Finding educational technology case studies
January 19, 2011 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Help me find case studies or descriptive news stories of using mobile technologies in science-related graduate programs.

I need to find specific examples of using "new or mobile technology" in graduate level classes. The definition includes iPods, iPads, iPhone, Droids/other smartphones, PDAs, etc.-- essentially any object intended to be carried around which provides access to the Internet or an intranet. One great example is Stanford's press release about their program to give all incoming medical students iPads-- it states the device and gives examples of how students have used it. I am not interested in uses in k-12 education, undergraduate education, or graduate education in the humanities, social sciences or creative arts, of which there is a lot. I am also not interested in reports that school X gave device Y to students: unless they explain what class or subject the device will be used in, and how, it is not in scope.

I haven't been able to find info in PubMed or ERIC, and am thinking that these case studies would be too new to be in peer-reviewed journals (if they are even published in this way). I've Googled each device I can think of and have found a few news stories, but it is very time-consuming and I can't help but think I am missing something obvious. I'd appreciate other ideas for strategies to find this kind of information-- places to look, new terms to use in searches, etc. I am a librarian and have access to a variety of databases at my job, so feel free to suggest paid sources.
posted by holyrood to Education (1 answer total)
Honestly, I think "mobile tech" is silly if the classroom itself isn't mobile. All the geolocation and augmented reality apps just don't seem relevant to sitting in a room (aka class). Are you seriously going to use cell phones to take attendance? And there can't be enough students in a grad class to justify SMS polls.

To the extent that people do adopt gadgets for grad programs, I think it's rare for them to publish it in peer reviewed journals. I mean, they got PhDs to do "real" research, not education. Where you need to look then, are the labs. Schedule tours and interviews with professors teaching science related graduate programs. If they've published anything or know people who have, they can give you pointers to the obscure journal in which they published, if at all!

A few examples:
* We reprogrammed lego mindstorms bricks to model factory automation type tasks for a graduate level course in real time system analysis.
* We wrote software for embedded sensor networks in a distributed computing course.
* I used Ubuntu in my graduate level bioinformatics course (not the case study). But most of that technology was written twenty years ago. (Seriously, ncbi-tools was old when Jurassic park came out!).
* If new software qualifies as "technology," we used a lot of modern stuff in our grad level compiler course.

I guess the real trick is to go technology sources: CS and engineering depts.
posted by pwnguin at 5:01 PM on January 19, 2011

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