encouraging
his students to be more critical in their use of the devices, which he believes will stimulate much deeper learning. He is currently working on an academic paper with Marta which will explore these themes in further detail and we will share the link with you once it is available.
Teaching students at Genoa
Looking forward to the first multiplier event in Karlsruhe
I am hoping Davide will be able to attend the forthcoming multiplier event in Karlsruhe where we will be sharing the results of our first year in the MTTEP project and also starting to explore the opportunities to establish a mobile learning network for teacher educators across Europe. Davide has agreed to share his emerging findings about his research in mobile learning at the Pecha Kucha in the multiplier event and I hope you get a chance to come along yourself to hear what he has discovered and to share your own experiences with us. If you have not already done so you can sign up for the event at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MTTEPme1