Friday, October 17

Handheld Learning 2008 - the movie!

I am still busy recovering from the amazing flurry of mental and mobile stimulation that is Handheld Learning.

Old friends, new friends, cool projects, scary salespeople, avalanche of new gadgets.

One of the especially noteworthy things was the awesome array of big-hitting speakers, and for those of you unable to be in London yourselves, you can see the whole thing already, online at BlipTV:


Andrew Pinder, Chairman of Becta
Steven Berlin Johnson, Cultural critic & writer
Laurie O'Donnell, Director of Learning & Technology, Learning & Teaching Scotland
danah boyd, Social media scientist
Lord David Puttnam


All of these are well worth a bag of popcorn, and some chill-out viewing time

You can also catch other snippets from the day on the handheld video channel, at

Pecha Kucha on mobile learning

I did my first Pecha Kucha this week, at Handheld Learning 2008

"your what?"

Pecha Kucha - the elevator pitch of the powerpoint world. think poetry slam, think unconferences, think on your feet!

The idea started with informal gatherings of architects showing off their works, but has been taken up by enthusiasts all over the world trying to balance "too much information" with "too many people wanting to say something" with "got to keep it fun and light".

In this case the enthusiast was Dan Sutch of futurelab, who went old-skool and laid down the original Pecha Kucha ground rules:

  • 20 slides
  • 20 seconds each
  • timed transitions (so they move on, even if the presenter doesn't)
  • lottery on who presents

I got one of the early slots, and had great fun with a romp through what we have been up to recently in our mobile learning work, as well as trying out a few theories about why some mobile learning succeeds, and others fail. (it was the perfect place for it, with at least half the UK's m-learning thinkers right there in the audience, as well as a solid international contingent!)

thanks to Dan, as well as the many enthusiasts who made it a great first experience for me (James, Markus, Andy, Jill, Jo, the SA crew ... you know who you all are!)

Monday, October 13

mlearn 2008

I'm at Handheld Learning blogging about 2008 - that's how it goes in the fast moving world of m! I'm actually watching Selena Chan, whose presentation I saw in Telford - she works at Christchurch Polytechnic in NZ with apprentice bakers. her work crosses the informal / formal divide into a new educational space in which (maybe) the two will meet and merge (ooh more ms)This was a recurrent theme at mlearn - along with a set of presentations about overcoming teacher resistance (presentations from Elizabeth Hartnell Young and Ian Watkins from Melbourne spring to mind). Two favourites for me (apart from excellent keynote from Diana Laurillard a lovely elegant model which Geoff and I used in our presentation in a rather cheeky way) - one by Debra Poulson talking about MiLK - a project from OZ which uses interactive games with kids in both formal (eg town planning) and informal (exploring a museum with your families)- she gets PhD students to make the games - and the results are really interesting - doesn't have to be Sim City to work! The other was by JulietA really enjoyable and stimulating presentation from Juliet argh haven't noted her surname! (of Mudlarking in Deptford fame) whose interests are in location / place and what the subject brings to the location – and may leave behind for others to find.. She has done projects in outside locations like Deptford but also in buildings / institutions such as the V and A museum with children – called cracks in the concrete – the other lives of buildings - absolutely fascinating. So there was definitely gold at the end of the rainbow in Telford (and Morris Dancing)

Wednesday, October 8

Geoff Stead shortlisted for Handheld Learning award!


Cool! I just found out that I have been shortlisted for a Handheld Learning Award.

I doubt it is for my blog writing skills, which are sporadic at best - much more likely it is to do with the many mobile learners out there that have been helping us refine, and reshape what mobile learning means, and how to help make it happen!


(and of course, a shout out to our MyLearning authoring, and content tools)


No use getting your phones out to vote, though. It looks like our category ("Special Achievement") is a non-vote one. Damn shame, as we have several hundred sim cards, and devices being used by learners across the country. I am sure with a bit of cunning planing I could have got all of them to vote ...



Thanks all,




ps: more info here

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