Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What I will be up to in Australia next week.

Next week, I am presenting a paper at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) Australia conference. The NCVER research conferences have been part of my professional development for the pass 4 years. The conferences have provided me with a good opportunity to touch base with what Australian researchers in vocational education have been working on. I have also been able to fit in visits to TAFEs that teach similar subjects to my own and also try to work in a side trip to touch base with my supervisor at Griffith.

This year’s conference is to be held at
Wodonga TAFE. From New Zealand, I travel to Melbourne and then take a v-line train to Wodonga. On the way back, I will spent a few days in Melbourne to call in on some corporate customers and also to visit William Angliss TAFE where I have arranged to meet up with Caryl Oliver. Caryl was chosen to be an Australian flexible learning leader in 2004. Her main topic of interest has been new and emerging technologies and its applications to vocational learners in the hospitality and tourism areas. So I hope to be able to learn about some of her experiences with the use of mobile learning in a blended learning environment.

My paper is titled:- mLearning:- Opportunities for introducing cognitive apprenticeships into trade based apprenticeship training and is basically based on some of the reflections that have been collated on this blog. I will put a link in to the paper once it appears on the NCVER website.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Keeping up with the play

A couple of months using the facilities on PubSub to keep an eye out for material on mLearning has provided many interesting sites and blogs to follow. Using bloglines has been a godsend in helping to collate all the various blogs I now follow. I have now managed to get into the routine of checking bloglines a couple of times a day and to filter the information into some sort of organised fashion into the Word file I keep for assorted information. When I find the time to retrieve and read the information, the gems are then recorded on to my card index and transferred on to Endnotes. It is about the only way I can find to archive all the information I collect on the various topics I have an interest in. Magpie should have been my online nic but that was taken by someone else already.

When I started this blog, I was conscious of the fact that mobile phone technology was moving along at a fast pace. Now, I can see that it is starting to gain a real momentum and that there is an explosion of ideas, improvements, capabilities and applications. Not all of these ideas may make it into the main stream but many of the learning ideas put forward in the paper by Marc Prensky are already achievable with current phones and telecommunications providers.

I have found the following sites worth following for glimpses into the world of mobile phone development.
  • Engadgets provides a good start for any technology watcher. I have however tended to concentrate on the Engadgets Handheld area as this is where the mLearning action is. This is a good site to check out the hardware that is coming up and what people are doing with their handhelds.
  • Textually.org provides an insight into the mobile phone world and is especially useful for keeping up with what is happening with text messaging applications.
  • Mobile weblog is a great site that chronicles developments in the mobile technology world. Although it maintains a mobile marketing focus, many of the articles describe developments that also have uses and implications for us in education.
  • I love my now ancient Treo 180 (I have had it for just on 2 years!), the Treo 650 is on my current wish list. The Treonauts blog and the Treo Addicts site provide up to date articles on how to get the best out of the Treo. Information on Treo developments, software and accessories are also provided along with the latest goss on what is happening at Palm.

If readers of this blog come across useful sites for information relevant to mLearning, please drop me a line.