First impressions are that there are more papers on mobile phones this year. There was also more work on the use of location based mobile learning being presented with variants on geo-caching / treasure hunting / links to google maps (but no one has mentioned frappr as yet), tagging plus locational social linking (ie you tag that you are interested in mlearning and when someone with the same tag is near you, both of you will be texted) and barcode recognition cum location specific technical information (ie if looking for specific article in store/warehouse, the barcode will generate not only the items name but any important precautions for handling the article etc.).
The day opened with a key note from Mary Lou Jepsen, one of the directors for the $100 laptop / a laptop for every child project. I enjoyed the talk as it again showed how much can be done when there is a concerted effort combined with support from suppliers and various funding bodies. Their timeline is to release 5 million laptops to 5 countries by mid – 2007 and then 50 to 100 million laptops in the following year! The laptop features many innovations that including an improved screen that is cheaper to produce but is still viewable under sunlight conditions.
I attended the following sessions:-
Marguerite Koole from Athabasca University session was on the comparison of various mobile learning devises. It gave me some good evaluative points for choosing mobile learning devices for distance learning. Also an interesting Venn diagram bringing together the aspects of flexibility, portability, usability and student learning needs to encompass the social, physical and cognitive dimensions of mlearning.
My presentation was one of 6 slotted into the last session for the day. All went well and good questions were generated with several people staying back to have a chat. I think the use of Web 2.0 applications will change the way they will approach mlearning and lead to more interesting work on eportfolios.