FTI Keynote Speaker – Michael M. Grant talks about mobile learning

Michael M. Grant from the University of Memphis presented to the Faculty Technology Institute participants entitled Dare you to Move: making mobile matter at the College of Charleston.

Mobile devices are initially defined as a device that can fit into a lady’s purse or a man’s pocket.  When a person can use their own device it makes for a smoother use transition.  Mobile learning however can be phone, PDAs, iPods, tablets or laptops.

Informal learning (IL) is learning that happens outside of class IL is just starting to make a dent in the learning process.  Informal learning is increasing because we have greater access.

He preached Twitter. Asked them to try it for 30 days and if you don’t use it in after that then drop it.  If you don’t find Twitter interesting then you are either not following enough people or not following the right people.  Michael uses it to share resources outside of class.  Things he sees that are pertinent to his students or courses.  Also uses it as a backchannel for conferences and for large lecture classes.  Also is a great personal learning network (PLN) if you follow the right people.  He recommends that you start using Twitter for yourself (PLN) then move to using it in your class or other areas after you get more comfortable.  Another benefit of Twitter over a class LMS discussion is the public nature of this.

Context Aware Learning (CAL) where something changes in your mobile device because of where you are.  Example is Radford outdoor augmented reality (AR) map.  It uses the camera on the smartphone that is then supplemented by the AR layer.   Also check out broadcastr.  You can put your stories in this app so when people come they can read the story.  Can record online or via an iPod or Android app.

Context Aware and Authentic is where the students use specific system to complete assignments based on where they are at.  He shows Scvngr.com as an example of a way to easily design one one your own.

Ways Mobile Learning is being used:

  • Campus University App – seems to be mostly informational so the SIS, LMS but not learning centric. Mainly revolve around increased access to student info and campus resources.
  • Increased interaction with course content, even using plain text messaging. Using Posterous you can blog or collect ideas.  This allows collaboration and interaction with material. Can create knowledge together.  The more interaction the student has with the material the greater the chance they’ll remember or understand it.   Talked about phonecasting or phlogging you can use iPadio.  Just call it in and record what you want to say.  Great for languages.
  • Creating representations of knowledge – create video and make a movie on their phone, create a location based item from above, create image representation using Posterous, out of class assignment that you bring back to class to spawn discussion.
  • Augment face-2-face instruction – PollEverywhere to conduct a knowledge check or class poll.  New iPad 2 will have full video projection capability.  This will allow you to have greater control of you presentations via the iPad 2.
  • Supporting performance and decision making – improve performance and efficiency but not necessarily improve learning.  Example – turbo tax.  It helps you do your taxes but doesn’t make you an accountant.  Quick Cite – bar code scanner that will email you the citation for the publication you scanned.
  • Deploy instructionMobl21 similar to an LMS but for mobile devices.  He uses it for only specific units.  Quizzes, flash cards and content.

How to choose what to use? He uses low-threshold apps. Low for him to set up and low for his students to use.  Easy is best.  Complicated and mobile don’t mix well.  Keep the outcomes in mind.  It’s about how teachers teach and how learners learn.  Always keep the outcomes in mind.

Quote – I can choose not to move but I choose not to do that.

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