Friday, November 3

mobile learning myopia?

I am very enthused by how many educators are starting to think seriously about mobile learning. There is great stuff happening out there. But at the same time I am increasingly depressed by comments I keep stumbling over in forums, and by certain published research studies that seem to be missing the point entirely.

It seems that several strains of myopia are afflicting the educational community

myopia strain 1: No-woods-in-sight-because-of-all-the-trees

People getting all worked up about minutiae: how the keyboards are so small, or the processor is so slow, or which brands of device are the best ones without noticing the major shifts in learning styles (and media consumption) that are happening at the same time

surely that is the most important thing of all?

myopia strain 2: It-may-be-OK-for-your-learners-but-mine-are-different

For some reason many people in HE don't seem to grasp that lessons being learned in schools, in work-places or in FE may actually be relevant to them or their learners. (I think this is often connected with them struggling to think outside the rather old-fashioned box of how HE traditionally delivers learning)

maybe if the learning works well, the delivery ought to adapt itself to follow the learning?

myopia strain 3: If-we-haven't-researched-it-enough-it-can't-be-useful

I get invited to research conferences every now and again, and there really seems a firm belief that more (and more and more) research is needed to show how we can use mobile learning. But the people saying this normally haven't got a clue about what is already happening out there in hundreds of places of learning. The evidence - though not well written up - is there already, and it is being actively used right now.

research reinforces and justifies what we are doing - but we don't need to wait for it before improving our skills and techniques. take a risk!

Of course there are some wonderful HE people, as well as some very switched on researchers. But sadly they seem to be in the minority when it comes to mobile learning. What's happening? Are we going backwards as we get more mainstream?


google said...
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andy black said...

I share your pendulum of feelings. One minute I think people get it but then the long pause and ......But arrives. I dont think people realise to look how media consumption is changing. 3.6 billion text messages sent in August for example. Though seemingly unrelated you might like to read ten lies of web 2

Wake up and smell the coffee!! Mines a skinny latte ;-)

this mobile learnig (text messaging , driving and internet mlarcky will never catch on !!

Alivia said...

I think its still new and everyone is still learning when, what and how all of this new technology should and can be used.

geoff said...

I totally agree Alivia, and think this learning process is essential.

We all spend a lot of our time encouraging learners to embrace their own learning, and be prepared to journey into the unknown.

personalised learning

This exact same journey is even more important for teachers - to help them evolve their teaching in line with the changes that technology is throwing at them.

But unfortunately, the various support systems that surround teachers make this journey into the unknown very very difficult for them. They are not encouraged to try new things and occasionally to fail. Rather they are encouraged to go with what is already accepted and agreed as the right way to teach.

There are of course some wonderfully brave educators who do embark on amazing personal learning journeys. But not enough. They need our encouragement!

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