Keynote at the mLearn 2017 — 16th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning.
30 October - 1 November 2017
Back in 1997 while working at Media Lab Helsinki, Finland my colleagues and I started a research project called Future Learning Environments. Our main partners were educational psychologists at the University of Helsinki. Soon after this we organized ourselves as the Learning Environments research group (LeGroup). The mission of the research group was (and still is) to explore ways to improve the quality of teaching and learning with smart technological solutions. From the very beginning our research focused on the use of mobile devices, with the idea of bringing learning to meaningful contexts, and to support learners' knowledge building and reflective activities. The tools designed and developed, as part of our research, have helped students to develop their self-regulation, a skill closely related to students' well-being, to forms of deep learning and to autonomy. With our research we have not been driven by the common attempt to save time and money, instead we have aimed to abilities to innovate and to create social change.
During my talk I will make a retrospective journey through some of our work, starting with some early experiments in computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) with school children using Nokia Communicators (1997) and Nokia Internet Tablets (2005). I will also introduce some of our research on educational challenges in the Global South that made use of the affordances of basic mobile phones for knowledge sharing (2003-2005). Furthermore I will discuss our more recent work on mobile learning research dealing with the role of mobile devices in reflective and self-regulated learning, an augmented-reality application for workplace learning and on the challenges and possibilities of using biometric measures along wearable computers for collecting data for learning analytics. Through this journey, I aim thus to outline a few signposts of the past and present of mobile learning research, design and development. My hope is to help us discuss the future of education and the future tools to be designed when most things and activities in our life are digitally enhanced and networked.