Friday, December 08, 2006

Promise fo Web 2.0 for mLearning

A light teaching load this week but I am catching up on all the usual paperwork that has piled up. Interspersed with wrestling with spreadsheets & trying to work out where the $$ have been spent on our various research projects, I have been browsing the net in an effort to update myself on what is happening out there in Web 2.0 development land.

What I have found so far has been heartening. In particular, I see a real move towards ubiquity in the way information is accessed. Mobile seems to be the way in which many Web 2.0 applications are focused and all of this only means good news for the pilot I will be working on next year.

Stephen Downes article on eLearning 2.0 summarises many of the developments on the WWW that have and will impact on how we learning takes place in both formal and informal learning environments. It’s a good article to read for background. Recent blogs by both Will Richardson & Derek Wenmouth lament the slow movement of the use of IT into the formal education area. Both of these bloggers also show the many ways in which the WWW could be used to held enhance learning. Will blogging recently on the uses of blogs in research, pageflakes as student portal and wikis & Derek with his thoughts on personal learning environments & ePortfolios.
Unfortunately, as I have learnt time & time again with staff presentations, the majority of teaching staff are still unaware about what Wikis or personal portals are, let alone how to use them in helping their students engage with learning at a more personal level.

I caught up with Ajit Joakar’s article, summarising how mobile devices and Web 2.0 could work together to change the world as we now know it. It provides for an optimistic picture for the future of mLearning using Web 2.0 applications. I also found & read the blog on whether mobile 2.0 will rival Web 2.0 which provides some reality in the form of the usual questions about the closed nature of mobile due to the constrains put on the phones by telecommunications providers. There is a way still to go but VoIP, WIFI & sheer consumer pressure to have these services will coax manufactures and telecoms providers towards cheaper and more use friendly mobile phone browsing of the WWW.

It’s surely interesting times ahead for all educators who are pushing the envelope with regards to using Web 2.0 type applications via mobile phones.