Monday, December 11, 2006

Moving mLearning forward

I have been thinking about how to move on with mlearning over the last couple of months. This has come about as my mlearning trials have started to pay off and I now have firmer ideas of how to go about delivering mlearning supported distance learning courses & mlearning based eportfolio compilation. Next year, we will pilot what we have been trialling. I will be evaluating and re-evaluating the various ways in which we will go about delivering the courses & compiling eportfolios.

I have been dipping in & out of several books on eportfolios, globalising and ubiquitous computing over the year. They are all providing me with food for thought so that I can work at sorting out how we can move mlearning further along.

Thomas L. Friedman “”The world is flat” is a good read about the way in which technology is changing society and the pace at which globalisation is moving. From an educator’s point of view, it opens up many challenges and possibilities.

Adam Greenfield’s “Everyware: the dawn of ubiquitious computing “is another interesting read. His concept of ubiquitous computing predicts that we will be surrounded by ‘smart buildings, smart furniture, smart clothing’. We will be wireless, networked and tagged whether we want to or not. I am not sure if I will want to be as connected as the image he portrays. However, parts of the future he envisions are already with us. We can either ignore it, allow it to creep into our lives or keep up with the play & contribute to the concept in a more educated way.

Elizabeth Hebert’s “Power of Portfolios” & Deborah Meire & others “multiple intelligences & portfolios” are both books that provide examples of how portfolios are used to build up rapport with students and to allow the narrative of the student’s learning to come through in the form of the portfolios that they have put together.
This is also supported by work by many in early childhood & primary education, an example from Buckland’s Beach School in Auckland being Ian Fox’s learning to learn model.

These are three different but intertwined areas. John Seeley Brown’s work provides some direction for educators. He brings together ideas learnt from many organisations on now to ‘manage knowledge’ and increase innovation to counter some of the disadvantages wrought by globalisation on developed countries. Some of solutions involve the use of socially networked software (much of Web 2.0) and the ability to harness the power of many. Eportfolio’s are one way for individuals to collate their strengths (especially innovation and creativity) into an accessible form that can be readily showcased.

The Press (local Christchurch paper) had a front page article on how schooling would change in the next 20 years. (oct. 12th 2006) They were summarising a report made to the Ministry of Education about the future of education in NZ. There was a distinct move to student centred learning and a move away from the current ‘factory’ model of schooling. mLearning mashed with Web 2.0 applications are one way to provide ready made / relatively low cost tools for progressing the vision of schooling without walls.

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