Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pockets of potential report

Here is a great report Via Derek Wenmouth on using mobile tools from the company that brought us Sesame Street .

This is an American report to try to nudge the American government into greater support for mobile learning. It provides a good overview of projects that have taken place in Europe & Asia along with many guidelines on how to leverage mobile learning into education along with the reasons why. Most of the projects reported use handheld devices (pdas, game consoles) instead of mobile phones but the overall intent of the project is to provide greater access for learning opportunities to all children regardless of the digital divide. Handhelds are one way to provide access to the internet & learning objects without having to set up the infrastructure required by desktops.

It provides a succinct (albeit American viewpoint) on mobile learning & its promises, pitfalls and real potential. Key & challenges in mobile learning are summarised. There is an ‘update’ on the relevant market trends and innovation that have brought mobile learning closer.
There is also a good summary of the goals of mobile learning including “understanding that mobile learning is an unique element of educational reform; developing mobile learning by building learning interventions; promoting mobile learning by engaging the public and policy – makers in defining the potential of mobile devices for learning; Preparing teachers and learners for mobile learning by providing training on how to incorporate mobile technologies; and stimulate mobile learning by generating new support for digital learning.

That an organisation that has promoted pre-school education for decades is now involved in advocating mobile learning is really a promising sign that mobile learning is becoming mainstream. President Obama has been reported as being attached to his Blackberry & his election campaign made astute use of mobile technology to connect with & involve his supporters. All of which leads to better appreciation by naysayers of the power of mobile phones to bring about social change. Is education then not about change in attitudes as well?