Thursday, 19 December 2013

Learning wrap up, last post of Gregorian Calendar 2013

As the year closes and the nights become increasingly long in this Northern part of the world, looking back and reflecting seems the right thing to provide closure to the past 350 days. The darkest days produce darker thoughts.

MOOC2013
MOOC have become mainstream, but they did not change education. They only changed business reflections at the centre of big universities. And where MOOC have been said to help those never having been able to learn before ... the latest MOOC's are set up for institutional glory, attracting new professionals, and delivering old school formats on many occasions: one person in a video, the public listens or is given the option to discuss what is provided. Producing content as a learner based upon personal knowledge needs is less frequently expected as a course outcome. The importance of online learning did grow, which is a good think from my perspective.

TEDx2013
Another trend that kept going were the TED conferences. Again hailed as a new interesting learning option, it seems to have become nothing more than an long list of info-documentaries replacing televised National Geographic with pre-organized, strict format offerings of one person standing in front of a public. Nothing new here, please move on.

Social media 2013
With selfies being shared and produced at an ever increasing rate, social media is now fully absorbed in marketing. Although social media started as an interactive learning resource with potential, its popularity has shifted it right back into the overall societal system. Once hailed for its journalistic and societal strengthening options, and even delivering a Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman for tweeting during the Arab Spring in Yemen, social media is now much more about followers than innovative ideas.

Education budget cuts
Although online learning is high on the agenda, education overall is not. In many countries and on a variety of levels  education faces severe budget costs (hitting teachers in Europe, special education in the USA, institutional education in UK, and educational research also being brought to the slaughter house). To me education symbolizes the importance of humans, cutting budgets for education (or any human sector) shows where society is going: towards segregation and elitism. Education is an investment, granted the return takes a couple of decades to emerge, but it does come.

Mobile learning will become seamless
With mobile devices popping up everywhere, it is no longer the device which makes the difference, but the seamless learning experience that makes a difference. Tech shifts from the objects to the overall experience. Nice trend there, but tough to realize, although we only have to look at Star Trek to realize what is to come.

Technology will never save humans, nor will it save education. A pity for people like me who see human Utopia in every new, non-destructive technology. I should change that inclination... but I cannot. I blame Star Trek... or should I say I thank StarTrek for predicting the future since 1966?

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tips for planning Your #MOOC #OEB13

This slide deck will be used at Online Educa Berlin 2013 to allow people to set up their own MOOC. It is a short set of slides, with links to other MOOC information. The main idea is to get people on their way, and to make them think on where to go with their overall training.

If you are at Online Educa Berlin, feel free to join me in room Lincke (first floor) between 14.30 - 16.00. I will start / end the session on time. And if you plan a MOOC yourself, why not connect with me from anywhere? The way I see it, we are all in this together - education/training helps us all.

I made a template that I will ask participants to fill in, in order to make it easier for them to choose where they want to go with their MOOC plans. The template can be found here.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Free book increasing access through #mlearning

The Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca University just released a great free book on mobile learning, edited by the Mohamed Ally and Avgoustos Tsinakos. The digital book consisting of three parts, each filled with great articles all looking at mobile education, including a chapter written by myself on "using BYOD, mobile social media, apps, and sensors for meaningful mobile learning".

What to expect:
Part I describes considerations for, and approaches to, designing mobile learning materials. It is important for developers of mobile learning materials to follow standards so that the learning materials can be shared as open educational resources (OER). Delivered on mobile technology, OER have the potential to enable citizens all over the world to access affordable education from anywhere and at any time. Part II of the book discusses how mobile learning can be successfully implemented to maximise access to educational resources with minimum resources, and to maintain flexibility in the delivery process. Part III provides examples of how mobile learning can be used in a variety of settings, including schools, higher education institutions, the workplace and the field, and a variety of contexts, from formal programmes to just-in-time learning.

With over 200 pages of mobile learning wisdom, there is a lot to read and reflect upon.
PART I: Designing Mobile Learning
Chapter 1
A Diachronic Overview of Technology Contributing to Mobile Learning: A Shift Towards Student-Centred Pedagogies ..................... 7
Helen Crompton

Chapter 2
Educational Standards for Mobile Learning and Mobile Application Development ......... 17
Judy Brown, Michael Hruska, Andy Johnson and Jonathan Poltrack

Chapter 3
A Pedagogical Framework for Mobile Learning: Categorising Educational Applications of Mobile Technologies into Four Types ............. 27
Yeonjeong Park

Chapter 4
Why Open Educational Resources Are Needed for Mobile Learning ......... 49
Rory McGreal

Chapter 5
Design of Contextualised Mobile Learning Applications ............................ 61
Marcus Specht

Chapter 6
Interactive Learning Strategies for Mobile Learning ................................... 73
Anthony Ralston

Chapter 7
Mobile Learning: Location, Collaboration and Scaffolding Inquiry ............. 85
Eileen Scanlon

PART II: Implementing Mobile Learning
Chapter 8
Open Formats for Mobile Learning ............................................................. 99
Geoff Stead

Chapter 9
Using BYOD, Mobile Social Media, Apps, and Sensors for Meaningful Mobile Learning ............ 113
Inge Ignatia de Waard

Chapter 10
Supporting Mobile Access to Online Courses: The ASK Mobile SCORM Player and the ASK Mobile LD Player .......................................... 125
Panagiotis Zervas and Demetrios G. Sampson

Chapter 11
Mobile Learning Operating Systems .......................................................... 141
Christian Glahn

PART III: Using Mobile Learning in Education and Training
Chapter 12
Orchestrating the Flexible Mobile Learning Classroom .............................. 161
Chee-Kit Looi and Yancy Toh

Chapter 13
Mobile Learning in Higher Education .......................................................... 175
N├║ria Ferran-Ferrer, Muriel Garreta Domingo, Josep Prieto-Blazquez,
Cesar Corcoles, Dr. Teresa Sancho-Vinuesa and Mr. Francesc Santanach

Chapter 14
Mobile Learning in the Workplace: Unlocking the Value of Mobile Technology for Work-Based Education ........................ 193
Christoph Pimmer and Norbert Pachler

Chapter 15
Changing the Tunes from Bollywood’s to Rural Livelihoods — Mobile Telephone Advisory Services to Small and Marginal Farmers in India: A Case Study ........................... 205
Balaji Venkataraman and T.V. Prabhakar

Chapter 16
The Future of Mobile Learning and Implications for Education and Training ..... 217
David Parsons