Off to Handheld Learning 2008…

October 12, 2008

The dust has not even settled from mLearn 2008 and I haven’t even managed to gather my thoughts for the final blog post from the mobile learning conference before I am off to another conference.

Handheld Learning 2008 starts tomorrow in London at The Brewery – I wonder how many times we hear that joke from speakers – and I am presenting in the MoLeNET strand on the Tuesday. Hoping to also present in the Pecha Kucha too.

Lots of friends going to the conference, David Sugden and Lilian will be there, as will Kath and Jon from Glasgow. Steve is taking the bus from Plymouth, whilst Lisa V will be down for one day only – she’s found a gap in her diary. Andy Black will be there also. Lots of people from mLearn will be there too including Mark Kramer, Adele Botha, John Traxler and loads of others whom I only met last week. Well I have met John before lots of times!

One of the challenges for me is that though I know them all, I am not sure if they know each other, must remember to introduce people to each other.

If you are going, do come and say hello.

I shall be using the technologies as per usual, lots of photos on Flickr, video here and there, tweets and jaikus as well.

Key question for me though is do I use my trusty Mac laptop, or pretend that I am a handheld learning guru and use the UX1XN…. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Off to Handheld Learning 2008...

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Thursday at mLearn 2008

October 10, 2008

Yesterday (Thursday) was another good day at mLearn 2008.

I really enjoyed Jon Trinder’s session on chasing mobile technology. Though he apologised for the negativity but did raise the question of institutional barriers to the implementation of mobile learning.

There are some key points here, even if you are implementing mobile learning, how are you testing, is it just technical testing, or do you undertake usability testing with actual real life users.

Andy Ramsden’s session on Twitter was also fast paced, amusing and interesting. Out of the audience about half had Twitter accounts, but only a few were actively using it.  We didn’t really get a chance to elicit reasons why they weren’t using.

Thursday at mLearn 2008

Mick Mullane’s session on podcasting was similar to ones I had seen before, but was nice to view again in a very academic conference. He was very enthusiastic about podcasting, just a pity that he couldn’t do his live demo as there was no free wifi!

The reason I was in Mick’s session was that I was in the room for John Cook’s session on the appropriation of learners’ devices for learning. Which was a nice theoretical model which is akin to my views about using the learners’ own devices.


Digital Refugee

October 9, 2008

It seems to be getting traditional now, I go to a conference dinner and then I make a movie.

Here is the film that was made at mLearn 2008 which is in response to a YouTube video which was shown earlier in the day.

There is also a YouTube version and trying out Blip.tv as well.

Download the iPod version.


The future is mobile

October 9, 2008

Mike Short from O2 has given a very good presentation on the state of play of mobile technologies in UK (and across Europe) for his keynote here at mLearn 2008.

He gave some interesting statistics like in the UK population, 121% have a mobile phone. In Italy the figure is 154% whilst in France it’s only 83%.

The future is mobile

I enjoyed the keynote, I may not agree with everything that Mike says in terms of the “future” but he does back up what he says about now with some good data from the GSMA.

Of course Mike is from business and though he talks about education and education possibilities, it was obvious to me that business and leisure are the main drivers when it comes to mobile data and mobile devices.

A question to ask is that if we want to move and embed mobile learning into the world of education, how do we work with major mobile data providers and mobile device manufacturers that we are serious about this. Overall our purchasing power (in the UK) must be huge. Is it because it is not the sector which is buying iPhones, but individuals and institutions, which means we have little influence as a sector on the mobile business.

Can we change that model?


Starting mLearn 2008

October 8, 2008

So the conference proper has started after the disappointing pickled cauliflower reception.

Alas there is no free wireless, so though I can use my 3G phone, I can’t use my laptop or iPod touch. Though I can enter text on my phone, I am terrible at writing on a 1-9 keypad so I am writing this using a word processor.

So far we have had a (very long) five minutes introduction to the conference and now John Traxler is going through the housekeeping and is now introducing Diane Laurillard.

Diane Laurillard presenting her keynote, “towards a pedagogy-driven account of mobile learning”.

Digital technologies are not typically optimised for learning or teaching… but are optimised for business and leisure.

Now presenting a common framework of representation.

Diane now presenting her conversational framework.

Question, can you describe informal learning?

Diane says her conversational framework challenges the learning design.

What are mobile technologies good for?

Personally I think she misses the point.

A lot of arguments against digital tools can be equally applied to non-digital tools such as books, journals and blackboards.

Tools are tools regardless of whether they are physical or digital.

She seems to be applying traditional learning design to designs which use mobile devices.

She seems to have missed that mobile learning is (or should be) about the mobility of the learner.

I wonder if she has heard of Web 2.0?

Her example misses the fact that learners who are not even at the art gallery can contribute and join in the learning activity.

Digital technologies for not typically optimised for learning. Nor are most physical technologies and environments.

Her model seems to miss the point of the real advantages of mobile learning.


mLearn 2008

October 7, 2008

So it’s mLearn 2008 time. Two years ago it was in Banff in Canada, last year it was in Melbourne. This year it’s in that exotic of places… Telford.

Well it’s the conference content and the people why you go to mLearn not the location.

Looking forward to the conference, should be very informative and interesting.

So first it was off to the reception. Now I was expecting a buffet, alas I was mistaken. There were some crisps and pickled cauliflower which I am guessing is some kind of local Telford delicacy. So now I am very hungry.