Thursday, October 18, 2007

mlearn2007 day 2

Keynote from Charlie Schick from Nokia who talked about the mobile lifestyle. Mobile phone seen as an essential part of individual lifestyles. Most people use 5 functions on the phone and main contact with 5 people. Majority of 3 billion mobile phones still basic and 1 billion of mobile phone owners do not have access to the internet. So important to develop learning that will work with basic phones. The phenomenon of social networking is pushing the ‘phone on web’ concept, whereby then phone becomes an access tool to networks like twitter, facebook, dopplr etc.

Awards as part of a ‘digital mini fest of youth’(a
Turning Point project coordinated by Sally Drummond) were then presented. Short films (1min and 5mins) were produced by shooting the images using mobile phones and editing the films on iMacs. These films could then be viewed and downloaded via iHub’s situated around Melbourne, Some students who took part from William Angliss College spoke of their experiences about mlearning, These included an appreciation that students could take responsibility for their learning, engagement in situated learning opportunities, increased skills in technical skill as and a realization of the potential of the use of technology in their wider lives.

Paper presentations attended started with a look at the path to the school of the future, by
Pasi Mattila & Jukka Miettunen from the City of Oulu, Education Office in Finland. They argued that as the student profile(& the needs of the workplace) have changed, schools also need to change. They described how a new school, School of Ritaharju, would include the infrastructure, pedagogy and technology to provide fro 21st skills. Oulu has a history of working with the community and also corporations, so Nokia, Microsoft will play a role in assisting with technology set up. The school will be part of the community, open 24/7 to the wider community.

Next, Dr.
Agnes Kukulska-Hulme’s representation of the results of a staff development project to introduce teaching staff to the use of smart phones. Qtek phones were provided to staff for 5 months for their use to support their own learning. Uses the concept of ‘self-service’ learning to allow staff to take charge of their own learning goals. Starts off with 3 compulsory workshops, then support structures in the form of Qtek lunchtime clubs, online support (wikis, email list, photo sharing), optional buddy plus some technical support. In general, there was improved awareness of emerging technology but less evidence that personal professional development was increased.

Then,
John Traxler, University of Wolverhampton, presented a thought provoking session on Flux within Change. Taking on that society is changing and that mlearning needs to take this into account. Examples include flash mobbing, the provision of banking services by a telecommunication provider in Kenya, the democratizing of journalism by general members of the public and new forms of criminality (bluejacking).
Changes in society also include changes to the way individuals communicate, changes to the way we treat, think about and use knowledge.

After lunch, attended two showcases. First one from
Leena Vainio, from the Hame University of Applied Science in Finland presenting ‘Just in time reBlending – learning tools on mobile for learning German. Started with an overview of design of learning objects (example) in order to produce a mobile supported learning environment. mLearning allows the traditional style of classroom to be replaced by learning in authentic and natural mobile supported learning.

The second showcase presented by Martin Brown,
Omni Asia Pacific CAN, Australia detailing lessons learnt deploying mlearning solutions in global cooperate environments.
Corporate learners tend to see mLearning fit into a just-time, reference, reinforcement of other learning, data base type tool. Overview of authoring tools like
flash lite, DW, sumtotal, with recommended cellcast (works on all cell phones), hot java software & zirada. mLearning content model includes ‘notifications’, SMS, audio casts (content, tests), resources (pdfs!, moblogs, JIT), courseware (WAP, J2M, OTA) & Rich Media (vodcasts / streaming / 3G). Important to match devices used (90% of phones still low end) to authoring tools, content authors and LMS integration. Used in corporates mainly in risk compliance (OSH, induction, Policies & procedures), improve sales and service, improve operations and marketing & production management.

Last couple of papers after afternoon tea. The
Learning2go project presented by Gavin Hawkins, Sarah Corey & Lynn Ball on behalf of David Whyley from Wolverhampton was on the learner voice adding an important dimension to mobile learning. Covered brief overview of Learning2go & why mobile devices chosen (like a 21st century pencil case full of my digital tools.) Learners consulted in design of the PDA and as the project proceeded. A software program dotpocket was discovered by a 10year old that allowed screen shots to be shared via a laptop and smartboard. Groups of students also helped develop a game (on life skills) and criteria for awards for the use of PDAs in learning.
Students also able input their feedback on a
blog.

Last paper attended today. Practical technologies & realities of cell phone learning from Peter Westphal & Mike Palmer (based in NZ) representing
Onpoint Digital, USA. Provided demonstrations of learning objects authored using cellcast along with the architecture and flow charts of how it works. Mlearning tools like CTAD, Impatica (for Blackberry), Hot lava, Evoca introduced. Also audio content creations gabcast, liquidtalk, gcast, evoca & skype and Flash cards via studycell as SMS.