Thursday, October 21, 2010

mlearn 2010 day 2 morning

Day two dawns fine but cloudy and begins with keynote from Prof. Mohammed Ally (Athabasca University) who presents on ‘mobile learning to transform the delivery of education: Are we ready? Provided overview of mobile learning. Currently over 4 billion mobile subscribers with growth mainly in developing countries with younger people most comfortable with mobile technology. People now have multiple mobile devices, using each where most applicable / effective / cheapest. Perhaps in the future, no such thing as mobile devices but communicators embedded into our environment, cloths,ourselves and interact with these seamlessly as they are integrated into our lifestyle – no mlearn as such, maybe embedded communications /learning conferences  Still resistance by educators. professionals and experts but what about what happened with internet use in education? However, our students more accepting and interested in learning on the go. What will the role of the teacher in a world with open access to information? Mobile learning development needs to take into account aspects of social justice. (youtube video).
Call to researchers to ensure mlearning research taken one step further, to help make a difference to the lives of people who do not have ready access to education. Need to help change educations system!!, attitude of educators / managers, lobby for free connectivity, work with hardware/software developers to develop mobile education devices to achieve education for ALL using mobile learning.

Second shorter keynote from Inaki Berroeta , CEO of Vodaphone Malta on ‘how smartphones and data technologies enable mLearning’. Use of mobile phones is higher than PC use, especially with young people. Smartphones have evolved to become the ‘perfect enabler’ with examples including vision learning Provided examples of learning resources developed through partnership of University of Malta and Vodaphone Malta including science based quizzes (sci-roid) and interactive mobile interactive city adventure of Malta. Another example using SMS or WAP in India to help students learn English words – one word a day, at very low costs. (.35R)

First concurrent sessions for the morning divided into two streams of short papers. One on applications and the other on future directions. I pick the ones I am interested in and move between the two rooms.

First up ‘mobile question and answer explorative exercises’ presented by Chris Borgermann with Frank, Siepermann and Lackes. Explains how mashup of game-based learning and mlearning based on questions and answers. Potential of mlearning to provide for interaction, focusing on problem solving with feedback provided. Game-based learning perceived to be fun and may lead to exploration and experimentation. Well-known game concepts tend to only bring about lower level / surface learning, therefore learning game developers need to go beyond. Porting existing elearning to mobile devices also not always successful. Mobile learning should be based on the learners’ mobility (using location-based learning) and not be premised just on using a mobile device. Proposed concept of a ‘treasure hunt text adventure’.

Next up ‘mobile based group quiz to promote collaborative learning’ from Aljohani, Loke and Ng. Presented a descriptive overview of the development and implementation of group quizzes (true and false only) using Nokia E71 – mainly based on text messaging. Mainly a teacher-led approach as teachers input questions but students work in groups to answer questions. Evaluated 3 trials with small groups of students.

Then on ‘mobile collaborative learning’ presented by Chris Borgermann with work from Frank, Kushmood and Lackes. Based on trying to define what is learner/group-centred interaction (passive to active learning) and collaborative or cooperative learning. Learning paradigm changing from centralized, teacher-centred which is static to localized, student-centred dynamic learning. Mobile learning must not be just elearning on the go. Proposes need to cater to learners by changing to a location-sequence-based learning. A collaborative learning system enhances mlearning.

A large group represented by Cindy Kerawalla from the University of Nottingham present on the topic of ‘being a geographer: Role of mobile script inquiry for field trips’. Reported on a case study of secondary students working on a geography project on ‘urban heat) using a variety of mobile devices, laptop, GPS, thermometer and camera supported with relevant software. Students were videoed as they embarked on field trips using a process from Goodwin (2003) to analyse video stills on ‘symbiotic gestures’ and bodily measurements to develop ‘culturally organsed vision’. Process helpful in understanding the processes of students’ understanding of what it is to be a geographer.

Last paper this morning from Norazah Rahman from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia presented a group project on ‘student acceptance of mobile content of the research methodology course’. The post-graduate students are teachers attending a blended course on research methods. Mobile phone content in the form of course notes and access to discussion forum. Findings include acceptance of use of mobile phones as a source of learning content, learning support and course organization (communicate for group work).