Preparing to Attend Handheld Learning 2007, or the Wild, Wacky, Wireless, and Wonderful World of Mobile Learning

Handheld Learning 2007

I can’t believe I’ll be at the Handheld Learning conference in London in only a few short weeks. Besides having an opportunity to make the quick jump from London to Amsterdam to visit relatives before the conference, I’m really looking forward to the event itself, as it has gotten quite the reputation.

I will be doing two presentations while I’m there, fitting them in with this year’s theme of Learning while Mobile. They are described below. The full program is on the conference site. If you’d like to attend the Handheld Learning conference, register before it is sold out (like last year). Discount codes can be found at Tony Vincent’s Learning in Hand and the moblearn blog.

How to Create 21st Century Learners:

How do we create 21st century learners? This is a complex question that is puzzling educators across the world. As we all know, society has been changing in faster and more complex ways than ever before. Knowledge is growing at exponential rates, digital tools we use are constantly changing, the nature of family and community are in flux, markets are shifting, and institutions constantly have to reinvent themselves.

We are now preparing children for a world that will have jobs that don’t exist yet, tools that haven’t been invented yet, and problems we don’t know are problems yet. The distinction between the physical and digital is becoming increasingly blurred as well.

What should learning in such an unpredictable environment look like? This presentation will provide a brief glimpse of what the not-so-distant future of education might bring, including increased personalization and customization, learning in context, networking, and of course, the role of digital technologies.

Related links: (Map of Future Forces Affecting Education)

Citizen Journalism

In November 2004, Dutch film maker  Theo van Gogh’s body was captured by a passer-by on a mobile phone minutes after he was murdered. The picture appeared on the pages of the Telegraaf, a daily Amsterdam newspaper, and made the news globally. The next month, images n(see e.g. here and here) and videos of the Asian tsunami were available on the Internet within minutes of the waves crashing ashore. When bombs exploded in London’s public transportation in July 2005, citizen reporters were on the scene before the major news networks got there. Almost immediately following the explosions, commuters in the Underground uploaded pictures and video to the Internet, using their mobile phones to capture and transmit the events as they were unfolding.

News reporting as we used to know it is changing. Younger generations are turning away from traditional media outlets in ever-increasing numbers, and instead are using mobile and networked technologies and web-based tools to collaboratively (re)create, analyze, share, and digest what is happening in their world. A new generation of digital storytellers and citizen journalists has emerged, blurring the boundaries between producers and consumers of news.

This session will focus on the implications for education of this trend, including the need to prepare students to actively and critically partake in an evermore global, digital, and participatory culture; an increasing responsibility to teach and learn about how to deal with the massive amounts of information that are literally at our fingertips; and emerging ethical issues such as copyright, privacy versus the right to know, and honesty in editing online content.
It is funny how when we try to predict the future we often end up looking back. In the case of reporting the news, there are strong indications that we may return to a time when storytelling and pamphleteering were vital ways of sharing information and passing it from generation to generation. The only difference is that this time, storytelling will no longer be oral and local, but digital and global.

Related links: (Gillmor’s We the media; the Media Center’s Synapse on the future of news; Annandale’s article in the Thunderbird; and many, many more).

Image Credit: Handheld Learning Conference Logo:

4 responses to “Preparing to Attend Handheld Learning 2007, or the Wild, Wacky, Wireless, and Wonderful World of Mobile Learning

  1. Pingback: Carnival Of Mobilists -- 92nd Edition

  2. Pingback: Golden Swamp

  3. Pingback: Some Thoughts about Mobile Learning/Learning while Mobile « Ubiquitous Thoughts

  4. Pingback: Handheld Learning 2007, Day 1, Reflections on Pedagogy, London Knowledge Lab « Ubiquitous Thoughts

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