Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Recent resources on elearning and mlearning

A good resource via Bronwyn Hegarty at Otago Polytechnic published by University of Woolongong details research projects conducted there on the use of mobile learning in higher education. Articles include an overview, how to encourage faculty to adopt the use of new technologies and descriptions and some evaluations of various projects with mainly full time students in education using mobile phones and ipods. The last chapter on design principles provides practical guidelines and recommendations.

Other resources of interest that have come up over the last fortnight or so include :

1) A more wide ranging review taken by the Commonwealth of Learning which discusses education for a digital world. This includes articles on how to prepare and implement technology in education followed by examples of various applications and projects.

2) educating the net gen is a Australian study and a handbook of findings for policy & practice. It recommends a cautious, planned approach to be taken as not all students (despite hype) are ready or willing to engage with the use of technology in their learning and not all staff are prepared to make the leap across the chasm to adopt the use of technology in teaching.

3) Two articles recommended to follow up on mobile / social networking use in university. One on policy and the other a response from JISC to the recommendations in the 2007 report ‘Web 2.0 for Content for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

4) A literature review of elearning research in the workplace via Ako Aoteoroa. The articles reviewed are accessed via a visual representation of the various aspects of the review. A good example of how to provide a simple portal to lots of information.

5) And a book to catch up on which discusses What if? About the use of technology in the 21st century classroom

6) Website of the American 21st century schools provides good conversation / discussion starter with what is 21st century education along with resources and information on curriculum & instruction and critical pedagogy. Has a mainly compulsory K-12 focus but much of relevance to tertiary ed. as well.

I intend to work through these in the next month or so. Many of the above bring the realism of putting ICT into practice into real educational settings. As I speak to many tutors around NZ, I find that many realise the need to assist learners to learn important 21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking and citizenship. However, not all are convinced about using ICT as one of the tools. Maybe they have a point. However whether we want to or not, we now live in a world & in societies influenced by technology. Many of our students will live beyond our own live times. Do we do them a disservice by not modelling as teachers, flexibility, self-directed and life-long learning and openness to evaluating new ideas?