Tuesday, June 26

mLearnCon 2012

I was honoured to do a Key Note at mLearnCon 2012 in Silicon Valley, sharing a combined session with Clarke Quinn (@Quinnovator) and /David Metcalf (@dmetcalf)

It was a fun and dynamic session, which seemed to catch the right mix of theory, practise and vision. See my presentation, below:

The session was focussed on some practical lessons from the field (the 3 of us are major m-learning veterans!). My key themes were:

Mobile is NOW, and personal - when your learners are already mobile web users, and smartphones are already mainstream … it is pointless debating whether m-learning is good or not. It is already here. We just need to get better at harnessing it!

One size does not fit all – there isn't only one approach. You need to plan your mobile learning around YOUR learners, YOUR scenario. YOUR domain area.

Learner centred design – It is the learner’s own phone. You need to design your learning around their context, and their needs.

Native app PLUS HTML5 – We are big fans of using HTML5 for all our content, and then blending that with the native app. We use PhoneGap, and build custom plugins, and javascript code to optimise for learning.

Standards decrease risk, and increase resilience – Where ever possible, make sure your content. Your data. The divide between different sections of your platform communicate with open, standard formats.

What do you think? Let’s hear your comment!

Monday, June 18

Top m-learning reports of 2012

Filtering out the best, so you don’t have to! Links to our top m-learning reports for 2012:
You know that mobile learning has hit the mainstream when the big guys start to get it … and 2012 is the year that this happened. With solid reports, and reviews from UNESCO, GSMA and other global giants, as well as a flurry from mobile consultancies across the planet!
Here are a few of the best (free) reports:

image GSMA have a whole collection of reports, the meatiest of which is a McKinsey market report. It is good stuff, but bear in mind their audience. This is not about empowering learning. It is about helping network operators (GSMA) understand the commercial opportunities. So good on stats, a little heavy on corporate speak, but a little lame on education. Teachers may find the other reports (Case Studies) more helpful.


image UNESCO have also launched a Mobile Learning Series, with some great reports, and resources. These are the opposite end of the spectrum from the GSMA ones. Very grass-roots up. Trying to understand the impact on individual students, and looking at challenges faced by education institutions. They hosted a mobile learning week earlier this year. If you are new to m-learning I recommend their summary of the week. By reading section 2, you get a crash course in all the current discourse of m-learning!

imageJISC infoNet in the UK put together a great summary of what is going on in learning technologies (“Emerging Practice in a Digital Age”), and included with it a special section on m-learning: The Mobile Learning infoKit. JISC are all about empowering teachers, so they contain real, grounded advice and guidance. It is a great report, but even better for those visual learners amongst you, there is a great, simple slideshow that comes with it, summarizing all the main themes!

imageOr if you like your reports more academic, check out IAMLearn – the International Association of Mobile Learning. They have a small sample of their prodigious output online.


imagem-learning.org – of course it would be remiss of me not to point you at our own m-learning.org site for a wealth of free research, and reports. Or see also the reports section of our MoLE project site

So much for the meaty reports …  for more current news, there are some great developer teams (like ours!) and practitioners publishing tips and tricks. See TribalLabs, MobLearn, Float Mobile Learning, Upside Learning, LearningInHand, IgnatiaWebs, Mobile Learning Edge, or aggregators like mlearnopedia.
But if you REALLY want your news fresh, go to #mlearning on twitter!
Enjoy!
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