This week’s highlights from the world of mobile learning.
Mobile Learning Stuff:
More and more schools are dumping paper textbooks for their electronic counterparts. According to ABC, “For generations, school meant books — lots of books. But not anymore. Around the country, from high school to grad school, textbooks are getting harder to find. Technology has made the library something that can fit into the palm of your hand.” Interesting discussion as always in the comments section. The article provides some examples of schools who are ditching textbooks, but the story isn’t really that new.
Image Credit: Gizmodo
The most important benefit of eTextbooks is their ability to improve educational attainment. For less money than is spent on conventional textbooks, eTextbooks, over time, could deliver a regularly updated, interactive, and 21st-century education to our children. There are multiple reasons the technology offers an improved educational experience.
The report goes on to say that advantages include the ease of updating content quickly and universally (and cheaply, I might add); flexibility in choice of content by teachers without having to worry about cost; they aid integration of classroom learning; and provision of critical resources to struggling schools.
Image Credit: BBC News
From the BBC: Mobile app sees science go global
A mobile phone application will help professional and “citizen” scientists collect and analyse data from “in the field”, anywhere in the world. The EpiCollect software collates data from certain mobiles – on topics such as disease spread or the occurrence of rare species – in a web-based database. The data is statistically analysed and plotted on maps that are instantly available to those same phones.
This story is a great example of mobile learning at its best, with user access to collected data (almost) in real time.
And here is another one, via the M-learning Is Good blog: The Fidelity of Mobile Technology Continues to Deepen, which discusses NVIDIA’s ARhrrr technology.
In the U.S., Universities Plan Course to Navigate the Mobile Learning Curve, as increasing numbers of students have smartphones. Examples cited are from Stanford, Illinois State, and Dayton. According to the article:
Developing a mobile strategy should not be the sole responsibility of the college IT department. Mobile communications plans can be driven by the admissions, student life associations, athletics, marketing and alumni departments as well, and they can all work in harmony to provide integrated and effective programs that help your school stand out among the rest.
However, when it comes to the use of mobile phones for learning, Cell-phone college classes face hurdles, as eCampus News reported the week before. Standardization of mobile phone technology is still a big issue,
Until things get a little more standardized, it’s a real big pain,” said Matt Cooper, instructional technology specialist at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, N.J., where he developed the Mobile Learning Initiative, which lets students in 20 classes complete course work on mobile devices, even without an internet connection. “There’s too much to plan for. … [Creating online courses that fit every cell-phone interface] is a pretty high standard to strive for.”
We experienced that for ourselves during the SIGML forum in Washington DC this year, as we had to create three different versions of a set of QR codes (bottom of page) so that they would work on Windows Mobile, iPhone, and Blackberry devices.
Mobile Learning Projects:
Mobile camps in Africa are helping budding developers gain the skills and understanding they need to create useful mobile applications.
Mobile camps may be building the next generation of mobile programmers by helping to develop a new field of study in African higher education. Recent camps have produced tools for social development and provided educators with new skills.
A mobile camp or bootcamp is “a crash-course session”, usually spanning 2-3 days, during which “participants gain an insight on mobile computing technologies as well as acquire practical skills in the use of current platforms, frameworks and tools used for the development of mobile applications” notes Strathmore University. Recent camps have included competitions to spur development of mobile tools.
And as the Senegalese bootcamp website states: The bootcamp is over … but this is just a beginning…
This week’s mobile events (and announcements) include:
MobileHCI 2009, Bonn, Germany, September 15-18, 2009 (http://www.mobilehci09.org/), the 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services.
Mobile Innovation Week, Toronto, Canada, September 12-16, 2009 (http://www.mobileinnovationweek.com/). MOBILEINNOVATIONWEEK in Toronto will showcase global mobile thought leaders, developers, innovators, institutions and industry professionals coming together for an exciting and engaging series of events all focused on exploring new mobile Internet frontiers, applications and business ideas.
Another upcoming event is The Mobile Application Stores, Strategy and Deployment conference, in San Diego, CA, October 8, 2009 (http://www.mobileappevent.com/). Mobile Application Stores is a partner seminar of International CTIA WIRELESS I.T. and Entertainment. Mobile Application Stores is the only conference to focus exclusively on the business of mobile applications and will focus on the tremendous opportunities in the mobile apps stores ecosystem. The event is designed to give a complete understanding of how to capitalize on this dynamic market. Featured speakers for the event include:
• Dr. Jin-Sung Choi Ph.D, Senior Vice President, Head MC Global Product Planning Team, LG Electronics Korea
• George Linardos Vice President, Product Management, Media, Nokia
• Ilja Laurs Founder & CEO, GetJar.
• Tim Haysom, Chief Marketing Officer,OMTP
• Mike Merril, CEO-Smart Phone Technologies
• Ajit Jaokar, President-futuretext
• Chetan Sharma, CEO, Chetan Sharma Consulting
• Jouko Ahvenainen, Founder, Grow VC International
• William Volk, CEO, PlayScreen
• Sena Gbeckor-Kove, Chief Technology Officer, imKon
Mobile Technology News:
According to the ReadWrite Web blog, one of the top 5 web trends of 2009 is the mobile web and augmented reality: “What’s perhaps most encouraging however, is the entirely new class of mobile apps we’re seeing. Augmented Reality is the most obvious example.” Great post that summarizes the trends well and therefore worth a read. And of course, the potential for the use of these tools in education is endless…