Britain enjoying ‘digital boom’

August 23, 2007

From a BBC News article:

The net, mobile phones and MP3 players are revolutionising how Britons spend their time, says Ofcom’s annual report.

It reveals that older media such as TV, radio and even DVDs are being abandoned in favour of more modern technology.

It also shows that women, in some age groups, are the dominant web users and older web users spend more time online than any group.

Among children it showed that web and mobile phone use is growing at the expense of video games.

Some may not believe that DVDs are old technology already! However with places like Tesco selling DVD players for £17 and with the advent of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, downloadable films and the growth of YouTube, we must start to think of them as an old technology.

DVD

I find it interesting that the internet and the web are no longer just the playground for the young male geek, but now that women and older people are starting to use the web and are in some cases the largest group using the web. This does mean that we have real opportunities in education to continue (start) using the web to support and enhance learning.

As for children moving from games to using the web and mobile phones more, does this mean with some in the education sector looking at games for learning, have they missed the boat already and should start loo king at other areas and ignore games?

As for the growth in mp3 players (read iPod) is it time we started in FE to podcast more?

Some things to think about.

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Mobile phones ‘eroding landlines’

August 23, 2007

From a BBC News article

Mobile phone use is continuing to reduce the amount of time people spend using landlines, according to a report by the UK communications watchdog.

This again demonstrates how the mobile phone is integral to many people’s lives. The ability to utilise mobile technology for learning is something we should be investigating, researching and implementing. Modern mobile phones can now do so much more than just make phone calls and send texts, we can use them for taking photographs and video, play audio and short films, view pictures and connect to the web.


Archival Audio Recordings

August 23, 2007

A new source of music and audio recordings which can be used for educational purposes is the British Library Archival Sound Recordings.

The Archival Sound Recordings service is the result of a two-year development project to increase access to the Sound Archive’s extensive collections. When complete, it will make 3,900 hours of digitised audio freely available to the Higher and Further Education communities of the UK.

Part of the JISC Digitisation programme there is a lot of audio and music..

music

Note you need to be licensed to hear and download the clips, but it is free to FE colleges (and HE Institutions) to get licensed.


cn we uz mobz 4 LernN?

August 23, 2007

At ALT-C this year I am running a workshop entitled cn we uz mobz 4 LernN? or in English, Can we use mobile devices for learning?

The abstract is as follows:

Wouldn’t it be nice if all learners in an educational environment had access to a wireless laptop and free wireless access to their digital resources at a time and place to suit their needs. The reality is that learners don’t always have access to what we as practitioners would like them to have to enable them to access their learning.

However they do have access to some mobile digital devices which could be used, these include mobile phones, iPods, mp3 players, portable video players, PSPs… These devices are used extensively for entertainment, but rarely used for learning.

Should we be exploiting the technology learners bring with them to the classroom? We live in a time where technology changes at an extraordinary pace. Despite increasing expenditure on computer equipment and associated peripherals, such as interactive whiteboards and projectors, many institutions still feel under-resourced and unable to meet the technological requirements demanded by the next generation of learners.

The investment in computer based technology requires a major annual expenditure for most institutions because computer equipment has a relatively short life-span and the requirements for running today’s cutting edge software changes rapidly. This can be a drain on over-stretched budgets and results in a need to look for cost effective alternatives.

In a world where mobile technologies are becoming increasingly mainstream, shouldn’t Universities and Colleges be exploiting these technologies and encouraging their use as part of the teaching and learning process?

Studies are beginning to show that mobile telephones, ipods, mp3 players and other portable devices can be used effectively to deliver learning materials. It should be possible for institutions to capitalise on the successful integration of these technologies into every day life and to exploit the teaching and learning potential inherent in the already familiar devices.

However can we really use mobile devices for learning, can they effectively provide a learning experience via a small screen? What about personalisation, interactivity, communication?

James Clay (at the WCC) researched and developed the use of mobile devices for learning. Now at Gloucestershire College of Arts & Technology (Gloscat) he is planning the embedding the use of mobile devices across the whole college.

This workshop will demonstrate some of the latest devices which can be used for mobile learning and allow participants to try them out and consider how they can start to utilise mobile devices to enhance and support learning in their institutions.

After introducing the concept of mobile learning participants will then be organised into small groups to look through a series of pedagogical case studies on mobile learning and see if they could apply these to their own institution.

Participants will then be challenged in small groups to create a series of exemplar scenarios which they could take back to their institutions to initiate or extend the use of mobile devices to enhance and support learning. These scenarios will then be shared with the community via the web.

I am looking forward to running the workshop as I feel over the years the concept of mobile learning has taken root in the FE and HE communities and has also moved beyond the idea that mobile learning is just about giving PDAs to students.

I will be demonstrating various mobile learning scenarios including the use of mobile video and Bluetooth as well as showing off my new Sony VAIO umpc, the UX1XN.