How Does Context And Communication Style Differ Amoung Various Countries How Quickly Mobile Learning Has Progressed In 5 Short Years!

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How Quickly Mobile Learning Has Progressed In 5 Short Years!

The first mobile learning workshop took place in Birmingham, UK in 2002 and the 6th International Mobile Learning Conference recently concluded in Melbourne Australia. In five short years we have gone from ‘playing’ with toys to prepare for the future or our development to the delivery of phones of all models…

I have been involved in mobile learning since 2003 and it is interesting to think about the way it has grown and been taken in such a short period of time. As someone who has worked hard to introduce mobile learning I am well aware that the reaction to my efforts has ranged from “what on earth are you in?” to “please help us to make it happen!”.

For those who ask the question, mobile learning is the delivery of teaching and learning through the use of portable, portable or mobile devices that are part of a combination of teachers and students interact. But like every new idea there is a flow in the change and thought of every teleconference I organized it as follows:

2003 – mLearn in London:

The theme was ‘New Possibilities’ and we looked at mobile phones and some personal digital assistants (PDAs). We discussed issues such as navigation on small devices and messaging and some games that are already available on mobile phones. We also started talking about knowledge management and the type of education that can be used.

The state of mobile learning at the time was best described by John Traxler who is now at Wolverhampton University in the UK:

“Mobile education is at the level of small projects working to spread the effectiveness of excellence in special education”

2004 – mLearn in Rome:

Holding a conference with the most advanced technology in a 12th century castle in Rome is an interesting experience!

The topic this time was “Critical Competencies” and we began to discuss changes in teaching, the impact of the use of portable devices and the effectiveness of the curriculum. digital that has been created. We have started to see new and wireless phones are starting to appear in some places that will expand the concept of mobility.

Now we have discussed the use of PDAs and mobile phones for delivery in a way that is suitable for different courses, in context and overcoming some of the previous problems.

2005 – mLearn in Cape Town:

The theme “Education in your hands” is especially appropriate in a country where internet coverage is minimal but cell phone coverage is almost complete!

In this conference we started hearing about integration and mobile content management. We looked at examples of successful individuals who are introducing mobile learning to large groups and organizations and we began to discuss the ideas needed for teacher training and supporting students through the use of and for these technologies. Wireless is now available and needed.

Now we have really seen how mobile technology has the ability to break down the barriers of space and time.

2006 – mLearn in Banff:

OK, so we have managed to go from one good place to another but we have to be mobile and educated – right?

The theme in Canada is “All races and generations” and in the context of a small but growing social change this theme is picked up by the way that communication technology has destroyed all the barriers for people who want to stay in touch.

We heard about the $100 laptop and wanted to see every kid with a laptop. We talked about digital libraries where all books have been converted to digital format and thus accessible anywhere on any device. We talked more about the voice that is part of the information mix and check evry increase means that the delivery can happen and the increase in the number of devices that have movement .

We are beginning to understand the ‘Net Generation’ who have a heart and who go to a different education to those who left school a long time ago!

This conference opened our eyes to the ways in which the research movement has been shrinking the world and making access to true education accessible to all people from all places.

2007 – mLearn in Melbourne:

The theme we chose for this conference is “Make Connections” and connection is the flavor of the conference!

Even before the first keynote speaker has finished his speech and the responses to the comments are being blogged, twittered, ninged, wikied and otherwise published into cyberspace! Speakers asked questions from attending delegates from around the world.

We explore infrastructure issues and we talk a lot about the introduction of technology and how the tools themselves are now being evaluated less for their ‘wow’ ‘ things for them to use in blended learning. We discussed integration and embedding and the ways in which social computing can be used on mobile devices as well as the fact that mobile devices now include computers with wireless connection.

And we closed the meeting looking forward to 10 years and thinking about what we can do now to make sure that we continue to deliver quality education through the use of new and innovative technology.

So where are we now: Mobility is the only reality and we expect to be connected at any time on any device. Technology, no matter how good it is, will not cure bad teaching but it will have a major impact on good practice.

At the end of the Conference we announced the International Association for Mobile Learning. Find out more by following the links on my website.

The field is still growing and developing and I am doing more work and working with people who want to go down this path – contact me on my website http://www.caryloliver.com

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