Shape Shifting Smart Phones: Riding the Waves in Education
The smartphone is a recent technological addition to post-secondary education and it has both educational and non-educational applications. This study examines the educational use of smartphones using principles from actor-network theory (ANT). The purpose of the investigation was to learn about the multiple entanglements of students, teachers and smartphones in overlapping networks or assemblages and to examine the pedagogical practices created within these assemblages. The discussion begins with an introduction to the mobile technology literature, an overview of ANT and an explanation of some key ANT terms and concepts. The research design and methodology are presented and the concepts of “fluid” and “fire” objects are explored. The new descriptor “protean” is proposed as a way to describe the highly mutable and unpredictable nature of the student-smartphone assemblage. The article concludes with a discussion of how these human and non-human assemblages are influencing and changing pedagogical practices and the significance for education.
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology