Building mathematics cellular phone learning communities

Wajeeh M. Daher

Abstract


Researchers emphasize the importance of maintaining learning communities and environments. This article describes the building and nourishment of a learning community, one comprised of middle school students who learned mathematics out-of-class using the cellular phone. The building of the learning community was led by three third year pre-service teachers majoring in mathematics and computers. The pre-service teachers selected thirty 8th grade students to learn mathematics with the cellular phone and be part of a learning community experimenting with this learning. To analyze the building and development stages of the cellular phone learning community, two models of community building stages were used; first the team development model developed by Tuckman (1965), second the life cycle model of a virtual learning community developed by Garber (2004). The research findings indicate that a learning community which is centered on a new technology has five 'life' phases of development: Pre-birth, birth, formation, performing, and maturity. Further, the research finding indicate that the norms that were encouraged by the preservice teachers who initiated the cellular phone learning community resulted in a community which developed, nourished and matured to be similar to a community of experienced applied mathematicians who use mathematical formulae to study everyday phenomena.

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies. ISSN: 1865-7923
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