Tossell, Kortum, Shepard, Rahmati, and Zhong (2015) presented a study on using mobile technologies for learning in the classroom environment. The researchers noted that “in the year 2013, there were as many mobile subscriptions as people in the world” (p. 713). So, this study was about how students could use mobile technologies for educational goals. Specifically, the researchers sought whether the iPhone could be used to support and achieve student educational goals in the classroom environment. That is, what types of positive impacts could iPhones bring to the teaching and learning environment.
In retrospect, research has shown that iPhones have not been used in the classroom environment to achieve educational goals. Moreover, research has shown that iPhones could be construed as a hindrance in the classroom environment. Even though the iPhone has not been used in an unstructured classroom environment, the researchers argued that this study was worthwhile and could have future implications for policy and decision making for teaching and learning in the classroom environment.
For data collection, the researchers’ methodology was a longitudinal study for a 1-year period. That is, 24 undergraduate students at a major university participated in the study. The students received iPhones for participating in the study, also, the students were able to keep the iPhones for their participation. During the study, the researchers used a five-point Likert-scale to survey the students before and after the study. After one year, all 24 students completed the surveys.
In the analysis, the researchers reported myriad changes in the usage of iPhones prior to and then after the study. Specifically, the students were positive about using iPhones prior to the study for educational goals. In contrast, the students were hesitant about using iPhones for educational goals after the study. In fact, some of the students reported that the iPhone was a detriment to their overall performance in the classroom environment.
From 2015, or since the publishing of this article, information technology has drastically changed in terms of using mobile technology for learning effects in the classroom environment. Today, there are many APPs developed with learning tools for usage in educational activities. For instance, a student could use Read Aloud with a Word App and then listen to assigned readings from the App. That is, while the student is travelling to or from school or work, she could convert the .pdf articled or e-book from Adobe to Word and then listen to articles or e-books from an iPhone while in transit. Nowadays, this example and many more, too numerous to mention, could enable students to use mobile technologies for educational goals in the classroom environment.