Mobile Learning:Current Status in the Asia Pacific and Examples from Singapore Dr. Hyo-Jeong So National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview• This presentation is based on the “Review of Mobile Learning Policy in the Asia Pacific” presented at the first UNESCO mobile learning week in Paris (December 15-16 2011) and the examples of school-based research on mobile learning that I have been involved in Singapore.• Two main goals of this presentation are – To provide the audience with the snapshot of the current status of mobile learning in the Asia Pacific region – To provide the audience with some examples of mobile learning research implemented in Singapore schools for better understanding of both the potential and challenges of mobile learning
Mobile Phone Diffusion• Asia-pacific region varies in great measures in the areas of governance, leadership, political and economic status, and more importantly, in socio-cultural aspects.• Asia-pacific region also include countries with varying degrees of ICT implementation and integration.• Mobile Phone Diffusion: Asia Pacific is a unique region with both mature (e.g., Japan, Korea, Singapore) and potential (e.g., Cambodia, Viet Nam, India) countries.
Mobile Cellular Subscriptions Per 100 population % change per annum(Top 5) 2000 2005 2010 2005-2010Macao, China 32.7 110.7 206.4 13.3Hong Kong, China 80.3 125.5 190.2 8.7Viet Nam 1.0 11.5 175.3 72.4Maldives 2.8 69.0 156.5 17.8Singapore 70.1 102.8 143.7 6.9(Bottom 5)Bangladesh 0.2 6.4 46.2 48.5Afghanistan 0.0 4.3 41.4 57.3Nepal 0.0 0.8 30.7 107.4DPR Korea 0.0 0.0 1.8 -Myanmar 0.0 0.3 1.2 32.8(From UNESCAP Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2011)
Key Characteristics of Mobile Learning The review of mobile learning initiatives and research in the Asia Pacific region revealed the following 3 Key characteristics:1. Making learning more accessible2. Using mobile device for self-directed learning3. Designing future learning environments with mobile technology
1. Making Learning More Accessible• Literacy education with mobile phones in rural areas – Adult literacy rate in the South Asia region: 65% – MILLEE project in India (Kam, et al. 2009) : mobile games to teach English for children in rural areas – UNESCO-Mobilink project in Pakistan (UNESCO, 2010): mobile- based literacy education for women• Distance education/e-learning with mobile phones to provide more educational opportunities – SMS-based learning to deliver low-cost distance learning to students in the Philippines and Mongolia• “text2teach” project in the Philippine: an example of mobile learning projects successfully scaled up to larger number of schools
2. Promote Self-Directed Learning• Increasing awareness of the importance of informal learning and life-long learning• South Korea – The first nation in the world to declare a nation-wide plan toward digital textbooks by 2015 – Digital textbooks provide customizable tools and content for learning – Digital textbooks are expected to be beneficial to students with disabilities and students in rural areas• Bangladesh – “English in Action”: a nation-wide plan to raise people’s English language skills by 2017 – BBC Janala: multi-media platform to learn English on mobile phones and on an affiliated website. – BBC Janala services are offered at a more affordable rate, which costs almost half as much as typical services
3. Design Future Learning Environments• Evident in more developed countries with strong ICT infrastructures such as Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore• South Korea: Promotion Strategy for Smart Education• Malaysia: Smart School program• Singapore: FutureSchools @Singapore program• Mobile devices considered for designing learning environments that meet the demands of the 21st century skills
Categorization of Mobile Learning in the Asia PacificCategory 1 Mature mobile market, high penetration e.g.)Korea, Singapore, of mobile phones, strong ICT Malaysia infrastructure, mobile learning considered under a broad context of national-level ICT policiesCategory 2 Growing mobile market, medium-high e.g.) Bangladesh, India, penetration of mobile phones, basic ICT Pakistan, the Philippines infrastructure, use of mobile phones for distance learning and informal learning contextsCategory 3 Emerging mobile market, low-medium e.g.) Afghanistan, Nepal penetration of mobile phones, weak or basic ICT infrastructure, little mobile learning activities
Overview• In this section, I present two school-based research projects on mobile learning that I have been involved in Singapore:1. Leveraging mobile technology for seamless learning2. Mobile learning activities to foster critical thinking skills and in-situ knowledge building
Singapore Education & ICT• An island country in Southeast Asia with over 350 schools• Well-known for high academic performance in international comparison tests (e.g., TIMSS, PISA)• Systemic implementation of educational policy on ICT since the IT MaterPlan in Education in 1997• Government support for educational research on ICT• Close partnership among the Ministry of Education, researchers and schools
Project 1: Leveraging Mobile Technology for Seamless Learning• “Seamless Learning” – Linking formal & informal learning• Transformative affordances of mobile technology – 24x7 access through 1:1 computing – Mobile device as a learning hub• Worked with Primary 3 students (age 9- 10) and teachers in one Primary school• Mobile phones given to all students in one experimental class
“Seamless Learning” Spaces Mediated by 1:1 Mobile Devices Type II Type IIIOut Class Planned learning out of class Emergent learning out of class E.g. Field trip to heritage site which E.g. Using mobile phones to capture is part of a school curriculum pictures and video clips of animal and directed by self-interest Type I Type IVIn Class Planned learning in class Emergent learning in class E.g. Searching for answers in the E.g. teachable moments not planned by classroom the teachers Planned Emergent
Design Approach• Mobile phone as a “learning hub” Upload Download GoManage-LMS Mobile Phone with Learning Applications• Co-design of mobilized curriculum by teachers and researchers
Mobilized Curriculum: Design Considerations• Provide an environment to integrate all learning activities so students can have a hub to launch or continue their learning activities• Extending classroom learning activities beyond school hours and premises to support the notion of seamless learning• Assess formatively: through learning activities, students can receive feedback for their own ideas from peers or the teacher• Design student-centered learning activities to promote engagement and self-directed learning• Ensure that the teacher plays the role of facilitator to move away from didactic teaching
Key Findings• Infrastructure changes – “mobilized” science curriculum• Student changes – More ownership of constructed artifacts – Demonstrated self-directed and collaborative inquiry learning• Teacher changes – Organize learning activities by thematic units – From being dominant to being a facilitator – Not worried about telling “I do not know”
Project 2:Fostering Collaborative Knowledge Building Culture with Mobile Technologies• Under the FutureSchools@Singapore program• Research work with one of the future schools in Singapore – Whole school ICT approach – Small teacher-student ratio (1:20) – Each student has own laptop (1:1 computing) – iPads for outdoor learning• Focus on the use of mobile devices and applications for the development of collaborative learning and critical thinking skills, which are important 21st learning skills.
Design Approach• Equip & Empower students to become “mobile” learners: to engage with their surroundings to create impromptu sites of learning• Pervasive use: Using mobile devices and Web 2.0 tools to engage in knowledge building activities in & out of school (So, Seow, &Looi, 2009)• Mobile learning trail – Anchoring learning experiences from abstract to concrete – Location-based learning: building knowledge in authentic contexts
3-Prong Approach: FAT• 3-prong approach (FAT: Facilitation, Activity & Technology) to enhance productive knowledge co- construction in location-based collaborative learning (Tan & So, 2011)
Mobile Learning Trail: Design Considerations• Provide students with an authentic platform to apply knowledge in a real world setting.• Set the stage for collaborative knowledge building in mobile learning contexts.• Design both application-based and knowledge generative tasks (e.g., ill- structured problems) to promote critical discussion and thinking among students• Design learning activities that consider the physical affordances of real environments
Key Findings• Students expressed appreciation for the authentic learning experiences• The use of networked devices and Web 2.0 tools supported pervasive learning contexts, as well as asynchronous communication with other groups.• Mobile technologies also enhanced the immediacy of facilitation from teachers.• Students’ critical thinking skills improved after experiencing and participating in mobile learning activities
Key Challenges of Mobile Learning in Schools• Curriculum: Design learning activities to harness mobile technologies in the classroom• Ownership of devices: Promote routine use of mobile devices• Disruptive technology: Need for policies on acceptable use of mobile devices in schools• Teacher professional development: Need to train teachers about how to integrate mobile technologies for teaching and learning
What Makes a Difference• “It’s not the devices but the learner that is mobile” (Sharples, Taylor &Vavoula, 2005)• Plan for routine use of mobile devices• Plan for linkages with informal use of mobile devices• Link mobile devices to curricular activities• Empower teachers to design and enact mobilized curriculum
Future Directions• “Knowledge Ladders” framework (Kozma, 2011): basic education, knowledge acquisition, knowledge-deepening and knowledge-creation• Basic education and knowledge acquisition approach is a predominant paradigm of learning adopted in most mobile learning cases in Asia Pacific.• A vision for future mobile learning needs a macro-level plan about how countries can progress from basic education and knowledge acquisition to knowledge deepening and knowledge creation types of learning.
References• Kam, M., Kumar, A., Jain, S., Mathur, A., & Canny, J. (2009). Improving literacy in rural India: Cellphone games in an after-school program. Proceedings of IEEE/ACM Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Development (ICTD ’09), Doha, Qatar, April 17- 19.http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mattkam/publications/ICTD2009.pdf• Kozma, R. (2011). A framework for ICT policies to transform education. In ICT policies and educational transformation. Paris: UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002118/211842e.pdf• Sharples, M., Taylor, J., &Vavoula, G. (2005, October). Towards a theory of mobile learning. Paper presented at 4th World Conference on mLearning, Cape Town, South Africa. http://www.mlearn.org.za/CD/papers/Sharples- %20Theory%20of%20Mobile.pdf
References (Cont’d)• So, H. J., Seow, P., &Looi, C. K. (2009). Location matters: Leveraging knowledge building with mobile devices and Web 2.0 technology. Interactive Learning Environments, 17(4), 367-382.• Tan, E. & So, H. J. (2011). Location-based collaborative learning at a Geography tail: Examining the relationship among task design, facilitation and discourse types. In Proceedings of the CSCL conference (pp. 41-48). Hong Kong, China: International Society of the Learning Sciences.• UNESCAP. (2011). Statistical yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2011. http://www.unescap.org/stat/data/syb2011/• UNESCO. (2010). UNESCO & MOBILINK, driving female literacy through connectivity. ://www.unesco.org.pk/education/documents/Press%20Release- Mobile%20based%20literacy.pdf
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