Wednesday, October 15, 2008

handheld2008 day 2 afternoon - emerging technologies session

A variety of sessions to choose from this afternoon. There are panels on ‘re-imaging teaching in the 21st century’, using game consoles in teaching & learning, virtual worlds & social networks & a MoLeNET showcase.

I decided to attend the ‘emerging technologies & new practices’ sessions which focused on practioners /researchers & developers reporting on their projects.

Mark Robinson facilitated the sessions.

Richard Crook on ‘praise pod’ which is the use of technology to provide appropriate praise to all people in order to motivate them towards greater excellence. A ‘praise pod’ is set up to allow students in schools to record videos when they have completed something good (via a interview) & then the clip can be emailed etc to parent’s phones.

Tony Vincent presents tips for podcasting which are also summarised in an ebook. Examples from Radio WillowWeb (7 year olds make a podcast about set topics) & our city podcast (students share information about their city with others). Planning etc will take 80 – 90% of the production time of a podcast. A source for Sound effects.

Mark Van’t Hooft & Thomas McNeal from Kent State University on students as content creators. The GeoHistorian project uses mobile phones & QR codes to take photos, videos & record audio clips about an historical landmark in their local area. Livecast or qik is used to stream the video straight to these sites. Then mobile website creators can be used to showcase the pictures etc. Winksite is used to create QR codes to direct user cell phones to the mobile website. Will need to try this out.

Lilian Soon an independent elearning developer, on ‘using gadgets to empower students with disablilites’ provided many ideas for the use of handheld devices. She started out with using SMS in 2003. Then using PDAs which have been a great tool to help less able students take photos & record audio of learning activities which can then be used back in the classroom to create their own content. At Hull College, there is the use of head cameras cum asus eee to record student evidence of automotive mechanics. A good example of using mindmaps to link various pieces of evidence to create one collective area. Mobile phones now used to collect evidence, use Bluetooth exchange of files, simple quizzes & flash cards, as a media player, QR codes to link to web sites & moblogging. Using SD cards to store photos etc. on Nintendo Wii to help students with improving motor control or use the puzzle function to make up a jigsaw or use cut & paste to do matching or labelling exercises (from an ppt. slide) plus use the pictochat function on the Nintendo DS. Also able to load flash cards with photos, text, videos or music.

Jocelyn Ford Morie from University of Southern California Institute of Creative Technologies which is sponsored by the US Army to use current technology in creating better learning for soldiers. The example used was to enhance critical thinking skills using case studies on a web based training system called AXL Net (army excellence in leadership). This was delivered on ipod classics & nano although PDAs, game consoles & the iPhone were also evaluated.

Paul Quinn, Harefield Sports academy on using PSPs to help Watford football scholars, elite gymnasts & other athletes. PSPs have been used to upload powerpoints to allow students to revise work, revise work using quizzes which will run on the PSP and review their own sports performance using the video playback function.

Sally Drummond from William Angliss College in Melbourne on ‘engaging youth in mobile learning’ with the ‘turning point project’ which was presented at last year’s mlearn in Melbourne. Students used mobile phones to create videos that would be presented on the iHubs sited around Melbourne. Students used Bluetooth to interchange information between mobiles & between mobiles & PCs. The Bluezone technology has many possibilities to push content out to Bluetooth capable mobile devices.

John Traxler on an overview of mlearn 2008. One theme that came about was the sense of community that is now forming around the mobile learning research committee. Highlights for him included Diana Laurillard’s & Yrjo Engestrom’s presentations that inform mobile learning theory, Vanessa Pittard & Jill Attewell on whether the evidence for mobile learning taking place has actually taken place. There was a growing number of technologies & systems & more case studies which also raised more challenges. Mike Short & Marc Prensky provided the bigger pictures of where technology might take us.

A very rewarding afternoon. I picked up lots of interesting ideas to try out when I get back to Chch. especially another look at potential mobile blogging / mobile website creation sites as the last time I checked them out (over a year ago) many would not work with NZ telecom providers. Also to check out if possible to revive work completed 3 years ago on evaluating game consoles for use in teaching & learning at CPIT.

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