Follow posts tagged #mobile learning in seconds.Sign up
Our organization gets to hear from Bryan Alexander next week. He’s the author of The New Digital Storytelling - Creating Narratives with New Media.
Thanks to an Amazon gift card, I purchased the book and am plopped down on the couch ready to read so I can be somewhat informed by the time the workshop comes around. Check out the link http://www.amazon.com/New-Digital-Storytelling-Creating-Narratives/dp/0313387494 if you’d like to get your own copy.
I haven’t yet used the digital storytelling approach in elearning, classroom learning or mobile learning. Or, have I? Perhaps some informal storytelling, but not with much digital support.
Oh, and here’s a link to more of his links - http://www.nudgevillage.com/village-stories/2011/10/22/villager-bryan-author-and-speaker.html on Nudge Village - a site that promote entrepreneurs and encourages them to share ideas with each other.
Defending Your Turf
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011
I have had an iPhone for just about 4 years now, more or less. In that time, it has become one of my closest assistants and confidants. My iPhone is there to look up the details of an artisan cheese like Gruyere so I can save myself from ordering (and paying for) something not likely to tempt my taste buds. When I want movie times for (any) local theatres, my iPhone has an app for that. I can calculate tips, buy products, set alarms, convert currency, look up weather forecasts, send and receive important files, read late-breaking headlines, take photos, check my bank account, pay my cell phone bill, read books, find recipes while doing grocery shopping … and the list is endless really.
Does my list of activities that I actually do with my iPhone make you cringe? Even a bit? If I think about it for a second, it makes me cringe at the potential risks I could be taking with my privacy and security. When my advisor lost her iPhone last fall, her anxiety made me particularly aware of all the possible bad endings to that story. Fortunately, her iPhone turned up, unscathed and unmolested. But not all such endings are happy.
Essentially, smartphones are mini-computers that we hold in our hands, stick in our pockets, and casually slide into purse and jacket pockets. Yet, think of all the private information that they store and share: kids’ photos, silly photos, perhaps even risque photos that aren’t meant to see the light of day; account details for banks, online purchasing, and other connected accounts; a repository of addresses and telephone numbers for family and friends; access to loved ones and their information via social networking sites; documentation of preferences, habits, and even recent actions. Never thought about your age and gender as private data? How about location data that can pinpoint where you live, work, and play? Didn’t realize that some of your apps like IMDB and Fortunately, with iPhone there is the capability to set up a “find my phone” app in case it gets lost as well as a remote “wipe” of delicate details. This requires proactive set up (before the iPhone goes AWOL) and regular backups to a local computer system, of course, but also protects iPod and iPad systems.
Safety and security tips of both the common sense and sophisticated variety can help savvy students protect their data and their devices. Part of the challenge of living in today’s information society is exercising good judgement, safeguarding content, and developing info age strategies for managing these challenges. Families and educators play a key role in training children to manage these responsibilities independently. Given how often we hand off our iPhones and iPads to pint-sized children, carpe diem is the maxim in training these young technophiles from the get-go. Well-conceived, water-tight privacy and security policies and procedures can do only so much to protect us from ourselves (and others); rather than locking down the circumstances in which children can use mobile devices, we have to rely on technology training to build the skills that teach children to be critical consumers, creators, communicators, and connectors.
What is Mobile Learning?
Mobile learning is an emerging field of education and research that has been ignited by recent technological innovations, such as smartphones and touchscreen tablets. However, to date the term mobile learning is little more than an empty, ill-defined, and trendy catchphrase. In dissecting the term itself, I do not see any problem with the learning portion, since that is fundamental to any form of education. Instead, it is the mobile component that is difficult to specify.
What makes learning mobile? The answer seems elusive. In fact, I wonder whether such a distinction can rightfully be made when today’s “mobile” learning is a 1:1 reflection of the learning of yesteryear. For instance, suppose that student uses a desktop computer to look up a Wikipedia page. Then consider another student who uses a tablet to look up a Wikipedia page. It would seem that the learning between the students is no different. Each merely opened a web page. Similarly, a student who watches a YouTube or Khan Academy video on a smartphone is not having a different learning experience from a student watching the same video elsewhere. There appears to be no distinction between (regular) learning and mobile learning.Mobile eLearning
As may be evident from the preceding section, the talk about defining or understanding mobile learning inevitably results in a debate about devices - iPhones, iPads, eReaders, laptops, and related electronics. What people really mean when they are talking about mobile learning is learning that is enhanced through the use of portable electronic devices. Hence, Mobile eLearning.Problems
This signifies a few clear problems. First and foremost, people are focusing too much on the technology of mobile learning. Debates devolve into arguments about what devices count and what devices do not count. Furthermore, there is a tendency to make arbitrary distinctions about what devices are in or out, all of which have no relation to learning. For example, perhaps only devices with screens less than six inches, or lighter than one pound, or with a certain limit to processing power, or with a certain suite of applications should be included. In this way, mobile learning becomes a fruitless categorization of consumer electronics with no mind paid to the learning involved.Differentiation
Suppose that people do want to differentiate between mobile devices and tie this back to potential learning effects. I can think of a few ways that this could be done. I will start by laying out the mobile electronic devices along a portability spectrum. Here, we see that laptops are generally the least portable mobile devices, while cell phones are the most portable, and the others lie in-between.
The challenge now becomes adding a second axis to this graph. At present, there is little indication of what mobile devices can offer to learning. Without proper research, there is no reason to believe that the amount that can be learned will differ between the devices, as shown below.
However, in educational technology, researchers are usually concerned with the efficiency or effectiveness of learning, rather than the raw amount. By taking a device’s overall functionality as an indicator of how effective learning through the device could potentially be, the following chart is generated.
Another important perspective that has not yet entered this exploration is the portability of the user. That is, how mobile the user can be when interacting with a device. With this consideration, the following graph can be drawn.
Now, I have presented several different perspectives on how mobile devices might relate to learning. However, one glaring point has been overlooked. Consider the preceding two diagrams (functionality vs. device portability and user mobility vs. device portability). In both cases, there is an implicit independence assumed between functionality (learning effectiveness) and how a user interacts with a mobile device.
Examining, and potentially dissolving, this independence between users and devices is at the heart of mobile learning. What really needs to be discovered are the relationships between learning effectiveness, learning efficiency, user interaction, and mobile devices. Rather than obsessing over how to categorize portable electronics, the mobile learning pursuit is about understanding how learning can be enhanced through the use of mobile devices. It is not about looking up webpages or videos on different screen sizes. Mobile learning is about what a tiny handheld device can allow users to do that a modestly-sized laptop cannot. Most importantly however, it is not just about what the devices allow users to do differently than in the past. The learning cannot be forgotten. It is the charge of mobile learning researchers to determine what, if any, learning improvements can be achieved through the affordances of using mobile devices.
“Education has had a track record of first confiscating, and then appropriating, emerging technologies. Even the potential that computers, and laptops, offered became tamed by a mass of "managed services" and by a stultifying focus on a small suite of tools for office workers, rather than perhaps the freedom of tools used in creative industries, or in play.”—Professor Stephen Heppell on Mobile Technologies. If only our policies of accountability were flexible enough in schools to allow us to step away from managing devices and what students accessed. If we could achieve that sense of responsible use surely all stakeholders involved would experience a learning environment that is not confined by walls.
Is mobile learning better than conventional?ask kate | mobile learning better than conventional?
by kate on July 25, 2011
In high school I felt like it did better in classes that used more computers and technology, no matter what they were teaching. I struggled through parts of school, but got okay grades at the end. At this point of my life I do want to go to college. Think I would do better in online college?
Stefan, new science backs up that very idea. A report out of NPR looks at how “disenfranchised” students perform in math class when using mobile technology.
By the end of a semester program that incorporated smart phones into the curriculum, some significant changes took place. Students reported greater confidence in math, were much more willing to endorse the statement “Math is easy”, and were more motivated to learn math skills. What’s more, these mobile learners were better at math than when they started. We all learn better when we are motivated and when we feel like we are capable of doing well. (You already know the sad story of my self-defeating math anxiety.)
Smart phones were used in this study to engage the students by collaborating through blogs, email and instant messaging. Videos and photos were posted to demonstrate problem solving strategies, and shared for peer review. Brilliant, I say. Sounds like another blow for making learning fun, and why the heck shouldn’t it be? Some of ya’ll may say that makes learning too easy to be actual learning. Nope. Sorry. Research says you are wrong and wrong and wrong. Motivation drives learning. Nothin’ more motivating than fun (not even pain or threat of suffering!). I’m not even making that up.
Do you have a question for Kate? Then ask! firstname.lastname@example.org
Where are the "responsive learning systems"?
With all of the new learning management systems popping up in the last few months like mushrooms after a spring rain, I keep wondering why none of them have yet announced a core platform built on responsive web design principles.
There is an opportunity here to open up a big shift toward mobile learning on tablets and smart phones, not by building an add-on app to manage the mobile experience, but building a true “mobile first” platform that scales to any size device.
Think of the increased engagement when students and teachers can do everything they need to do in a course as easily on a tablet or smart phone as they can on a laptop or a desktop. A student standing in line at the supermarket checkout and a question about an assignment pops into her head. She whips out her smart phone, logs into the course, and posts a question.
You’re out of town at a conference. You get an email that contains her question, but you don’t just reply to the email. You log in to Twitter and send a tweet to everyone in the class, attaching a photo or short screencast you just made on your ipad. Smart phones start buzzing all over your hometown and beyond, and everyone in the course is instantly updated.
It seems highly unlikely that any legacy system will be an innovator in this market, creating an opportunity for a sharp newcomer to finally spark a shift to mobile learning built on a responsive web platform.
Web 3.0 Mobile Learning Report: Webinar Notes
I attended a webinar about this topic presented by the ASTD. It covers responses to a survey regarding mobile Web 3.0 with data you can use to predict the future of mobile technologies. Here are some of the key points.
Introducing the New Era of Clickers
With the start of the school year just around the corner, it’s time to prepare for lesson plans and handy tools to use in class. More than ever before, it’s crucial to create interactive lesson plans that allow students to actively engage with their education. What better way to do this than to use clickers?
As more iPads are introduced to classrooms nationwide, it’s important that clickers (and other educational technology) keep adapting. This is exactly why Eduware has introduced its newest ClickerSchool Virtual Clicker app.
The ClickerSchool Virtual Clicker app allows teachers to use live polling in the classroom through their iPads. This app allows you to use your iPad as a virtual clicker. In order to get started, setup an activity at ClickerSchool.com where you will receive your unique session ID.