Affiliated with the University of California's systemwide
Humanities Research Institute
The MacArthur Foundation
Research findings characterized negatively in the US as “the digitization of young childhood” could be seen as a sign of growth and prosperity in countries where the Internet is mostly mobile. Even in the US, the growth of young children’s use of cellphones and tablets could be saying as much about American families’ shift away […]
This is a continuation of my series on mobile learning.
Mobile devices represent a tangible step-change for learning. They facilitate personalised learning while we are on the move, and enable us to access the Web. Just these two factors alone would be enough to tip the balance and convince most people that some kind of revolution is taking place, but mobile learning goes so much further. Consider the idea of being 'always on'. This is often used as a derogatory description of younger users of mobile devices. From a negative perspective the 'always on' generation is seen as shallow, easily distracted and lacking in any critical reasoning abilities. This may be true for some, but it's a big generalisation. In a recent post entitled A Quiet Invasion, I proposed that users of mobile devices are breaking the mould of traditional learning formats, bypassing and short-cutting conventional modes of learning, and maximising the affordances of their personal devices to support their learning.
In my own professional experience, younger students are generally thoughtful, critically aware and reasoned in their learning. Sure, there can be frivolous use of mobile devices. But consider the benefits too. Students can use their personal technology to interact with, and gain a purchase on content at a much deeper level than we were able to do in the days before we had such tools. What's more, their learning can be built upon at any time, and in any place, because the student takes all their content with them wherever they go. 'Always on' should therefore also be seen as a positive phenomenon, in which learners can access content, interact with their peers and tutors, and create, organise, repurpose and share content at any time.
Look at this quote, which is taken from 12 Principles of Mobile Learning: "Always-on learning is self-actuated, spontaneous, iterative, and recursive. There is a persistent need for information access, cognitive reflection, and interdependent function through mobile devices. It is also embedded in communities capable of intimate and natural interaction with students.
This is a continuation in my series on mobile learning.
What is digital curation? For those who visit museums or galleries, curators are those who are expert in a specific genre of exhibit, and who ensure that the displays are kept up to date, accurate and relevant to the viewing public. Curation is at the very heart of the success of any museum or art gallery. Digital curation is similar in many ways. It is becoming more important as content increases. Mitch Kapor once declared 'Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.' It does feel like that sometimes. We are experiencing a tsunami of content, and we are in danger of being swamped by it, every minute we are online. Finding what you want is usually quite simple. Google and other advanced search engines ensure that. Organising it and managing it is another matter.
Curation of content is one specific response to the problem of information overload. Curation is more than mere aggregation of content. Curation involves organising and adding value to that content once it is aggregated. There are many tools and services now available to users to help them curate content. Some are fairly easy to use, enabling users to share content they find in an organised and highly visual manner. Scoop.it and Pearltrees are useful for this purpose. Others allow you to create a sequence of content, perhaps stuff that you have gathered from a conference or other event. Storify is very useful if you want to do this kind of curation. In my personal opinion, perhaps the most useful and versatile curation tool is Diigo, which enables you to do all of the above, and also take snapshots of websites so you can revisit them, even if they suddenly disappear. Watch the video on the front page of the website and you'll see what I mean.
Mobile device users can capitalise extensively on the many features of curation tools. As has been previously written in this article, mobile devices are ideally suited for the task of curation on the move. They can adapt to the style and personal preferences of users, to 'store files, publish thinking, and connect learners, making curation a matter of process rather than ability.
This is a continuation of my short series of blog posts on mobile learning. In previous posts I have argued that mobile learning is increasingly popular as an informal activity, and that personalisation of learning is an important characteristic of smart phone use. We are a now mobile, itinerant society where tethered computing is becoming increasingly anachronistic.
I read a blog post recently called 12 Principles of Mobile Learning, which gave a useful, brief overview of 12 key characteristics of learning on the move using smart phones. Yesterday in Mobile learning and personal metrics I tried to expand on some of the principles mentioned in the article. Here are two more:
"With asynchronous access to content, peers, and experts comes the potential for self-actuation. Here, learners plan topic, sequence, audience, and application via facilitation of teachers who now act as experts of resource and assessment."
Self actuation is all about having control over your own learning. It is about personal agency. A time is coming when people will no longer be told what to learn, when to learn it, and in what environment. Now, and in the future, we can expect that time, place and pace will no longer be prescribed. Learning of the future will have a 'just for me' and 'just enough' capability, relying on each learner's access to personal mobile devices. Workplace learning will never be the same again.
Another extract from the post suggests an agility and flexibility of learning that can be achieved through the use of mobile devices:
"With mobility comes diversity. As learning environments change constantly, that fluidity becomes a norm that provides a stream of new ideas, unexpected challenges, and constant opportunities for revision and application of thinking. Audiences are diverse, as are the environments data is being gleaned from and delivered to."
Diversity is clearly one of the most important attributes of mobile learning. One size does not fit all, and everyone has different expectations for their learning. Adaptability too, is an important affordance learners demand, and mobile devices can provide the impetus for this.
On the back of yesterday's #learningpoollive related blog posts from myself and Andrew Jacobs, and having just read the blog post entitled 12 principles of mobile learning, I was prompted to write some further thoughts:
Mobile learning is becoming one of the most prevalent forms of learning in the western industrialised society, due to a number of trends including cheaper more affordable devices, ubiquitous (more or less) universal connectivity, an increasingly itinerant work force, and the desire to connect with communities on a global as well as local basis. The rise is also due to people's desire to develop their learning informally. There are formal contexts for mobile learning, but it is in the leisure time/travelling/down time that mobile learning still comes to the fore. The first principle in the article above relates to access, and states:
"A mobile learning environment is about access to content, peers, experts, portfolio artifacts, credible sources, and previous thinking on relevant topics. It can be actuated via a smartphone or iPad, laptop or in-person, but access is constant–which in turn shifts a unique burden to learn on the shoulders of the student."
I couldn't agree more with this, but would add that there are also other elements that influence access, including the ability to download apps holding content that can be used in situations where there is no access to connection. Mobile devices also afford users the ability to annotate, organise and share content once they have found it, within their community of interest.
The second principle is perhaps even more interesting and relates to personal metrics:
"As mobile learning is a blend of the digital and physical, diverse metrics (i.e., measures) of understanding and 'performance of knowledge' will be available."
Metrics, or in common parlance, measurement of data, is going to be increasingly important not only for organisations who want to track their employees' performance, but also for schools, colleges and universities who want to maintain records of student achievements.
Mobile technology is a game changer. For many that is already a reality. I have previously written on this blog about how mobile technology can give the edge and also about some of the social implications of learning on the move. All we needed was to reach a point in society where a critical mass of users was reached. That occurred in my estimation somewhere around 2010, and growth of ownership has been exponential since. That critical mass of users has driven a number of changes, including innovations in design of hardware and software. As I write, news is breaking of Samsung's release of the first curved display screen smartphone. Other innovations are coming, faster and faster. Prices are coming down as customer bases rise. The power of the network increases as numbers rise and more connections are made. We see this happening on a global scale through increasing mobile phone subscriptions. The Mobile World Congress predicts that as early as 2014, mobile phone subscriptions will outstrip the global population (~7.9 billion accounts). Bearing in mind that many people in poorer countries don't yet have access to mobile telephony, this means that many people will have at least two separate subscriptions, and in some cases more. This is already a trend and it is now accelerating
Mobile technology is disruptive, changing irrevocably the common, every day things many of us do. Whether it is navigating your way around the streets of an unfamiliar city or communicating with work colleagues, mobile devices provide an added, and almost always, new dimension to daily routine. What will happen if your organisation, or university fails to capitalise on these trends? What will happen if your school or business ignores the huge potential of these tools to promote learning? Recently, Lambeth Council's Andrew Jacobs, Parliament's Denise Hudson-Lawson and I got together to mindmap some of the more familiar attributes and affordances of mobile learning, and attempted to connect concepts together. We were simply playing with mobile learning ideas, seeing where the links were, and watching for what emerged.
A new study takes a look at the new role of media in children's lives. You may not like the results.The post New Study Uncovers The Powerful New Role Of Media In Children’s Lives appeared first on Edudemic.
Not only are more children using tablets and smartphones, they're using them for longer periods of time. The amount of time spent using these devices tripled: In 2013, children ages 0 to 8 spent an average of 15 minutes a day using mobile devices; that's up from 5 minutes a day in 2011.
"We need to make screen time learning time,"... "Technology used wisely is an essential element to education."
Both Common Sense Media and the American Academy of Pediatrics weighed in on screen time for young kids last week. With mobile devices proliferating the market, how much screen time makes sense for the little ones? Experts say it depends on the content and the context.