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Learning at the Speed of Mobile


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Presentation to be given at Mobilize This Event in Darwin (30/10/09)

Published in: Education, Technology

Learning at the Speed of Mobile

  1. 1. Learning at the Speed of Mobile Michael Coghlan Mobilise This Darwin (30/10/09) Slides on the web at
  2. 3. Payphone Ladies
  3. 6. Mobile Learning is more than Mobile Technology <ul><li>Stephen Downes on Leonard Low: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Low clarifies his thoughts on the definition of 'mobile learning', concentrating more on social factors (ubiquity, ease of use, appropriateness of use in public places, cost) rather than on the device itself.” </li></ul><ul><li>Low wrote: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Mobile learning is, after all, about the mobility of learning , and not merely the mobility of technology…but how we achieve that mobility of learning must consider the context of the learning, and not just the use of mobile technology, if it is to achieve its full potential.” (7/3/07) </li></ul>
  4. 7. Trigger Point <ul><li>Dr Norbert Pachler (Mlearn Conference, 2007): Title : Thinking about the ‘m-’ in mobile learning (co-authored with Gunther Kress) </li></ul>
  5. 8. Progression…… <ul><li>Online learning </li></ul><ul><li>E learning </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible learning </li></ul><ul><li>M (mobile) learning </li></ul><ul><li>E + M = U (ubiquitous) learning (Janet Fraser, Monash University) </li></ul>
  6. 9. Abstract: <ul><li>The marriage between education and Internet technology has effected an extraordinary assault on perspectives about teaching and learning. The role of the teacher, the nature and context of learning, the role, relative importance and agency of course content have all been challenged and redefined . Mobile learning complicates the picture even further.  M-learning is not just about using laptops, smart phones, and tag and code readers. The wider context of mobility implies multiple contexts for learning, the blurring of social and academic spheres of activity , student collaboration and production of content, and a view of knowledge that is dynamic rather than static . How and where do teachers and students acquire the skills to operate effectively in an m-learning world? </li></ul>
  7. 10. Agency has shifted from teacher to learner; from teaching to learning
  8. 11. Shift from broadcast model to student content creation (user generated content) <ul><li>IMPLICATIONS: </li></ul><ul><li>Not an entirely new idea - Jonassen: Technology as Cognitive Tools: Learners as Designers (circa 1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Assumed : students have phones, mp3 players, other media capturing devices; and the skills to use them effectively (see English and Advertising class blog) </li></ul><ul><li>These media capturing devices can be used anywhere anytime </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the quality control ? Who decides what constitutes quality? Is something other than quality now more important? eg engagement, motivation, increased levels of participation? </li></ul><ul><li>To what degree should this be allowed? What % of course content should be user-created? Are we talking about (core) syllabus? Or just for assessment purposes? </li></ul><ul><li>Where does user-generated content go? Should it be public? Should schools/colleges have to allow/sanction publishing of course content to public sites? (Media on the Move project) </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis shifts from what you learn to how you learn </li></ul>
  9. 12. Mobility  Non-Linearity “non-linearity is damaging narrative” <ul><li>The Bugbear of Literacy (Ananda K. Coomaraswamy; 1949) resented the impact of the written word on the oral tradition (and memory) </li></ul><ul><li>RELATED TRENDS </li></ul><ul><li>The rise of the rock video and the prevalence of rhizomic thinking </li></ul><ul><li>The revolution of hyperlinking </li></ul><ul><li>Multitasking (‘transmedia navigation’) </li></ul>
  11. 14. Horizontal Learning (multitasking) Instant Messaging Assignment SMS iPod Surfing Watching video/TV
  13. 16. Vertical Learning (single focus) Assignment: What were the principal factors that led to the Indonesian coup in 1965 and the eventual downfall of President Sukarno? (5000 words)
  14. 17. Horizontal v Vertical Learning <ul><li>The discerning eteacher: </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledges the nature and influence of horizontal learning (multitasking) </li></ul><ul><li>Knows when to encourage vertical learning (single focus activity) </li></ul>
  15. 18. Fragmentation  lack of shared cultural experience <ul><li>IMPACT: </li></ul><ul><li>“… we don’t have a common frame of reference anymore as to what constitutes truth or beauty or logic or anything” (Sessums quoting Kelley, Leyden) </li></ul><ul><li>The goal of schools to deliver a standard curriculum with common core values is being subverted > ethical challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Subcultures (communities of practice, networks); individualised social and cultural experiences; a ‘distributed’ culture that is often transglobal </li></ul><ul><li>*‘diversification of cultural expression’; ‘channels’ (subcultures) provided by YouTube, Facebook, chosen RSS feeds and the like </li></ul><ul><li>Technology  ideology (technology has become a social marker) </li></ul><ul><li>Skills for success now achievable beyond the walls of education (rise in importance of informal learning) </li></ul><ul><li>*Jenkins et al </li></ul>
  16. 19. New Learning? No - different conditions and environments <ul><li>a new habitus of learning (Learning 2.0?) </li></ul><ul><li>Despite Prensky’s mantra that Gen Y brains are wired differently, the physiology of learning has not changed </li></ul><ul><li>But learning no longer confined to the classroom or working with immediate peers </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher no longer the sole source of content </li></ul><ul><li>We now have a “decentralisation of resource provision” </li></ul><ul><li>the blurring of social and academic spheres of activity </li></ul>
  17. 20. “ The whole world has become curricularised.” (Pachler) Image courtesy of Nancy White
  18. 21. Virtual Worlds
  19. 23. Agency is on the learner to turn information into knowledge <ul><li>The new model supplies ‘stuff’; not knowledge, which an individual assembles according to their own interests </li></ul><ul><li>Text WAS knowledge pushed; NOW text is a resource that learner must make sense of > self-knowledge </li></ul>
  20. 24. The Nature of Text <ul><li>Formally, text arrived as a settled, final, coherent body of work from acknowledged expert who was an authoritative source </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary text : contingent, multiple authors (no authoritative source with attendant power); provisional; [wikis, blogs, podcasts] </li></ul><ul><li>We are moving from a world of stability > a world of fluidity; from a world of canonicity > a world of provisionality </li></ul>
  21. 25. Mobility = <ul><li>Mobility = fluidity = negotiation (of meaning) > creation of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility implies a sense of incompletion </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility in the sense that :  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The individual is always ready to be a ‘learner’ and to turn the environment into a site for learning. Continually in a state of incompletion and moving towards completion (dynamic); mobile not only physically but conceptually. The whole world has become ‘curricularised.’ </li></ul></ul>
  22. 26. <ul><li>Please add your thoughts to the wiki page at </li></ul>
  23. 27. Courtesy of Greg Whitby
  24. 28. Learning in the 21 st Century <ul><li>“ I have seen predictions that a student doing a 3 year course by 2012 will experience the situation where most of the knowledge they have gained in year one will be completely out of date by the time they finish year 3.” </li></ul><ul><li>“… the only sustainable approach…will be to find the learning and teaching strategies which will ensure that people embrace attitudes and behaviours anchored in lifelong learning.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is becoming …an imperative for industry to have staff who are lifelong learners and highly ICT literate.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greg Black, CEO, (Campus Review 16/10/07) </li></ul></ul>
  26. 30. <ul><li>&quot; In a world in which each individual can pursue most any personal purpose in most any place that suits him, all on his own initiative, the habit of relying on authoritative institutions , which operate through commands enforced by penalties and inducements, may sharply diminish . ( McClintock , 2000) </li></ul>
  27. 31. How and where do teachers and students acquire the skills to operate effectively in this type of mobile world?
  28. 32. Acquiring the Skills <ul><li>Join an online community or email list </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions and initiate discussions about your interests and needs </li></ul><ul><li>Start publishing or tracking blogs, podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Do an online course in multiliteracy </li></ul><ul><li>Create social bookmarking and photosharing accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Create media – start simple: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upload photos to Flickr; comment on others’ photos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>create Digital Stories (Photostory, Moviemaker) and upload to YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Search YouTube and other video repositories for educational content and start using it in your teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Place yourself in the new habitus of learning – you need to do it to understand and internalise the power of networks; reading and observing will not achieve this philosophical seachange </li></ul><ul><li>Put yourself to the side; know that the best teachers are always willing learners </li></ul>
  29. 33. Organisations will need to adapt to the fact that web 2.0 citizens will enter places of work and learning highly connected to a network of peers that they rely on for entertainment, mutual learning, and collaboration. They may expect to be able to make use of these personal learning and social networks, and the technologies that make these networks possible, in their places of work or study. These web 2.0 citizens operate in a world that is open and mobile, and they are unlikely to accept authority that is automatically assigned to a position. Their world is flat and devoid of hierarchy. In a world where information about their areas of interest or expertise is increasing exponentially they will place greater store on connected networks, which may extend beyond classroom or workplace boundaries, and knowing where to get the knowledge and information they need, is more important than having that knowledge and information themselves.
  30. 34. Resources: <ul><li>Ten Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes To Be a More Successful e-learning Professional – Lisa Neal </li></ul><ul><li>Ten Web 2.0 Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes to Be a More Successful E-learning Professional – Stephen Downes </li></ul>
  31. 35. Resources: <ul><li>Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21 st Century ; Jenkins et al, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0 ; John Seely Brown, Richard Adler, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Media on the Move ; New Practices Project, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>URGENT: 21st Century Skills for Educators (and Others) First ; George Siemens </li></ul><ul><li>Read, Write, Mix, Rip, and… Burn, Baby, Burn: Notes on How Social Media Affects Conventional Teaching and Learning Practices ; Christopher Sessums, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Horizon Report 2008 ; New Media Consortium </li></ul>
  32. 36. Michael Coghlan [email_address] THANK YOU This presentation on the web at