Project GeoStorm: bridging the ‘killer gap’ by integrating developer and educator perspectives in the development of a tablet-based app for tertiary education
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Teaching and learning practices in tertiary institutions are increasingly mediated by new educational technologies. However, literature and practice have also identified the limitations of these technologies to transform learning in the open and mass-participatory ways that have been promised (Selwyn, 2011). This thesis focuses on the adoption of tablet computers in tertiary settings in light of Selwyn’s (2011) discussion of why there has been no 'killer app' for education. It identifies a disconnect – or gap - between what educators need and what app developers are providing. The research builds on Puentedura’s (2008) Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) model to propose an approach that integrates these discrete perspectives. The outcome of the research - an app supported by documentation of the process undertaken to create it – facilitates real time collaboration on the iOS platform between users working on a common topic or idea, to support and contextualise topics being studied, or to facilitate brainstorming in collaborative projects. The researcher draws on personal theoretical and practical experience as a student, teaching and research assistant, mobile educational technology trainer and software developer. The research asks what can be revealed from the process of developing a tablet-based app and thus provides a practical example of how a greater understanding of the development process enhances the utilisation and affordances of tablet computers in tertiary education.