How Mobile and Online Technology Transform Learning
Bryan Alexander is a futurist,
researcher, writer, speaker,
consultant, and teacher working
in the field of how technology
transforms education. Areas he
focuses on include social media,
digital storytelling, mobile
devices, gaming, pedagogy,
forecasting, and the future
of academia. In the past,
Bryan has worked in a used
bookstore, been an English
professor, and helped build a
national nonprofit organization.
Currently, he is the senior fellow
for the National Institute for
Technology in Liberal Education.
obile and online technology has enormous potential
to transform learning. Access to the Internet through
mobile devices summons the world of information to any
location, which can empower users in the moment. Ondemand learning turns the world itself into a potential classroom, library,
lab, or studio. There’s an insurgent quality to this ubiquitous access, as
mobile devices equip an audience against a presenter, citizens against
authority figures, students with instructors. That same access allows social
connections between any two (or more) locations and people, with boons
for collaboration and cross-cultural communication. The lived-in space of
human civilization is being radically transformed as we grow a digital layer
across it, like a laminate.
“On-demand learning turns the world itself into a
potential classroom, library, lab, or studio.”
MOBILE DEVICES EQUIP USERS
WITH INFORMATION THEY CAN
USE TO QUESTION EDUCATORS,
AUTHORITY FIGURES, AND
Mobile technology allows
social connections between
locations and people.
Mobile devices support media
Mobile devices also support media collection, manipulation, and sharing—
in other words, new possibilities for storytelling. Story always migrates to
new media, and the world of smart phones, tablets, wearable computing,
and portable game players is no exception. Fields like journalism and the
sciences are already changing as citizens contribute their on-the-fly work to
those professions. Students benefit from this movement by creating new
stories, which require them to reflect on and remix curricular materials,
find their voice, and learn effective communication.
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