Pockets of Potential…

 magic8ball

… is the title of a report that was just released by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The report “draws on interviews with a cross-section of research, policy, and industry experts to illustrate how mobile technologies such as cell phones, iPod devices, and portable gaming platforms might be more widely used for learning.” While the contents don’t feature anything really new, it’s nice to have a compilation of opportunities, challenges, and trends. In this respect, I would think this report will be especially useful to mobile hardware and software providers, if they are looking to get into the education market to have a lasting impact on teaching and learning, not to just make money.

In a nutshell, the report outlines:

  • Opportunities:
    • Encourage “anywhere, anytime” learning
    • Reach under-served children
    • Improve 21st century social interactions
    • Fit in with learning environments
    • Enable a personalized learning experience
  • Challenges:
    • Negative aspects of mobile learning
    • Cultural norms and attitudes
    • No mobile theory of learning
    • Differentiated access and technology
    • Limiting physical attributes (of mobile technology)
  • Market trends:
    • Extreme convergence
    • Location, location, location
    • Consolidation
    • 21st century button

To see the details for each of these bullet points  and how they tie in with the reports five goals of learning, developing, promoting, preparing, and stimulating, download the report :). Note that the report is written from a U.S. point of view.

It’s also interesting to compare this report with some of the predictions for the mobile industry that have already been made by people like m-trend’s Rudy de Waele (esp. read #s 3, 5, 7, and 9), Frederic Guarino,  mjelly (see #1, e.g.), and MobHappy’s Russell Buckley (see #3). In addition, make sure to take a look at this post by Helen Keegan, who warns us that there is no future of mobile if we keep making mistakes such as focusing on technology rather than people, creating applications and services for advanced users rather than average users, etc. This last post is definitely worth a read, and a lot of what Helen writes is almost directly applicable to education settings.

Speakign of education, there are many who have made predictions for mobile learning in 2009. For a sampling, see Handheld Learning’s Is the 21st Century Here Yet?, or predictions by Ignatiaweb’s Inge de Waard and Learnlets’ Clark Quinn. Interesting stuff….. As for myself, I think that we’ll see an increased use of the web on mobile devices (and not a separate mobile web) to access content and tools for learning in a variety of situations, and less dependency on specialized mobile apps to do the same.

Image Credit: “magic8ball” from lisawilliams’ photostream:
http://flickr.com/photos/lisawilliams/2532516156/

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One response to “Pockets of Potential…

  1. Pingback: Mobile Learning 09 Conference, Day 2, Morning Panels « Ubiquitous Thoughts

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