Mobile learning changing notion on ‘contact’ education


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Mobile learning changing notion on ‘contact’ education

  1. 1. Mobile learning changing notion on ‘contact’ education Dick Ng’ambi Centre for Educational Technology University of Cape Town
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Notion of ‘contact’ education </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Learning Projects </li></ul><ul><li>SMS Collaborative Questioning </li></ul><ul><li>Not so fun projects </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Questions / Discussion </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Project seeks to use prevalent mobile technologies in our resource-poor context to support teaching and learning in higher education curricula </li></ul><ul><li>Research Stimulation Fund (UCT): 2003-2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant - Digital Cornerstones - : 2005-2007 </li></ul>
  4. 4. CET <ul><li>urgency to ensure that all students have fair and equal access to a new world order </li></ul><ul><li>driven by a commitment to educational and social inclusion no matter what a student’s educational background, mother tongue or previous exposure to computers might have been </li></ul><ul><li>believes that a transformed higher education requires participation in a new communicative order as a necessary outcome of a graduate education. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Key national challenge <ul><li>… to redress past inequalities and to transform the higher education system to serve a new social order, to meet pressing national needs, and to respond to new realities and opportunities ” (White Paper: 1.1). (Department of Education South Africa, 2001) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key national dream <ul><li>Every South African manager, teacher and learner in the general and further education and training bands will be ICT capable (that is, use ICTs confidently and creatively to help develop the skills and knowledge they need as lifelong learners to achieve personal goals and to be full participants in the global community) by 2013 (Department of Education South Africa, 2004:p. 17) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Educational Context <ul><li>Educational disparities - manifested along racial lines due to the political, economic and social policies of the pre-1994 era </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast: </li></ul><ul><li>In the UK, participation in higher education has increased since the 1940s but participation of higher socio-economic groups still exceeds that of lower socio-economic groups (DFES report, 2004). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Performance indicator (PI) <ul><li>increase the demographic representation among graduates and reduce the demographic difference between student intake and graduate throughput </li></ul><ul><li>WHILE </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring quality of educational provision </li></ul><ul><li>Without funding until throughput </li></ul>
  9. 9. Contextual Challenges <ul><li>Students’ Academic Unpreparedness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low attention space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diverse student population </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different learning preferences / styles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-Cultural effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multilingualism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Class sizes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalised attention difficulty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demand for meaningful feedback </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. ‘Contact’ notion <ul><li>Contact is a convergence of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance, space and time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education is independent of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance, space and time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Contact Education” attempts to coverge D, S and T for creating an experience that is independent of D, S and T. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Learning Resources Course Admin info Knowledge Sharing Learning Activities Interactivity
  12. 12. Learning from students
  13. 13. Teaching vs ‘learning style’ <ul><li>“… I always used to get quite panicked, ‘cause you go to a lecture, and you come out of there, and it’s all this new stuff and you have to go and read up to kind-of get onto the next level. And just as you’ve got there you next go to the next lecture and, there’s a whole lot of new stuff, so you feel like you’re constantly quite out of breath ‘cause you’re just not getting there.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Not enough contact <ul><li>“… if we are paying close to US$ X fees a year, which is a lot of money, and we… if you look at the amount of time that we actually spend in class with the lecturer, it’s not relative, it’s not relative to what we’re paying.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Fallacy of physical spaces <ul><li>“… we need a full-time job, to actually be able to pay your fees to do a degree. So all of us are finishing work at 5, and you don’t get to the lecturers. So it seems almost ludicrous in a way to be paying those fees when you’re not sitting in a class.” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Time misalignment <ul><li>“… I mean things like weekends are the, basically the only time that you do have to study, because you’re working during the week, …I’d go to my lecture on a Monday, I’d try and work in the evening… And then you don’t have access to your supervisor anyway; ‘cause that is the only time that you’ve actually got.” </li></ul>
  17. 17. Changing to Sakai <ul><li>Sakai a win-win solution : participate in a consortium jointly developing and maintaining an open source solution </li></ul><ul><li>WebCT: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inflexible, and risk of vendor lock-in and license cost escalation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>connect: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>home-grown (flexible), but </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>future growth unsustainable </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Mobile Learning Projects
  19. 19. Background <ul><li>5 million landlines </li></ul><ul><li>19 million mobile phone subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>SMS ‘texting’ traffic higher than verbal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensively used among students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student PC ratio is 1:15; no 24-hour access </li></ul></ul><ul><li>98% of our students have mobile phones </li></ul>
  20. 20. Mobile learning … learning on the move and learning in any location enabled by wireless technologies … computing to come to education instead of education going to the computer [education in right context] Focus of mobility is on a learner and supportive learning environment
  21. 21. Some motivation <ul><li>“… the value of deploying mobile technologies in the service of learning and teaching seems to be both self-evident and unavoidable” (Wagner, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>“… there is very little extra effort required to get people to adopt and use mobile phones” (Wagner, 2005) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Mobile Learning Project <ul><li>@ the Centre for Educational Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by Mellon Foundation, USA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GOALS: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a 70% anywhere anytime student support by 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate 20% of curriculum through suitable mobile pedagogies by 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration with faculties / academics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Infrastructure – exploit technologies already available to students (SMS). </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Exploiting SMSC <ul><li>Store-and-forward system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Messages are sent to a SMSC (Short Message Service Centre) from various devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMSC interacting with the mobile network determines availability of a user and user’s location to receive SMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If phone off, SMSC waits until phone is turned on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If successful, a “messages received” is sent back to the SMSC </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. SMS usage stats <ul><li>SMS sent global 1Q04: 135 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Global monthly SMS: 36/user </li></ul><ul><li>18.7 million users of mobile phones in RSA (June 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate 19 million (2006) [1 in every 3] </li></ul>“ It seems reasonable to assume that majority of professionals in the country have, or have access to a cellular phone. With this in mind, the most obvious and effective way to provide notifications is to use the cellular networks (SMS)” Halse and Wells (Rhodes University, South Africa).
  25. 25. Project plans <ul><li>Student support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual Noticeboard </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaboration & knowledge construction </li></ul><ul><li>Voting & Consensus </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative Questioning </li></ul><ul><li>SMS Broadcasting </li></ul>
  26. 26. Current focus <ul><li>Extending WWW interface to 2-way SMS communication </li></ul><ul><li>Anytime anywhere consultation with peers and staff </li></ul>Developing use cases
  27. 27. Design considerations <ul><li>Value added service to DFAQ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymous SMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2-way communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-demand (pull rather than push) </li></ul></ul>Mediating Tools
  28. 28. Communicative competence <ul><li>A group of subway “free riders” exchange SMS messages about location of fare police </li></ul><ul><li>Young men avoid facing rejection in person by using SMS to ask for dates </li></ul><ul><li>People get out of relationships without confrontation via SMS: “U R dumped” or “I H8 U”. </li></ul>
  29. 29. London: October 15, 2005 <ul><li>A teenager is being treated for text messaging and email addiction in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Scotland. He was sending about 700 texts a week and resigned from his job after bosses found out he had sent 8,000 messages in one month. He told BBC, “I like it, it’s like a game of ping-pong, as you send one and get one back.” </li></ul>
  30. 30. Mobile-phobic issues <ul><li>new technologies have implications for changing forms and practices of literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Rather than thinking in terms of old skills being expressed through new media , and of trying to ‘squeeze’ new technologies into familiar ways of doing things </li></ul><ul><li>Need to attend to the reality of new and emerging literacies and new modes of human practice and ways of experiencing the world </li></ul>(Green & Bigum, 1993; Synder 1996, 1997).
  31. 31. SMS a “ D iscourse” <ul><li>D iscourse are human practices which bring together and combine such things as beliefs, actions, values, world views, goals and purposes, standards, ways of dressing and gesturing, ways of behaving appropriately, as well as ways of speaking, reading and writing. (Lankshear et al., 2000: 29) </li></ul>
  32. 32. SMS a “ d iscourse” <ul><li>d iscourse refer to the language “bits” with Discourses . Every Discourse is mediated by ways of using language – written, spoken, gestural – that make sense within that Discourse. (Lankshear et al., 2000: 29) </li></ul>
  33. 33. Handling discourse Learning how to handle the reading and writing components of a Discourse requires being immersed in social practices where participants ‘not only read texts of this type in this way but also talk about such texts in certain ways, hold certain attitudes and values about them, and socially interact over them in certain ways (Lankshear et al., 2000: 29)
  34. 34. SMS dictionary (a discourse)
  35. 35. SMS Mediated Scaffolding
  36. 36. Giving students a voice
  37. 38. SMS enabled consultation
  38. 39. Feedback – educator / student
  39. 40. Part of DFAQ
  40. 41. Part of DFAQ
  41. 42. Newsflash on demand News flash can be posted using a web browser, or SMSed by educator to DFAQ
  42. 43. Posting News <ul><li>To post class announcement or news, send the following. </li></ul>Edn5023-news DFAQ will be introduced to Edn5023 class on feb 27, 2006. DFAQ SMS number is 31642. NB: News can only be posted from authorized cell numbers. To post a news item, SMS
  43. 44. Reading news Users can retrieve latest news via SMS.
  44. 45. SMS news <ul><li>To get latest news, send the following. </li></ul>Edn5023-news To read latest news, SMS DFAQ responds with message: “DFAQ will be introduced to Edn5023 class on feb 27, 2006. DFAQ SMS number is 31642.”
  45. 46. Asking via browser Using a web browser, responses to questions can be posted.
  46. 47. Question Queue All new questions wait in a queue until responded to.
  47. 48. SMSing Questions <ul><li>To use SMS to post a question, prefix question with course code followed by a question </li></ul>Edn5023 How does society and culture affect human development? To ask a question, SMS Every question is assigned a reference number. E.g. 16
  48. 49. Reading responses
  49. 50. Getting responses via SMS <ul><li>To get the latest response to a question prefix message with course code and question refno. E.g. for question 16. </li></ul>Edn5023-16 To retrieve latest response to a question, SMS
  50. 51. Collaborative Questioning (CQ) <ul><li>Prefix message with course code and question refno, put a + (sign) and type new question. </li></ul>Edn5023-16 + how then does development create new cultures? To add to question 16, SMS New Question 16: How does society and culture affect human development? + how then does development create new cultures?
  51. 52. Definition (CQ) <ul><li>In collaborative questioning a group of learners collaborate to formulate a single question by interjecting and adding to an initial question. Additions to questions may also arise from responses. </li></ul>
  52. 53. Example (CQ)
  53. 54. Observation (CQ) <ul><li>Collaborative questioning provides access to peers’ questions and gives learners an opportunity to interject and add to questions they may not have thought of asking themselves and to extend a questioning engagement based on responses received. </li></ul>
  54. 55. Responding via SMS <ul><li>Prefix message with course code and question refno, and allows SMS responses to be posted. </li></ul>Edn5023-16 Just look at how SMS has created a new culture of texting and socialization. To respond to question 16, SMS
  55. 56. Feedback from artefacts Seamless monitoring of web / SMS behavior. DFAQ monitors responses.
  56. 57. Age by reference / popularity Seamless monitoring of web / SMS behavior. DFAQ tracks when last retrieved
  57. 58. Applications
  58. 59. Applications 2 <ul><li>To teach critical reading skills (Cognitive Development Course - Education) </li></ul><ul><li>To teach questioning skills (Project Management Course – Information Systems) </li></ul><ul><li>To teach how organisations learn from peers (Organisational Psychology) </li></ul>
  59. 60. Applications 2 <ul><li>To teach Xhosa (Multilingual Education Group) </li></ul><ul><li>To allow students to confidentially share information on discrimination and harassment </li></ul><ul><li>To provide feedback to academics/HOD on students/staff concerns and learning/working frustrations </li></ul>
  60. 61. Other mobile projects
  61. 63. Example
  62. 65. Not so fun projects <ul><li>SMS broadcasting (notifications) in Health Sciences and Humanities </li></ul><ul><li>Community building (SMS birthday broadcasting to a class) in a 1 st year Commerce Degree </li></ul>
  63. 66. Thank you Dr. Dick Ng’ambi Centre for Educational Technology University of Cape Town, South Africa [email_address] Contact details: