Category Archives: ISTE

SIGML Book Study: Chapter 11 Mobile Learning in an International Distance Ed Program

The SIGML book study is now in week 11! This week’s chapter discusses the development of an m-learning component for a distance education program in Southern Africa. This component is based “on the integration of constructivist, situated, collaborative, and informal learning theories and activities” (Ally, 2009, p. 224). The argument is made that m-learning is part of a blend of approaches that are relevant if they help to solve identified problems and shortcomings of the existing approach.

To join the discussion, please register for free at You can download the book for free at If you’d like a hard copy, it can be ordered from Athabasca University at

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ISTE SIGML Book Study (Continued)

The SIGML book study is already heading into week 10! We’ve had some good discussions, but it has been somewhat quiet lately on the Ning site at We’ve got four more chapters to read and discuss, as well as a final wrap up with Dr. Ally during the week of April 26.

It’s not to late to register and participate. You can download the book for free at If you’d like a hard copy, it can be ordered from Athabasca University at

Hope to see you there…..

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ISTE SIGML 2010 Video Contest

Just announced at

SIGML 2010 Video Contest
Show off your best practices in mobile learning in the 2010 SIGML Video Contest! This is the first in what we hope will become an annual event. Make a short video (3 minutes max) that showcases what you are doing with mobile learning and share it with ISTE members. An independent panel of judges will pick the top 10 videos. ISTE members will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite 3. Winners will receive some fabulous prizes! Please make sure to read the contest information and rules carefully. All documentation, including a full set of rules, submission forms, and other materials are available at

If you have any questions about the SIGML Video Contest or would like to be a judge, please contact us at

There is also a short podcast.

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ISTE SIGML Video about Mobile Learning


To gear up for its first annual video contest, SIGML just posted a short video about its Forum at the 2009 NECC Conference in Washington DC. Participants used mobile phones, QR codes, and digital content to explore the World War II Memorial and learn about its importance today:


Well, what was supposed to be a brief break from blogging turned into a three-month hiatus. Here is a good reason to start up again though, the SIGML book study:

The book study has started. Chapter 1 discussion questions have been posted on the book study Ning at This week’s discussion is led by Louis Loeffler. It’s not too late to sign up and participate!

Mohammed Ally’s Mobile learning: Transforming the delivery of education and training was chosen by SIGML members for the 2010 book study. It can be downloaded for free from If you’d like a hard copy, it can be ordered from Athabasca University at

So far we’ve got a good group of people but we can always use more. So head on over to the book study Ning and sign up!

Lots going on in the world of mobile learning. More on that in the next few days…

An Update on NECC 2009: SIGML Forum (We Found Kilroy!)


Ran across this posting on the Ning group by Helen Crompton this morning, who was one of our volunteers at the SIGML forum at NECC in DC:

I have been asked to explain more about the NECC WWII session. For the session we had to have phone with internet connection. The session began with a quick history of the WWII memorial the design and some opposition incountered towards the memorial. As a quick overview we were then given a leaflet that told us to go to certain parts of the memorial, when we reached those parts we looked at our leaflet, read the short information there, then used the program Scanlife on our phones to scan the code for that section in our leaflets. The code took us to a web page or a sound file etc. giving us more details about that part of the monument.
While we were doing this there were a group of students being lectured to by a tour guide and they were more interested in what we were doing with the phones.
We have iTouches in school and I could download the app, they could then connect to the local wifi. I could use this to send the students off on a tour in the classroom getting them to work through problems on many subjects. If they went on a tour to the museum I could plan beforehand, they could find the artifacts and after scanning they could find out further information, or even listen to me as I tell them that they need to pay particular attention to.
I could go on forever with tasks I can set with this tool. Even young children could use this tool and it could connect to sound files.

I was especially pleased that she wrote the sentence I highlighted above. Goes to show what the power of mobile devices for students is these days. Thanks Helen!!!

NECC 2009: SIGML Forum (We Found Kilroy!)


We held our SIGML Forum (NECC 2009) at the World War II Memorial in Washington DC this afternoon. The weather helped us out as a thunderstorm moved through BEFORE we started. Using a set of QR codes we had created to provide about 25 participants with digital content related to various parts of the memorial, we asked them to do the following:

The U.S. National World War II Memorial is a National Memorial dedicated to Americans who served in the armed forces and as civilians during World War II. While many people agree that this is an important monument, critics have argued that

  • its location breaks up the view between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial;
  • the monument takes up space historically used for demonstrations; and
  • that its architecture resembles the architecture of Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.
Your task is to come up with a compelling argument that demonstrates the importance of the World War II Memorial today.

Use your mobile phones to access supplementary digital content, using the QR codes in this booklet. In addition, you may use
your mobile phone to collect evidence in and around the memorial. We will leave it up to you as to how you want to do that.

Participants noted that the experience they had at the memorial was very different from just walking through it. They tended to spend more time at different parts of the monument, and I think they got a better understanding of its importance and its meaning, judging from the discussion we had afterwards. I also noticed that during the debrief nobody talked about what didn’t work (and we did run into some glitches during the event), but all feedback focused on the learning that had taken place. Some other comments that were made included the importance of becoming more literate and fluent in the use of audio and video (not just text), and that the event showed some real possibilities of mobile learning.

We shot a bunch of video and took pictures, and will create a short video of the event in the next couple of days. We’ve posted the QR codes online. More on this to follow shortly.

Oh yes, and we did find Kilroy 🙂