Friday, October 10, 2008

mlearn2008 day 2 morning

Another busy day begins with Mike Short’s keynote on ‘communications – anywhere, anytime? Mike is vice-president for research & development at Telefonica Europe. He provided a good overview of current and future uses of mobile. Some stats include - 4 billion mobile phones now being used in the world. 95% of 15 – 24 year old Europeans own a mobile phone. Users adopting new habits including social networking, microblogging, personalised consumption & user generated content (prosumers). More powerful & enabled devices. Digital content will continue to grow & be fully stored (2 zetabytes by 2011!) with a challenge being presented of how to search all the data. 2010 all UK phones will have access to mobile email.
for information on GSM usage.

Followed the ‘mobile learning for all’ stream for part of this morning.

A very interesting presentation from Inge De Waard from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerpen, Belgium speaking on how to integrate gender & ethnicity into mobile courses. The Institute had a history of providing mobile learning courses to tropical countries. However, a survey of the course content revealed that many of the physicians were white males & the patients female / coloured. A checklist was therefore presented to be used by both instructional designers & subject matter experts to bring about the correct visual appearance that would help to intrinsically motivate mobile learners. However, encouraging content developers to use the checklist was a struggle.

Followed by Guiditta Azzini (Universita della Svizzera Italiana) on smart mobile school- work. This featured the evaluation of a three year mlearning project based around cell phone use. Included were pre-apprenticeship courses & electrician apprentices. Flash based multiple choice questions were used. Usage rates increased just before exams & classes with teachers who encouraged the use of cell phones retained high interest.

Geoff Stead & Jo Colley (Tribal Group) presents a session on authoring media using mobile rich resources. This presentation focused on the three levels of learner engagement (low entry threshold, no major buy in) shallow or supplementary learning (learning materials & consistent devices), focused and deep learning (bold teacher, Web 2.0 collaborative. Examples of level 2 learning objects were presented in early primary, literacy (speaking & listening skills for migrant workers), fast food workers’ written communication skills, skills audits for workers, disenfranchised school students & student generated mobile surveys.

Moved across to the ‘mobile learning landscape’ session to catch Marguerite Koole (Athabasca University) on using MobiGlam (UMLAUT-M). MobiGlam (from the University of Glamorgan) allows Moodle access through any Java – enabled mobile devices. The project was evaluated using Koole’s frame model and Drons’s (2007) transactional control theory. Although participants found that mobile access was not an important factor & useability assessment of the platform was low, there was support from the students for institutional wide provision of SMS notifications and mobile access to content.

Then a paper from Mohamed Ally (Athabasca University) on using mobile learning to bridge the distance for adult learners which is based on work by Karen Stauffer a masters student. Mohamed started with an overview of the transition from being family / one on one to become being based around religious, education & business. However current social changes have moved us back into the possibilities for one on one learning again in classrooms / workplaces without walls and countries without boundaries. Mobile technology is one way to provide one on one learning anywhere, anytime. This studied access to course material using the students’ own mobile devices which ranged from smart phones to run of the mill mobile phones and even a playstation! Over 90%of the students agreed that access to study materials via mobile devises was useful for their study. An intelligent agent in the form of a java script senses what sort of device is making a request for download & then sends the file in the correct format to display on the various sized screens & OS of the devices.

Shifted across to the ‘mobile learning, mobile knowledge & mobile societies’ stream to catch Mick Mullane( Yorkshire Coast College) on using mobile learning to support voc. ed. This featured a good presentation of an interesting application. SMS service (via text tools) are linked to a podcast server by RSS technology. Podcasts can also be accessed via the course Moodle site. Challenges include the cost of downloading the podcasts.

A very busy morning which generated several ideas for advancing the CPIT mlearning project.

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