Mini Projects

Mini Project 11 – Mobile Learning

This project discusses theoretical perspectives introduced in Bennett’s (n.d.) podcast on mlearning and assesses the potential for mlearning as a music teacher in a comprehensive school. The aim of the project is to extract categorised practices of mlearning and create a music specific model. With reference to Polishook’s (2005) research on handheld composing, showing the creative influence of portable technology.

Bennett (n.d.) explains types of devices that can be used for mlearning, this project focuses on the possibility of smart technology in the classroom on mobile devices. Bennett (n.d.) further points out the spontaneous characteristic of mlearning that equally characterises musical creativity.

Polishook (2005) confirms two artistic motivations for introducing mlearning: firstly, the portability of the device and secondly reconceptualising learning. Bennett (n.d.) holds a similar position because two out of the three reasons for choosing mlearning are access and changing pedagogy. Hence, portability and changing pedagogy are the drivers for the possibility of mlearning in music.

From the theoretical perspective of situated learning, Jean and Wegner’s (1991) ‘Legitimate peripheral participation’ cited by Matusov, Bell and Rogoff (1994). Matusov et al. (1994) advocate the view that situated learning is not an isolated activity but about adopting a new way of thinking. Similarly, Polishook (2005) theorizes Lez Manovich’s (2001) language of new media to compare the way different languages can influence the way we communicate, as interfaces influence the way we compose.

The limitations of introducing mlearning in my current setting derive from the behaviour policy as mobile devices are prohibited. It would be unfair to expect pupils to fund their own device, particularly at a school with higher than average pupil premium. In spite of that, mlearning could be trialled on a small number of pupils in a similar manner to Polishook’s (2005) handheld composing project. For example, a GCSE class could use rented tablets, from the department budget, to create a composition for their coursework. So that, pupils can work independently in a practice room while recording and inputting their ideas on a mobile device. In addition, provide them with a new way of composing, idiomatically with a handheld device. In this event, the use of mlearning would enable pupils to access resources in the practice room to record their work. Pupils will be able to compose in a peaceful environment with smart technology to stimulate artistic flow.

Furthermore, the pupils will be composing in a different way, allowing technology and musicianship to run in harmony together since pupils will have sequencing software at their fingertips. Polishook (2005) establishes constraints in the software used for the handheld composing project. However, technology has developed tremendously since this study in 2001 and there are numerous free apps to compose music on mobile devices. For this reason, mlearning can change the pedagogy for composition and allow for ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ (Jean and Wegner, 1991) rather than an isolated learning activity.

To summarise, there is potential for mlearning in my current setting but not without its barriers. Certainly there would need to be leeway on prohibited mobile devices in the classroom so that mlearning could be introduced, initially on a trial basis. If mlearning were introduced, the pupils would benefit from portable access to composing resources and the opportunity to create something inconceivable without a mobile device.

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Bennett, L. (Producer). (,) Pod cast 4 Understanding m learning [Video podcast]. Retrieved from

Matusov, E., Bell, N., & Rogoff, B. (1994). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation . Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger. American Ethnologist, 21(4), 918–919. doi:10.1525/ae.1994.21.4.02a00340

Polishook, M (2005). Handheld composing: reconceptualising artistic practice with PDAs. In A. Kukulska-Hulme & J. Traxler (Eds), Mobile learning: a handbook for educators and trainers (p.133-138). Abingdon: Routledge.


Mini Project 6 – Gamification in Education

This project analyses the use of a competitive web-based quiz game used in my current setting as a secondary teacher of music in a comprehensive school, with students at key stage three and four. This includes the learning value of the game and how pupils engage with the game using Whitton and Moseley’s (2014) article to inform the discussion.

The game I am discussing is Kahoot, a game-based response system used for competitive educational quizzes and peer-led discussions (Kahoot, 2015). Pupils log in to the game via a computer or smart device, tailored questions appear on the interactive whiteboard and pupils have up to four possible answers to choose from. Tense background music, a time limit on questions and a leader board for the quickest and most accurate answers build up excitement. In addition to it being exciting, kahoot quizzes provide effective plenaries to assess progress and revision for GCSE pupils. Furthermore, you can download the question analysis as an excel spreadsheet to keep track of pupil progress and use the results to inform planning.

With regards to the game being engaging, Whitton and Mosely’s (2014) article observes that the meaning of engagement in education can be interpreted in a variety of ways, consequently making it hard to measure the level of engagement and the evidence the link between engagement and learning. They explore the different researchers interpretations of engagement with education and engagement with games and synthesise an alternative model of engagement.

The pupils demonstrate their first level of engagement with kahoot, classroom compliance, as they log into the game and their name appears on the interactive whiteboard (Parsons and Taylor 2011 cited by Whitton and Mosely 2014, p. 439). With reference to the ‘superficial engagement’ of the alternative model of engagement that Whitton and Moseley (2014, p. 442) present. Of course a much deeper level of engagement is required for the game-based quiz to be a purposeful learning tool.

Whitton and Moseley (2014) further suggest that learning outcomes are an integral part of the game to strengthen the relationship between engagement and learning. Making the personilised questions of kahoot from the teacher relevant to showing a clear purpose of the game, increasing the educational engagement.

Admittedly, the feedback and results section of kahoot could be utilised more effectively following Whitton and Moseley’s (2014) findings. They speculate the high levels of engagement created by a game could be a distraction from learning. In order to avoid this, sufficient time must be given to reflect on the learning activity and to discuss their experience with others. In addition, their results could be shared with them, so that they know their areas of strength and weaknesses to be able to take ownership of their progress.

In conclusion this project shows how the game-based educational quiz Kahoot is used in my current setting to engage learners and analyses how the link between engagement and learning can be strengthened by the findings of Whitten and Moseley (2014). The next step in the delivery of Kahoot is to dedicate a period of reflection after using the game-based quiz to evaluate the engagement and learning that has taken place.

Word count: 530


Kahoot (2015) Getting started with… Kahoot! Retrieved from

Whitton, N., & Moseley, A. (2014). Deconstructing engagement: Rethinking involvement in learning. Simulaiton & Gaming, 45(4-5), 443-449. Doi:10.1177/1046878114554755