BiographyDr Wishart was a Senior Lecturer in Science Education at the University of Bristol. She became involved in mobile learning through her interest in using handheld devices to support teacher trainees on placement in schools. Her research showed that, while mobile devices can be useful in supporting both learning and teaching, the applications the trainees used most involved information management. These included using the calendar to manage their schedule, using spreadsheets to manage class grades and using the word processor to make immediate notes on events. They also used email to keep in touch, browsed the web to support personal interests and occasionally took pictures of or videoed class role plays and field trips to reinforce learning. However, in the current school culture in England, where there is debate over using mobile phones in school, trainees tended not to feel comfortable about using a handheld device in a classroom context. This led Dr Wishart to research further into social and ethical issues associated with using personal devices like mobile phones to support learning and to develop support for new researchers and teachers in addressing the new ethical concerns.
Her interests lie primarily in the psychology of mobile learning and in the corresponding pedagogy of using handheld devices for teaching. She follows a paradigm drawn from cognitive psychology, finding explanations based on cognitive constructs such as challenge, control and constructivism to be the most helpful in describing learning by means of handheld technologies.
She was Membership Secretary of the International Association of Mobile Learning for seven years.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Science education; Mobile Learning; Learning through making Animations