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The cellphone:  ultimate distraction or powerful learning tool?
 

The cellphone: ultimate distraction or powerful learning tool?

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Keynote presentation at the Schools ICT Conference in Cape Town, 1-3 October 2008

Keynote presentation at the Schools ICT Conference in Cape Town, 1-3 October 2008

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The cellphone:  ultimate distraction or powerful learning tool? The cellphone: ultimate distraction or powerful learning tool? Presentation Transcript

  • 01.10.08 The cellphone: ultimate distraction or powerful learning tool?
      • Steve Vosloo
    • The growing disconnect
    • Cellphones: pros and cons
    • Challenge
    • “ There is now an extraordinary contrast between the high levels of activity that characterise children's consumer cultures and the passivity that increasingly suffuses their schooling.”
    • (Buckingham, 2003)‏
  • Classroom vs the world
    • Formal & structured
    • Top-down
    • Passive
    • Disengaged
    • Un-networked & disconnected
    • CAMI & Powerpoint
    • MCQs & simple creations
    • 30 mins/week
    • Informal & fluid
    • Bottom-up
    • Active
    • Engaged
    • Networked & plugged-in
    • MXit/Facebook, games, web
    • Communication, play & exploration
    • Up to 2 hours/day
  • Classroom vs the world
    • “ ICT in schools is predicated on the ‘top-down’ understanding that we know how children should be learning from technology rather than seeking to learn from their existing practices.”
    • ( Their Space , 2007)‏
  •  
  • Cellphone affordances
    • Pervasive
    • Low-cost
    • Content delivery and creation medium
    • Klopfer (Jenkins 2008):
      • Portability - can take it to different sites and move around within a location
      • Social interactivity - can exchange data and collaborate with other people face-to-face
      • Connectivity - a common network that creates a true shared environment
  • Cellular South Africa
    • Cellphones:
      • 72% own a cell phone
      • Nearly half SMS almost daily
    • MXit:
      • 8 million subscribers
      • 250m messages/day
    • Computers and Internet:
      • Only 17% ever used the Internet
      • 6% use it (almost) daily
      • 9% have Internet access at home
    • (Kaiser Family Foundation & SABC, 2007)‏
  • Dr Math
    • Dr Math is a maths tutoring service to school learners that uses MXit
    • 2-8pm, Sunday-Thursday, with some 20 tutors.
    • 3,200 learners have used service (from grade 3 up)‏
    • Tutoring mostly done in English, but some Afrikaans cases are occurring
    • Learners contact Dr Math from their homes, while on buses, taxis and on the sports field. Even from the bath!
    • LATEST: Text-adventure game (interactive fiction)‏
  • dr.math: What grade are you in? what are you covering in math? Spark plug: 7 dr.math: grade 7? Spark plug: yes dr.math: are u doing "pre algebra" stuff like What is the value of X if x + 3 = 10? Spark plug: yes dr.math: ok, so what is the value of x if x + 3 = 10? Spark plug: 7 dr.math: ok. how about (15 x 2 ) + x = 35 Spark plug: 5 dr.math: (I am going to use * for multiply so not to confuse it with x, ok?)‏ Spark plug: ok dr.math: (2 * x) + 8 = 18 Spark plug: 5 dr.math: very good. can you explain to me how you figured that out? Spark plug: 18 - 8 is 10 so 2* what is 10 and the answer is 5 dr.math: Excellent.
  • M4Girls Project
    • Improve maths in grade 10 rural girls (by Mindset)‏
    • 43 mini videos, 3 “mobisode” animations, 2 games
  • Alternate Reality Game
    • ARG: an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions. (Wikipedia)‏
    • Think “Finders Keepers” but played collectively using web, email, SMS, voice, video, etc.
    • Collaborative problem-solving
    • Skills: collective intelligence, judgement, transmedia navigation (Jenkins et al, 2006)‏
  • Reading/writing cellphone
    • Using the cellphone as a “book” delivery and authoring tool
    • Serialised m-novels: e.g. 28 chapters, 900 characters (Novel Idea)‏
    • Othello as an m-novel?
    • Communities engaging literacy practices of writing and reviewing
  • But ...
    • 1) Distraction
    • 2) Antisocial?
    • 3) Risk of violence/abuse
    • 4) Effect on reading and writing?
    • 5) Cost
    • What do these things have in common?
      • Printing press
      • Film
      • Comics
      • Rock 'n roll
  • Challenge
    • Consider ways to exploit cellphone affordances to support teaching and learning, while limiting the distraction and risk factors
    • Only YOU can do this ...
  • Thank you
    • Email
    • [email_address]
    • Blog
    • innovatingeducation.wordpress.com
    • Games and learning group
    • groups.google.com/group/galsa
    • Slides
    • www.slideshare.net/stevevosloo