The projects are guided and supported by weekly “technology sessions” (Communities of Practice, or COP) facilitated by a ‘technology steward’ (Wenger et al., 2005) investigating the potential of mobile web 2.0 technologies for integration within each course. The COPs are a collaborative partnership between the researcher (as the ‘technology steward’), the course lecturers, and their students. The mlearning projects prior to 2009 had comprised small groups of students from select courses that volunteered to participate in the projects, while the breadth of funding secured for the 2009 projects enabled all students in each course to voluntarily participate if they chose. All participants (both lecturers and students) are provided with either (and in some cases both) an appropriate smartphone or 3G enabled netbook for the duration of their courses in 2009.
The following sections outline three illustrative mobile web 2.0 case studies:
- A collaborative sustainable house design project between a third year Product Design course and a second year Landscape Design course. The Ning (http://www.ning.com) social network is used to facilitate collaboration between the two different courses (http://designprojects.ning.com).
* Product Design students using Nokia N95 smartphones and folding Bluetooth keyboards to capture and share design ideas and reflections on design via the use of an online blog/eportfolio.
* Landscape Design students using 3G enabled netbooks to facilitate the development of a collaborative design process via Ning forums, and online media sharing sites such as Flickr (http://www.flickr.com) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com).
- Contemporary Music students using iPhones as tools to record and share environmental sounds from a variety of off-campus contexts, as well as creating online profiles on Vox (http://www.vox.com ) and MySpace (http://www.myspace.com), evaluating the use of new technologies for music generation, sharing, marketing, and distribution.