Building mathematics cellular phone learning communities
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.
Terms—Cellular phone, mobile learning, mathematics, learning community, middle school students, preservice teachers
International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies. ISSN: 1865-7923