Thursday , December 13 2018

Assessing the Value of a Mobile Application in
Fostering Ideation within a School Context

Gisli THORSTEINSSON1, Rosa GUNNARSDOTTIR2, Andrei NICULESCU3,4

1 University of Iceland,
v/Stakkahlid, 101, Reykjavik, Iceland
cdt@khi.is
2 University of Bifröst,

Bifrost. 311 Borgarnes, Iceland
r.gunnarsd@gmail.com

3 Spiru Haret University,
13 Ion Ghica Street, Bucharest 3, Romania
andreiniculescu@hotmail.com
4 I C I Bucharest
(National Institute for R & D in Informatics)

8-10 Averescu Blvd.
011455 Bucharest 1, Romania

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the usefulness of the mobile application NeedIT in fostering ideation and idea generation in a school context. After having been used and tested in three public schools a research was undertaken in an elementary school in order to examine the application usability from instructor and student perspectives. In order to gain an insight into the context of using the mobile application in teaching and learning, the authors examined current literature and collected data through observations, semi-structured interviews, and by observing the NeedIT underlying database. The study attempted to answer the following questions:

  1. How can mobile technology be used to support students’ ideation?
  2. What obstacles are there in developing students’ ideation within this context?
  3. How can the methods be further developed or refined? 4) What are the benefits of using mobile technology for ideation in schools?

The study also highlighted the importance of teaching students to differentiate between problem-needs to be independently identified by students within their home or community environment and possible solutions to be developed and evaluated in collaboration with the classroom teacher. The application has proved to be valuable for its intended use; however it needs to be further developed so that it may also be used as a medium in establishing course content based on students’homework assignments passed electronically to school. The perceived overall value of mobile technology in schools lies partly in the multifaceted capabilities associated with this modern technology and novel attempts have been made to employ its use in many different educational settings.

Keywords: Ideation, problem-needs, solutions, mobile device, mobile application.

>Full text
CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Gisli THORSTEINSSON, Rosa GUNNARSDOTTIR, Andrei NICULESCU, Assessing the Value of a Mobile Application in Fostering Ideation within a School Context, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 24 (1), pp. 119-126, 2015. https://doi.org/10.24846/v24i1y201513

  1. Introduction

There is a wide variety of software applications that foster idea generation. They differ essentially in their emphasis, but all are aimed at helping with problem need identification (PNI), exploration and designs. These idea generation tools intend to (1) enable the stream of ideas through brainstorming (2) stimulate the formation of an initial idea through analogical thinking, morphological analysis and synectics and (3) improve ideas. Examples may include Lateral Thinking, Scamper and Triz. Other software packages that support ideation include those that help determine target users and provide new information and techniques that support decision-making.

The mobile application NeedIT was designed to support ideation, via Tablet-PCs or mobile phones, within Innovation Education and Entrepreneur Education. As a result of several research projects focused on the pedagogy of Innovation Education (IE), the current paper puts forward a research based on NeedIT application. The main emphasis of the pedagogy is to ensure that students are better equipped to deal with their world and that they play an active part in society through innovation [12], [32]. The ideational skills developed during IE aim to encourage this aspect of students’ development and thus strengthen the ability of future societies, in terms of innovation and development [28]. Ideation was identified as vital in establishing student’s undertakings and in underpinning course content [12], [32]. The ideation process in these case studies was based on students’ search for problems and needs in their environments, which they recorded in their inventor’s notebook. As a result of the sophisticated mobile technology that is becoming an important part of young people’s daily lives, in seeking information for communication and for documentation [30]. In addition, as schools do not use mobile technology in education very often, it was thought that this would be a novel and helpful method in identifying the educational value and functional capabilities of mobile applications within an educational context.

This paper examines the literature associated with ideation and mobile technology and then outlines the specific mobile application used for the enquiry. The authors then describe the research methodology and report the findings. Finally, they discuss the outcome and draw their conclusions.

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