Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Yarmey, K. (2011) Student information literacy in the mobile environment, Educause Quarterly Magazine, 34(1).

The results of the Scranton Smartphone Survey indicate that, while students are interested in using their phones for academic purposes, they still require guidance from educators to choose the most appropriate mobile resource and to evaluate mobile websites and mobile apps. As Agnes Kukulska-Hulme noted, “Learners tend to move between using desktop computers and mobile devices, and maybe touch-screen displays in public areas, often for different parts of a learning task.” The information literacy world would benefit from a closer parsing of when and why users switch between devices. The existing data nonetheless permit a few generalizations and recommendations: Information literacy instructors should become familiar with new search methods (such as quick response codes) to help students use them effectively and efficiently; Students should be encouraged to review a range of search results, particularly when searching for academic information; Information literacy instructors should help students understand how to evaluate information, especially when it is presented in a nontraditional form, such as a native app; Students may need assistance from educators in applying information literacy skills they have learned while searching on a laptop or desktop to the mobile environment.

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