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Mobile learning for PDAs 2004


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Presentation of mobile learning at NKI at the Hong Kong World Conference of the International Council for Open and Distance Education 2004

Presentation of mobile learning at NKI at the Hong Kong World Conference of the International Council for Open and Distance Education 2004

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  • 1. M-learning for PDAs: Enhancing the Flexibility of Distance Education – Designing and Trying out a Learning Environment for Mobile Distance Learners ” Life Long Learning in the Networked World” Hong Kong, 18-21 February 2004 Truls Fagerberg, Systems Developer Torstein Rekkedal, Professor, Director R & D NKI Distance Education Norway
  • 2. M-learning for PDAs: Overview
    • NKI Distance Education and Online Education
    • Basic philosophies when developing system for m-learning
    • Developing the environment for m-learning
    • The two courses developed and trialled
    • Experiences
  • 3. NKI
    • The NKI Group – a non-profit foundation in education:
    • NKI Distance Education:
      • Each year around 15,000 active students
      • 100 programmes and 400 courses
      • 60 programmes and 380 courses on the Internet
      • The Norwegian School of Information Technology (NITH)
      • The Business Training Centre (NA)
      • NKI Publishing House
      • NKI Distance Education
  • 4. NKI and Online Education
    • NKI Distance Education/NKI Internet College
      • Online distance teaching since 1987
      • In continuous operation
      • Integrated research/educational development/technological development
      • ’ Mainstream’ technology
      • 5800 students in 40 countries
      • 380 courses/ 6 0 study programmes  
  • 5. Distance Learning – Flexibility and Mobility
    • D-learning, e-learning and m-learning
    “ E-learning is the collection of teaching – and information packages – in further education which is available at any time and any place and are delivered to learners electronically. They contain units of information, self-testing batteries and tests, which allow a quick self-evaluation for quick placement. E-learning offers more lower level learning goals. Higher order goals like understanding, reasoning and (moral) judging are more difficult to achieve. They require an individualised interactive discourse and can hardly be planned” (Dichantz 2001) “ The term ‘mLearning’ has lately emerged to be associated with the use of mobile technology in education. It seems, however, that it is used in commercial purposes rather than as an educational concept. We wonder if the term is a commercial trick to market technology and educational services or if it is an emerging concept that educationalists should take seriously.” (Sariola et al. 2001 )
  • 6. Flexibility in distance education
    • Models of teaching and learning
    • Distance Education:
      • Individualised Flexible Teaching
    • or
      • Teaching in ’The Extended Classroom’
  • 7. NKI basic philosophies concerning distance learning
    • Student autonomy and flexibility
      • Flexible and individual distance teaching with the student group as social and academic support for learning
    • Views of knowledge and learning
      • The result of learning is a change in the student’s perceptions
      • Learning is a qualitative change in understanding
      • Learning is an active process
      • Learning is a socially supported individual process
  • 8. Designing the Environment for Mobile Learners
    • Studying online and offline
    • Technical solution:
      • Technology: Content and communication:
      • Pocket PC/PDA Learning content to be downloaded
      • Mobile phone Online access to forums for reading/writing
      • Portable keyboard E-mail communication with attachments
  • 9. Students’ and tutor’s use of technology when mobile
    • When mobile the students must be able to:
    • Study the course materials
    • Make notes
    • Write assignments
    • Access Forum to read
    • Access Forum to submit contributions
    • Send e-mail to fellow students
    • Receive e-mail from fellow students
    • Submit assignments by e-mail including attachments
    • Receiv e assignments corrected and commented on by the tutor
  • 10. The t rials
    • The courses :
    • The tutor in distance education (Norwegian version)
    • SPICE 603 Online Teaching and Learning
  • 11. The trials
    • Experimental conditions:
    • First trial: Simulated learning situation
    • Evaluation methods and procedures:
    • Field study
    • Qualitative process evaluation
    • Final ’quantitative’ questionnaire
    • Second trial: Real course with real students in real setting
  • 12. Results
    • Assignment for submission via mobile technology :
    • Few problems, acceptable costs
    • The participant’s study situation
    • Students and tutors working with the course at home, at the office and on travel
    • Downloading and synchronizing learning content
    • Technology: Broadband, LAN, modem, ISDN and mobile – few problems
    • Reading and studying on the PDA :
    • E-book version preferred before HTML
    • Contribution to Forum via PDA and mobile phone :
    • Direct access to Forum, preprepared message, fast connection
  • 13. Tutor on the move The tutor commenting assignments and writing to the course forum from the Düsseldorf Himmelturm Restaurant
  • 14. Conclusions
      • Mobile technology may increase the flexibility of distance teaching
      • The technology functioned according to expectations
      • Participants’ views varied – from enthusiastic to quite reserved
      • The students expressed very different views concerning reading from a small screen
      • Institutional challenges for systems development to cater for mobile and not mobile learners
      • Technical problems exist, but are continuously reduced through software and hardware developments
      • Portable keyboard is necessary for efficient use of the PDA as a teaching and learning tool
      • We need better solutions for browsing web pages
      • Mobile communication is still expensive – especially from abroad
      • We are uncertain whether a future solution for mobile learning is solved by
        • Mobile phone and pda
        • Hybrid (pocket phone/computer)
        • Laptop with mobile connection
        • Other solutions (?)
  • 15. The New Project
      • M-learning – the next generation of learning
      • NKI main goal: Research solutions to i ncrease the flexibility of online distance education
      • The main challenge is to design solutions for learners who are users of mobile technology and wish to study also when on the move, that also allow other students to apply standard technology.
      • The solutions must be designed in ways to allow both groups to participate in the same course. W e must look for solutions that are optimal for distributing content and communication in courses, independent on whether the students and tutors apply mobile technology or standard PC and Internet connection for teaching or learning.
      • There is no doubt that NKI Distance Education faces a large challenge in further developing server side solutions and methodology that include the use of mobile technology for serving our mobile distance learners more efficiently.
  • 16. Thank you!
    • NKI Internet College:
    • Powerpoint Presentation:
    • Presentation
    • Torstein Rekkedal home page: