Monday, December 22, 2008

Reflections on 2008

It has been a busy year! I have learnt much via the mobile portfolios project. Working with the capabilities that ‘cloud computing’ offer has led to many ‘lightbulb’ moments as I come to understand the possibilities for using the many tools available online to enhance learning opportunities for students.

Attending & presenting at both mlearn2008 & handheld learning 2008 provided opportunities to network with many kindred spirits. It was heartening to hear encouragement from many people including Andy Black, Inge de Waard & Tony Bates on the concept of combining mobile with web 2.0 to compile eportfolios. I think that it does take people who have a good understanding of the concepts to appreciate what the CPIT mobile portfolios project is about.

Presenting workshops & papers at many conferences this year has made me realise how far our project is ahead. Especially when we speak to educators who have never looked a bebo page OR to enthusiastic tutors who cannot access web 2.0 sites from their workplace and have to read their student’s blogs at home! OR to teachers from schools where mobile phones are banned and who have never sent a text message. Yet, there is much room for optimism. Most people now have heard of youtube and a large majority have watched youtube videos. Youtube videos have replaced actual video tapes as the main way to entertain students when there is a lull in a theory session! It’s these tutors that I now nab to work with on using web 2.0 tools that require them and their students to become active participators & not just spectators. Students & tutors could make their own vodcasts or podcasts, work collaboratively on concept / mindmaps or comic strips as alternatives to blogging and make better use of the innate creativity their students have to learn together.

So I am looking forward to a couple of weeks of rest & re-creation. Just returned from an 8 day tramp around the Cobb Valley and now looking forward to celebrating Xmas with the family. Then another 3 day trip to Black Hill just before the New Year & a 5 day camping /tramping trip around the Mt. Richmond Forest park at the start of the year. After that it will be a good three to four weeks of thesis writing, working on the final draft J before the 2009 work year begins.

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