If a kitten can learn with an iPad… how much more can we learn?
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If a kitten can learn with an iPad… how much more can we learn?
This video shows the positive use of mobile devices in the classroom to provide a “back channel”; and also discusses other aspects of mobility, such as the teacher being able to interact with her class even though she was physically away that day.
Gear Diary has just informed me of some good news, just in time for Christmas. Historically, Apple have maintained strict control of the capabilities of the iPhone, by restricting the use of certain functions and preventing developers from using them in “approved” apps. This is the reason that older model iPhones (the original iPhone and the previous model, the 3G) could not install software to record or stream video, despite having a camera built in that was quite capable of the task.
It seems that Apple have recently relaxed their control of some private APIS, and this means that developers have been able to create approved apps that can be installed even on older iPhones to allow them to record and even stream video.
Hopefully, this signifies a change of heart at Apple that will allow developers to more fully embrace and exploit the full power of iPhones past and present!
(via Gear Diary)
Apparently, Microsoft released their “answer” to the iPhone today: a refreshed version of their Windows Mobile operating system, skinned with an iPhone-like icon-driven navigation system, dubbed “Windows Mobile 6.5″. And here it is:
I have no idea how a company can be involved in software development for so many years and still mess up the fundamental principles of interface design. Those offset icons have “fail” all over them. There is a reason that good interfaces arrange icons into grids – it’s so that the eye can quickly scan across them, left to right, up and down, to find the information or application required. While offsetting them like that might look trendy, it’s terribly bad for actual use.
The rest of the system looks pretty much like vanilla Windows Mobile. C’mon Microsoft, you’ll have to do better than that if you want to claw back market (and mind) share!
This week, I have been keeping an eye on the Handheld Learning 2009 conference. The Handheld Learning conference series is one of the two major international conferences on mobile learning, but unlike M-Learn, which is coming up later this month in Florida) is always held in the UK, and is run by the very strong community of mobile learning pratitioners at the Handheld Learning site.
One of the most interesting aspects of any conference I’ve attended has been the out-of-session discussions, and the Handheld Learning 2009 conference has done this through support for a number of social networking tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, as well as their own conference forum area, which already boasts some 4500 posts on 1500 topics. There’s a lot of noise in all that buzz – but there are also some gems to be found. Of particular note is the “Teaching for Mobile Learning” discussion area, where participants are sharing actual ideas for incorporating mobile learning strategies into teaching activities as well as actual case studies; from discussions with educators in the past, there is something of a divide between the theoretical potential of mobile learning and the practice of it, so some of the stories and ideas in this area are just excellent.
I’ll be reading through all of the online chatter and will try to bring you some of my very best finds right here on the Mobile Learning blog… stay tuned!
Last week, Griffith University hosted an “Emerging Technologies and Education Symposium,” which included the launch of the 2009 Horizon Report (Australian & New Zealand version).
One of the important trends illustrated by the report is the growing importance of mobile devices and learning in mobile contexts. “Mobile Internet Devices” are predicted to be a significant learning technology that will that will see widespread use in teaching and learning, and were categorised as “One Year or Less” until adoption.
But what also struck me from the Table of Contents is that four out of the six Emerging Technologies highlighted by the report are fundamentally or significantly mobile in nature: Mobile Internet Devices, Augmented Reality, Location-based (“Situated”) Learning, and Smart Objects. All four of these issues have been addressed by previous blog posts here, so I certainly believe they will be important learning technologies in the not-too-distant future.
Other key trends noted in the Horizon Report (and highlighted in a blog post by Kerrie Smith) include:
- The perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing
- Technology continues to impact how people work, play, gain information, and participate in communities.
- Technology is increasingly a means for empowering students, a method for communication and socialising, and a ubiquitous, transparent part of their lives.
- The way we think about learning environments is changing.
You can download a full copy of the Horizon Report 2009 (ANZ) here.
(Thanks for the heads up on the publication of the report to my colleague at the University of Canberra, Dr. Alan Arnold).
There’s going to be a live online meetup on the topic “The Strengths and Challenges of Mobile Learning” next week. Here’s the brief info from Rob de Lorenzo’s The Mobile Learner blog:
Worth checking out, although it may be a bit of an early start for me – it starts at 3am my local time. Also, the final call for late-breaking papers and posters for this year’s MLearn conference, to be held in Ontario, Florida. Late-breaking content is due on the 24th of August, so if you’ve got something to share, make sure you get it in soon. The conference itself will be held October 26-30: if you’re interested in mobile learning, it’s one of the two biggest international conferences on the subject (the other being Handheld Learning in the UK).
One recent interesting development in mobile learning has been the creation of mobile interfaces for Online Learning Environments. Here at the University of Canberra, I’ve been investigating one particular extension for the University’s new Moodle-based learning environment: the free and open source Mobile Learning Engine (MLE).
MLE provides a mobile interface to Moodle in two different ways.
Of particular interest to me is MLE’s implementation of “Mobile Tags” – a QR Code reader built into its Java client. While this doesn’t appear to work on my handset, it has a lot of potential in terms of supporting situated learning activities and linking realia and printed learning resources with online and rich media via mobile devices.
I’ve had a chance to play with our own implementation of MLE, and while it may need a little polishing, it’s well on the way to being an excellent product for mobile learning.
A number of educators have started experimenting with the use of first-person “Point Of View” (POV) video to record learning and assessment. A hub of activity has begun at the EduPOV site, with a conference (AUPOV) planned for later in the year.
I’ve been interested in first-person perspective video for some time, as I can see it having many uses for learning (e.g. facilitating augmented recall of a learning activity), sharing experiences (particularly ones requiring special skills), and providing evidence for assessment. Here’s a concept photo I created (in 2006!!!) that illustrates where I thought POV might go… one day!
The video camera(s) (possibly one on each side for stereo spatial recognition) would drive the display of information that would be viewed on the transparent OLED lenses of the glasses – an advanced form of augmented reality. At present, however, first-person cameras are limited to recording, rather than augmenting, vision. So my current EduPOV setup is considerably simpler than where I envision this kind of thing leading!
That’s a photo of my POV glasses, with the camera visible as the small dot on the shoulder of the glasses. The camera is VGA quality (640×480) and also takes still photographic shots, with an 8GB memory capacity – that’s a fair bit of video, and more than can be recorded on its 2-hour internal li-ion battery. I paid under US$100 for these, including postage, and the glasses also have a built-in MP3 player and FM radio; the lenses are hinged and flip up, and can be replaced.
I’m experimenting with these for a number of different learning activities at present:
How are YOU using POV (or thinking POV might be used) to enhance learning and teaching?
My absence from the edublogosphere (is it still called that? Was it ever called that? ) was noted by many of you, and on behalf of the curveballs that life threw me I would like to humbly apologise for the almost-one-year since my last post.
As old friends do, however, let’s catch up! I hope very much that the year that’s passed has been kind to you and that you’ve been enjoying a happy and successful 2009 thus far. This year has brought sweeping changes in my life, one of the most significant being a new job with significantly bigger possibilities for me to put into practice many of the ideas and possibilities for mobile learning that I’ve shared with you here over the last three years.
I’m now working as an E-Learning Designer at the University of Canberra’s Teaching and Learning Centre (“TLC” – I really <3 its acronym ). It’s a fantastic team and I’m absolutely loving it… and I’m also very much enjoying working on a university campus that’s full of life every day. The University of Canberra recently implemented Moodle as its Learning Management System, and it has been warmly received by both academics and students alike.
In addition to an excellent online learning environment, there’s considerable interest in mobile learning at UC. My new team is currently investigating the possibility of making Moodle accessible via mobile devices, and a number of lecturers are already exploring podcasts and vodcasts. One of the more exciting discoveries I made when I started here was the use of a tool called Votapedia, which allows teachers to get instant responses from students in the manner of “audience response systems” – simply using students’ mobile phones to dial a number and hang up. Caller ID means that each student can only vote once… and the results can be instantly aggregated and displayed. Best of all, because the call never connects, the system is free!
M-learning itself has taken off in a big way over the last year. Most exciting to me was the sudden interest in the use of QR Codes in teaching and learning that has taken hold around the world. I may have been the first to see the potential of QR Codes as a means of providing authentic, situated learning experiences way back at the start of 2006, and I’ve been thrilled by others who have taken up the idea and run with it.
The netbook is the another thing I’ve been getting excited about. Highly functional, mobile computing became incredibly affordable during the last 12 months, and the shared “dream” of the Alan Kay’s Dynabook and Nicholas Negroponte’s OLPC – with every learner equipped with a portable, digital learning platform – is edging ever nearer in developing and first-world countries alike.
Hmmm… that will do for a start! But I promise to start writing here again regularly with some of the dozens of opportunities and possibilities that have come to light recently for mobile learning practitioners everywhere!