Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Hot List: Mobile Learning Content Community

Tony Karrer, who created the technology for our content community at http://cc.mlearnopedia.com, has been working on some other exciting features for us. I am really excited to share our first "Hot List" from February 1-14.

Top Items:

  1. Phonecasting: Easy Podcasting Creation and Delivery for Students
  2. the mobile project update 1: html + mp4 + mobile moodle
  3. Mobile Learning Tools
  4. More great tips for Educators starting with Twitter
  5. Dane Grams of HRC on their Mobile Successes
  6. Capture BlackBerry Screens « Learn-Learn-Learn
  7. Video on Mobile Learning « Kerning2.0
  8. PERFORMER Support: Learning @ the Moment of Need: M-Learning vs. M-Support
  9. mobile learning on a PSP | The Real Projects blog
  10. When a Mobile Device Becomes a Digital Lifeline
  11. Downes, serialized RSS feeds and micro learning
  12. Practicing what your preach..


Notes on the weekly hot list.

  • The posts come from the primary sources for this group. Other items come from manually added items from blogs which cover mobile only on occasion.
  • Keywords are based on occurrences this week in addition to other social signals.
Tony is not always sure he can explain why certain things are going to be in the hot list for the week. The social signals seem obvious in some cases, but not always clear to him in other cases. Still we would claim that most of those posts are pretty good ones - certainly I'm happy seeing that list. Similarly, it's interesting to see what keywords are getting to the top each week. Thanks Tony!

What do you think?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Deja Vu

All the current controversy about mobile learning in schools seems very familiar. I have been involved in learning using technology since 1979 and heard that microcomputers were a fad, the Internet was nothing but porn, and now how terrible cell phones are. This was after the panic that calculators would destroy mathematics. (You might also enjoy a presentation (bottom of the page link) I gave in 1996 to a state board association. One of the quotes was from Federal Teachers in 1950 that stated, “Ballpoint pens will be the ruin of education in our country. Students use these devices and throw them away. The American values of thrift and frugality are being discarded. Business and banks will never allow such expensive luxuries.”)

In the spring of 1996 (after a year of committee study) I finally got permission to put our college on the web. This was before the nice drag-and-drop tools of today, so over the summer I created over 200 pages using Notepad. (You can see is still today here.) I was able to do it ahead of time and under budget by doing most of it evenings and weekends. I knew it was the right direction and would be easier to get buy in once we had something to discuss and improve upon.

Just before school reopened in September I had a meeting with the President to show him his picture and what had been created. Waiting for the meeting I heard his assistant tell him that I was there to show him our new Internet site and he said, “Why would I want to see that – all that is on the Web is porn”? Earlier I had gotten the comment that there was no need to connect with the outside world, as our faculty from business and from manufacturing didn’t even communicate.

I got the same type of comment a year or so earlier when I set up the first Novell network. But I believed it was the right way to go, so preceded to gain approval. Obviously today everything is networked.

Now I feel much the same about mobile computing. These small devices are very powerful computers and we are already carrying them with us. Our students are as well. We are rapidly becoming a mobile society and these devices are becoming more commonplace in our lives. Businesses and government are finding how much more productive workers can be using these devices for communication, data gathering, information access, and yes, even learning and performance support. Some forward thinking colleges and universities have also begun to integrate mobile capabilities into their infrastructures.

We also need to look to Europe and Asia – and even Africa – for successes using mobile devices as a tool in education.

More great examples and research are needed to get past the fear and uncertainty of mobile connectivity, at least in K12. Many are working to address this as they have seen the potential. Kurt Squire and other UW-Madison GLS faculty, along with their graduate students, have rolled out the Mobile Media Learning site, “a community of developers, researchers, and educators collaborating and staying current on the ongoing developments of educational application of digital medias - specifically the use of mobile technologies.”

After all, we can’t expect to teach 21st century skills using 19th century classrooms and 20th century methods.

French Mobile Learning Site of Interest

Philippe Steger just emailed me information about their academic mobile learning initiatives in France.

The abstract of the project is:
Since more and more pupils have their own mobile/cell phones and are attracted by sophisticated low cost - 1 €-mobile/cell phones, new ways of getting learning and teaching resources can be offered to both pupils and teachers. Mobile/cell phones tend to become Personal Assistants.

The chance for pupils to get complementary lessons, short documents about health and orientation, recorded messages and question papers anywhere and at anytime (on the bus, at home or in study rooms) lead to extended fields of research programs. Besides WAPEDUC allows pupils to learn or revise during their spare time (http://www.wapeduc.net/)

The number of families connected to the Internet is still low if compared to that of families possessing one or more mobile/cell phones.

The main interest of this system lies in the fact that it is opened to everyone and it is quite cheap.

The aim of this innovative teaching strategy is to allow any pupil to get information about the contents of his/her future lessons and to self-assess himself/herself at the end of each lesson by means of an interactive question paper. Furthermore a search engine and a “training” program and a page devoted to teenagers’ problems are available on the “mobile learning” platform.

Other projects such as short texts which pupils could read before attending class, the presentation of sketches and diagrams, mathematical reminders, recorded messages and videos used in language lessons, can be considered as efficient and well targeted tools which prove to be complementary to school lessons.

Pupils choose themselves the moment when they want to consult the platform. This autonomous behaviour is resourceful and can lead every pupil to use the platform at the end of each school week.

For the time being, the learning platform offers 4 main themes:

- Lessons and self-assessment question papers
- Advices concerning orientation for studies
- A page devoted to domestic phone numbers for Health and advices.
- A culture program
The teacher and its pupils can communicate: the teacher upload resources from a computer and the child consults them on his cellular.
If numbers indicate success, he indicates that "The experiment is being conducted among 120 pupils in Primary School, 1400 pupils in Colleges and 4000 students (20 forms) in colleges in Montpellier Académy. Only in the Hérault Département the number of daily connections can vary from 1200 to 1700. After the Baccalauréat 2008, we had 92.000 pages viewed on 6 days."

Unfortunately my high school French has not been used and long ago forgotten, but you can view the site as I did through Google translate here. I have long been following mobile projects in the UK, but know I need to look at more European and Asian initiatives.

Thanks and Congratulations, Philippe!

Ambient Insight Webinar Series

Today Ambient Insight announced their new "Learning Technology Innovation" Webinar Series, hosted by Elluminate.

This is a series of six webinars through the end of the year provided by Sam Adkins and Tyson Greer. These folks follow the mobile learning market very closely and are one of my most trusted resources.

You can register for the free seminars at the Elluminate Events page. I have registered for all and already have them on my calendar.

Call for Action

I have always enjoyed visiting the Boston area, but now I really wished that I lived closer and could attend the new MAS.968: Call4Action studio seminar at MIT. Wouldn't it be great if they were to offer it online? So many very exciting mobile initiatives are occurring worldwide that are changing lives every day, but unfortunately we don't hear about most of them.

The class meets weekly over the semester with the goal "to expose participants to a variety of models for mobile and participatory systems."
By the end of the class, we hope to collaboratively create new sociotechnical repertoires for social change and technical activism. In order to foster this creation, we aim to provide participants with overviews of the conceptual, technical, and historical space for mobile technologies in social change.

We will provide an overview of contemporary mobile and participatory technology and techniques, and cross-fertilize that with theory and best practices around social movements.
Visit the course description here for a long list of recommended readings.

Thanks to mobileactive.org for the heads-up.

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Mobile Learning Content Site

Mobile Learning
It is getting harder and harder to keep up with all that is happening with mobile learning.

Like you, I get lots of alerts and feeds and try to struggle through them each day, but that usually doesn’t happen due to time constraints. From every ten Google alerts on “mobile learning” there is usually only one that is relevant. Most have to do with mobile carts for learning, learning about something in Mobile, AL, or laptop projects. Alerts for “mlearn” used to be more relevant, but less often. Now it appears that Google has changed its search algorithms and is now picking up everything with “I’m learning” whether it is about cooking, driving, drugs, or anything else.

Now for those interested in mobile learning, there is a content community site that aggregates all the great post by actual implementers and researchers. Please visit cc.mlearnopedia.com and sign up for the RSS feed or bookmark it. If there are sites that we missed, please let us know.

For some of the popular e-learning experts and others who occasionally write about mobile initiatives or opportunities, these will also be picked up (as best as we can).

mLearnopedia.com will remain focused on news stories, articles, announcements, etc., but all the important blog details will be on cc.mlearnopedia.com.

Today we published a press release which you can view here. (PDF)

We’d love to hear your comments.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mobile Learning Shootout at Training 09 Expo Learning Trends Lab

Last week in Atlanta vendors competed in a Mobile Learning Tools Shootout

In January we tasked the vendors with taking a mobile demonstration site, http://crisisresponse.mobi, to the next level. I had created this initial site last year to demonstrate a quick and easy mobile performance support site.

The guidelines were:
  • We don’t want to tell you exactly how to structure your materials. Please feel free to create it anyway you’d like utilizing the features of your tool. Basically, do whatever you feel meets the Objective listed below.
  • Please track your time to develop, as you will be asked this. Total time should be limited to 40 hours and will be part of the criteria used to judge.
  • Due to lack of time at the event, all development is to be completed prior to the Shootout. Because you are building the materials in advance, please feel free to make it as robust as possible with media, interactivity, etc.
Objective: Upon accessing this material the user will be able to quickly recall the procedures and issues related to their crisis.

The participating vendors were Humentum, emantras and OnPoint Digital.

Congratulations to OnPoint Digital CellCast Solution who won in all four categories: Authoring - Ease of Use; Platforms Supported; Development Time; and Overall Improvement to the Basic Content. The solution provided showcased multiple capabilities available on multiple platforms and was created in under 7 hours.

See some screen shots to the right.