Monday, March 26

Mobile learning in Iceland

Tour bus drivers in Iceland are using our mobile learning to improve their English language skills.
I had the huge privilege of a trip to Reykjavik to meet some of our mobile learners. I loved it. Iceland is awesome. The people we met were great fun (and perfect hosts). IMG_7073
The entire island is dominated by nature in the raw. Waterfalls. Geysers. Volcanoes. Glaciers. Wild seas. Lava fields and piles of ash.
But the most impressive thing of all was one of the learners I met!
He was one of the older drivers, and he took me aside for a chat. 5 weeks before he could speak no English at all, and here he was explaining to me the m-learning programme he was involved in, and discussing which bits he liked best. In English! Wow! Especially since he is exactly the type of learner that some people say "don't get mobile". He doesn't have a smartphone of his own. He must be close to 60. Here are some quotes from some of the others:
Erlendur: “I realized I am better than I thought I was. I am no longer afraid to speak. Now I like speaking English – even to my colleagues“
Gudni: “We had a great time learning together. I liked it a lot. I felt I was not at school. Using the phone was good fun.“
Karl: “I liked the combination of learning in the group and on my own, the phone was a good companion. I felt comfortable.“
Pall: “This course would be good for all our other colleagues as well“
Laugi: “Now I can speak to the tourists - I would do it again!“
The training was organised by BEST training, from Austria. Long time partners of ours. They were using mobile devices and content sent over from our office in the UK, but then blended by them into a 5 week programme delivered in Iceland ... with a mix of a few face to face sessions, and a lot of working alone, in free fragments of time.
We've been using the terms microlearning, and bite-sized learning to describe these short, sharp learning interventions.
I was there as part of the evaluation, and had the chance to work with senior members of the unions, employers, tour guide association and training funds. Very enlightening, and reassuring how good training is good training, wherever in the planet it happens!
Thanks again to the entire Iceland crew. I look forward to the next chapter

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