TRAV – Integrating Learning Objects in SocialCollaboration and Developing User SupportEDEN Conference: Porto June 2012DR HEDVA VITAL HA’KIBBUTZIM COLLEGE, ISRAELDR ALAN BRUCE UNIVERSAL LEARNING SYSTEMS, IRELAND
INTRODUCTION Mobility Change dynamics Demographic challenges of aging populations Young adults Mobile learningHow do they all blend and create multiplesolutions?
ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE Can learning bridge the demographic gap in shared spaces? How can interactive M-learning address both young and mature lifelong learners (MLLL) via personal mobile phones? How are issues around MLLLs dependence and potential opportunities resolved, re contributions made at formal and informal levels? How does that match with younger populations? How can young people help MLLLs adapt and learn differently using M-learning (mobile learning), as well as a nano lesson methodology?
CONTEXTS OF CHANGE Demographic imbalance: age, migration and family structures The future of employment and work Planning in a time of sustained economic crisis Structures of hope and innovation – thinking outside the box Innovation imperatives
YA AND MLLLSShared interests of MLLLs and YA: An interest and enjoyment in travelling and tourism related activities. Lack of daily responsibility for family obligations Substantial free time
YA VS. MLLLSUnlike MLLLs, YA populations are already adept at booking trips, planning itineraries and using language phrases on their mobile phones or online. MLLL populations more hesitant about processes involved in independent travel, booking tickets online or learning about places/languages from mobile phones. MLLL populations may lack confidence, often display elements of technophobia, have established traditional learning habits or age-related impairments (limited vision, motor skills or cognition).
M LEARNING: HOW DOES IT AFFECT EACHPOPULATION?For MLLLs: New perspective on learning, with learning experiences that change. Lack of familiarity with latest technologies. Confusion with pace of technological development.For YA: Born into generation of mobile phones – using requires no effort. Strongly attached to their phones - will agree to undertake anything if done via mobile phones. Mobile phones serve as main avenue of daily communication and as significant edutainment/entertainment resources in their own right.
M LEARNING AND LANGUAGES:SET OF RELEVANT VARIABLES Language learning requires intensive short intervals Language is learned while interacting with it. Learning on-the-go topics relevant to immediate needs can motivate target audience. Using a familiar tool like mobile phones helps avoid technophobia and fears of failure Enhances language learning, which is acquired in a more efficient way.
THE AIMS OF THE RESEARCH UNDERTAKEN BYTHE AUTHORS ARE: To utilize technical features of mobile phones and apply it as a learning platform for MLLLs and YA To utilize knowledge and „attachment‟ YA have with their mobile phones and transfer it to MLLLs. To gain experience with new learning opportunities within the community of MLLLs. To make contact between MLLLs and YA via language learning and travel.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE APPLIED RESEARCHPROJECT Create a support partnership of skilled mobile phone users and less experienced MLLLs. Valorise and enhance potential of both groups in teaching and learning together. Create learning community of MLLLs and YA by planning a trip and learning a language together. Plan a trip using online internet travel sites, maps and travel blogs. Language components are acquired and learned via interactive courses purchased from the app store. Developing intercultural awareness via language acquisition processes and travel plans. Close gaps and create new opportunities to enhance and extend both young people‟s computer skills and MLLLs life experiences.
THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESSThe project will be divided into two phases: Planning a trip online (via mobile phone) Learning “travel tips” and phrases from a course downloaded from the app store.
DETAILED STEPS Building communication and common interest between MLLLs and young adults and planning trip as if they were travelling together. Target groups will be asked to be aware of any limitations (e.g. disabilities) as well as fun activities that may interest both populations (e.g. museums, entertainment.). Learning from 6 existing travel courses: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian French and Turkish (Level A1) - participants choose course according to country visited.
OUTPUTS To raise MLLLs‟ self–esteem and motivate them to engage actively in purposeful behaviour stressing planning, cognitive skills, interaction and engagement. Prime goal for young adults is studying and practicing with the MLLLs, utilizing role play, offering necessary support and guidance and facilitating shared learning with older learners through joint activity and mutual interaction. MLLLs will have first experience learning via new technologies and methodologies such as M-learning.
THE MOBILE PHONE APPLICATION:DESCRIPTION AND FUNCTIONALITYMAIN MENU
GLOBAL BUTTONS Lexicon button: leads to lexicon search screen or dictionary Dashboard button: leads to dashboard, or user status screen. The button is dynamic and encapsulates some information. Settings button: leads to settings screen where user can set some parameters and configurations Menu button: Jumps to main menu screen listing chapters. Tip Button: Displays language tips relevant to a particular task. Phrase book: a short list of important phrases.
CONCLUSIONS Project delivers a model to engage both young and MLLLs in M-learning: focus on travel and language learning. Throughout process is a focus on social integration, reinforcement of needs awareness and active involvement of the two primary groups of beneficiaries Both collaboration and personal development are addressed. M-learning: tool that identifies factors that perpetuate exclusionary practices. M-learning will enable both populations to recognize and understand how attitudes towards age differences, learning habits, and technology use can change at any age.
THE EU AND DISABILITY ACTION PLAN Inclusion and full participation of older and disabled people in society is a key focus of EU strategy for learning around social inclusion (2004-2010). Also centrepiece of European Disability Strategy on improvements in accessibility/independent living. EU faced with unprecedented demographic upheaval with major social repercussions. One in six people in EU (80 m.) prevented from full social and economic participation by environmental/attitudinal barriers. Over 33% of people aged 75+ have restricting disabilities; 20% are considerably restricted. These percentages will rise as the EU population ages. This project is designed to facilitate equality of access to hospitality/tourism services by sharing the learning across generations