Category Archives: Podcasting

mLearn 2008: Call for Proposals


Even though it’s still almost a year away, there is already a call for proposals for mLearn 2008. I’ll be there, will you?


mLearn, the world’s flagship mobile learning conference, will take place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge,the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, in Shropshire, England, in October 2008. The conference started in Birmingham and has since taken place in London, Rome, Cape Town, Banff and Melbourne.

The aims of the conference are to bring together leaders in mobile learning research, developers and practitioners in a environment that will stimulate discussion, innovation and excitement.

Formats and Deadlines:

· Full papers: 8 pages, final date for submission for review is 14 April 2008 midnight GMT

· Short papers: 1 page, final date for submission for review is 28 April 2008 midnight GMT

· Posters: 1 page, final date for submission for review is 28 April 2008 midnight GMT

(other categories to follow)


· mobile learning, mobile knowledge, mobile societies: covering discourse, identity, knowledge and learning with pervasive, ubiquitous, mobile technologies; social, individual and cultural aspects of mobile learning

· devices, systems, technology and standards: convergence, diversity, frontiers, and trends

· mobile learning landscape: work-based, informal, subject-specific, context-aware, social

· mobile learning for all: inclusion, assistivity, scalability, embedding, participation, development, evaluation, evidence, and assessment

Review Panel:

*Dr Mohamed Ally, Athabasca University, Canada *Dr Inmaculada Arnedillo-Sánchez, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland *Jill Attewell, Research Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, LSN, UK *Dr Tom Brown, Midrand Graduate Institute, South Africa *Professor Tak-Wai Chan, National Central University of Taiwan *Dr Elizabeth Hartnell-Young, University of Nottingham, UK *Dr Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Open University, UK *Professor Chee-Kit Looi, National Institute of Education, Singapore *Professor Angela McFarlane, University of Bristol, UK *Dr Marcelo Milrad, Växjö University, Sweden *Dr Dick Ng’ambi, University of Cape Town, South Africa *Professor Roy Pea, Stanford University, USA *Professor Mike Sharples, University of Nottingham, UK *Dr Mark van’t Hooft, Kent State University, USA *Professor Herman van der Merwe, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa *Professor Earl Woodruff, University of Toronto, Canada

We anticipate linking with two respected journal for special editions. Proceedings will have an ISBN number

The conference dates are: Wednesday 8th to Friday 10th October 2008.

Further details and templates: &

For informal queries on submissions, contact John Traxler, Brendan Riordan or Chris Dennett via the conference web-site.


Image Credit: mLearn 2008:

Carnival of the Mobilists #99: Time to Give Thanks?

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists! As it is Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. (thank you veterans!!) and Thanksgiving is upon us next week, this is a good time of year to reflect on what we’ve been given and what we should be thankful for, including in mobile. So here we go…

Google’s Open Handset Alliance and Android

The big news in the mobile world this past week was Google’s announcement of its mobile OS, coupled with the Open Handset Alliance. While last week’s Carnival could merely speculate about Google’s plans, we have a somewhat more concrete picture now.

Abishek Tiwari provides us with an early analysis of Android, Google’s open mobile OS.

The two most comprehensive writeups about Google’s plans related to Android and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) came from Michael Mace at Mobile Opportunity and Andreas Constantinou at VisionMobile Forum. Michael Mace states that Google is now an OS company, and speculates about its potential huge impact on the industry, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, and mobile developers. The post has an interesting string of comments as well. Andreas’ post is entitled Google’s Android: boring, exciting or breakthrough? He argues it’s all of the above.

Azizi Jennings takes it one step further and asks on Treo Today if the “Open Handset Alliance + OpenSocial = checkmate by Google?” 

While much of the blogging about Google’s initiatives has been fairly positive, Carlo Longino at MobHappy describes Google’s announcement of the OHA and Android as “a PR and media manipulation masterstroke. Obviously since they’ve created the ‘Open Handset Alliance’, other handsets that don’t come out of it must be closed, right? It’s a story the press is running with, anyway”. So the big question is, how open is Google’s “open”, really?

As side stories to the Google announcement, Barry Welford from StayGoLinks argues that there will be More Speech-Enabled Applications With The Open Handset Alliance while Enrique Ortiz at …About Mobility talks about local applications as the next big thing in mobile, in part because developments such as the iPhone, the OHA, and Android may remove barriers to success for local apps.

Speaking of the iPhone, the Sentric blog discusses the now past unveiling of the iPhone in the UK on Nov. 9, its high cost, and why consumers will buy the overpriced device anyway. It also discusses potential competitors such as the gPhone and Nokia’s music store.

Mobile and Marketing

Marc Meyer, at Emerson Direct Marketing Observations issues A Word to Mobile Marketers: Dumb it Down. He makes a case for keeping web sites designed for mobile devices simple, specific, and easy to navigate (i.e. with one hand). 

The Mobivity blog discusses a great post on iMediaConnection today about something I have been saying for a while. In this article Dean Macri, CEO of Cielo Group, Inc talks about integrating mobile into your marketing campaigns.” The main point of the post is that mobile marketing should be used to make traditional marketing more interactive and trackable.

Obviously, in order for mobile marketing to be successful we need to know what people carry in their pockets because it informs what we design and how we design it. Bill Day points us to Jan Chipchase and his research in this area. Definitely worth a look.

Finally, Vero Pepperrell at Taptology wrote a thought-provoking post about how Mobile phones are ‘bankrupting’ teens: How can we avoid breaking the bank? She points to “a report by The Age which claims that Australian youngsters are having to declare themselves bankrupt due to overspending their meagre revenue on mobile bills.” She discusses how mobile telco’s use deceptive advertising and how a little more helpfulness toward their customers could go a long way. This is my favorite post of the week.

Product Reviews

Several product reviews came my way as well. Gadget Guild reviews the new LG enV VX9900, which looks promising.

WapReview’s review of Opera Mini 4.0 – Better than WebKit? concludes that Opera Mini 4.0 is indeed better, because of dedicated page up and page down keys, a mobile view, key board shortcuts, and a huge cache.

Judy Breck posted a quick look at the Nokia N810 T, and finds it “perfect for reading, writing and arithmetic”, calling it the “learning tablet“.


Finally, and maybe a little unusual for the Carnival, a brief look at some interesting posts in the area of mobile and education. 

The most important news here is probably the official announcement of the formation of the International Association for Mobile Learning (IAmLearn), which I posted here.

Karin Fasimpaur from K12 handhelds discusses the Free Kids Dictionary project, an initiative from K12handhelds because ofthe need for a free kids dictionary that could be used on mobile devices.” Stay tuned for more if you’re interested in helping out, as the post states.

She also discusses the use of mini-movies for learning sight-words, as “one interesting thing we’ve seen in using mini-movies with kids (especially older middle school kids) is that they are more likely to watch an instructional video repeatedly if they can do it in private. This is one of the advantages of mobile technology.” 

And Finally …

Thanks for visiting my blog and this week’s issue of the Carnival. It’s been a pleasure to host the Carnival as I got exposed to a lot of interesting blogs. Thanks to those who submitted their posts. Next week’s issue (#100!!) will be hosted by Abishek Tiwari. That’s all folks!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the mobilists to or by using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Image Credit: “Finally Fall”, rezlab’s photostream at

Handheld Learning 2007, Day 2, Post-16/Adult Learning Session

This is the session I moderated this morning. While the audience was small, I thought the presenters were very good and the audience inquisitive. Here is a brief recap of the presentations (aside from my own):


Geoff Elliot’s NEETS project (slideshow)
Geoff talked about mobile phones used and the installation of wireless hubs across the Pembrokeshire area in order to provide some context for his project, which is working with difficult-to-reach youth who can be disengaged, irresponsible, feckless, dishonest, lost, who have missed out in school, lack confidence and self-esteem, and have personal issues youth. They’re the kind of kids whom the system has failed.
Characteristics of the project:

  • One on one
  • Negotiate individual development plan
  • Develop trust, then
  • loan a phone
  • Remote mentoring via phone
  • Weekly meeting with students

Good things that came out of the project:

  • 115 referrals
  • 90 young people helped
  • at least 8 got jobs
  • 12 have achieved a qualification
  • 3 are completing college courses
  • 5 more have applied for a college course

Showed a video example of a girl in the project,who now is working on qualifications (exams?), has increased confidence, and feels she has more opportunities. More succes stories can be found here.

Lessons learned 

  • Communication tool for mentoring
  • Enabling 24/7 communication is key
  • A3 learning – sofa surfing
  • Phones ok for learning resources but GPRS is too slow (compared to broadband)
  • In a wireless environment – need mobile-moodle
  • Developing for small screen format needs new specialized skills (e.g. Flash, Java)
  • Wireless hubs
  • Tech too techy and too glitchy. Are they robust enough?
  • Need technical expertise
  • Buckets of styluses
  • Use of multiple service providers (problems)
  • SMS v (virtually) free email
  • Use pay-as-you-go
  • Can’t wait for multi-provider phones

Resource: (final report will be there)


Adam Blackwood: Pod and vodcast, what/how/why (slideshow)
Adam did a very engaging presentation on podcasting basics and how they can be used for adult-level learning. It was so engaging, in fact, that I didn’t take any notes. Adam did a nice job on starting from scratch and clearly explaining what a podcast is (using simple artifacts), showing examples of vodcasts, and discussing a wide variety of uses.  



Pekka Pirttiaho: Mobiletools (

eTaitava: Student feedback (daily; easy, fast; also video learning diary; divided on web and mobile interface) for vocational learning, also going to universities and companies.

Role of teacher is changing, from sage to facilitator. Refocus on expert work instead of pushing paper.vIn Finland: on-the-job learning is becoming more important (teacher, workplace instructor, student).

  • Teacher: main contact person, expert on evaluation, supervises/guides
  • Student: Learns in workplace, learning diary, does learning tasks
  • Workplace instructor: supervises on the job, expert on job skills and tasks

Challenge: how to provide one-to-one guidance and evaluation when groups of 15-25 student per teacher.

In eTaitave, the teacher chooses ready-made questionnaire and edits as needed.


A mobile application is installed on students’ mobile phones (Java). Note that this is on students’ own phones; they are not supplied by the learning institute!!! About 85% of students in Finland have phones that can handle the application. The students answer questions every day, the workplace instructor once a week or so.

Interface is a star selector, like a bull’s eye. Multiple questions can be answered using this bull’s eye and the toggle keys on the phone(up to about 10 questions).

The second part of the interface is a simple learning dairy, where students can shoot video, record sound, and take pictures with their phones. Easy interface, has to be intuitive or students won’t use it.

Teacher checks student answers from a web page, reacts and provides feedback.

The key aspects (in sum):

  • Daily feedback
  • Transparent learning process
  • Fast response time
  • Motivation via tele-presence


Di Dawson: Kool for Kats – mobile credibility and the older learner (slideshow)
How mobile devices can make a learning experience a more inclusive one for many adult learners. We looked at the theory of cultural capital- the ‘koolness’ and consider how this links to acceptance of handheld technologies regardless of issues relating to size or fiddliness of use. We played around a little bit with some cell phones and bluetooth to do a brief exercise that could be useful for ESL learners.


Special Issue of Educational Technology Magazine on Mobile Computing: Update

The special issue of Educational Technology Magazine on Mobile Computing that I guest edited with Phil Vahey is now online in its entirety. Thanks go to Educational Technology Publishers for providing us free access. Free is good 🙂 . For the table of contents, please see my original post about the issue.

Special Issue of Educational Technology Magazine on Mobile Computing

Phil Vahey (SRI International) and I co-edited a special issue of Educational Technology Magazine on highly mobile computing. I’m very happy with the way the issue came out, as it has a number of quality articles from well-known researchers in the field of mobile computing. The issue contains the following articles (note that I’ve posted three of the articles online, if you want the entire issue you’ll need to order it from the publisher. There is some rumor though that the entire issue may be posted online this summer. I’ll keep you posted on that one. In the meantime, enjoy!

 Educational Technology Magazine, vol. 47, no. 3
Special Issue on Highly Mobile Computing

Introduction to Special Issue
Mark van ‘t Hooft and Philip Vahey (link to article)

Educational Technology for the Mainstream: A call for Designing for Simplicity and Reliability
Cathleen Norris, Namsoo Shin, & Elliot Soloway

Highly Mobile Devices, Pedagogical Possibilities, and How Teaching Needs to Be Reconceptualized to Realize Them
Karen Swan, Annette Kratcoski, & Mark van ‘t Hooft (link to article)

Using Handhelds to Link Private Cognition and Public Interaction
Philip Vahey, Jeremy Roschelle, & Deborah Tatar

Teacher Uses of Highly Mobile Technologies: Probes and Podcasts
Robert Tinker, Paul Horwitz, Stephen Bannasch, Carolyn Staudt, & Tony Vincent

Classroom Connectivity: Increasing Participation and Understanding Inside the Classroom
Stephen Hegedus

What Happens to “Writing Across the Curriculum” with Handheld Devices?
Louise Yarnall, Sara Carriere, Tina Stanford, Carmen Manning, & Bob Melton

Can Handhelds Make a Difference? Lessons Learned from Large and Small Scale Implementations
Christine Tomasino, Kellie Doubek, & Meg Ormiston

Learning Bridges: A Role for Mobile Technologies in Education
Giasemi Vavoula, Mike Sharples, Peter Lonsdale, Paul Rudman, & Julia Meek

In and Beyond the Classroom: Making Informal Learning Truly Ubiquitous with Highly Mobile Devices
Yimei Lin

Handheld Computers in Education: An Industry Perspective
Mark van ’t Hooft and Philip Vahey (link to article)

Blurring Lines with Mobile Learning Games
Eric Klopfer

Creating a Powerful Learning Environment with Networked Mobile Learning Devices
Valerie M. Crawford

Education’s Intertwingled Future
Judy Breck

Handheld Learning 2007


I’m not usually one to promote a particular conference, but Handheld Learning in London has quickly grown into the largest mobile computing conference in the world. As a member of the steering committee, I’ll finally get to attend this year :). I’m looking forward to an exciting conference.

For more info, see

Mobile Learning Redefined, Part II


So many good conferences and workshops to go to, so little time and money 😦
Here is a another good one called Beyond Mobile Learning, held the past three days in Villars, Switzerland. I had seen the site, but forgot about it. My attention was drawn back to it as I ran across this post by Mauru Cherubini and thought back about my initial posting “Mobile Learning Redefined.” The main idea she picked up from the workshop is the interest in

using mobile technologies for shifting from being a ’spectator’ of media to ‘creator’ of media. One of the pedagogical value they see in these is the fact that media creation can bring a group of participant to a negotiation of perspectives.

This is right in line with the developments we’ve been seeing online in the last year or two, so nothing really, really new. However, I think that media sharing online will not get to its full potential until it can be easily done on the fly, anywhere, anytime; and most likely, you’ll need a mobile device for that. We’re seeing some inroads in being able to do so, but we still have a long way to go. The result of this development will be that learners not only create their own learning context, but also their own content within this context.

The emphasis on media creation is an important one for education. For example, I’m still not too convinced that an iPod is an effective learning tool, because too many of the uses and ideas I see in education have to do with content delivery.  Granted, content delivery can be useful, but should not be the only way in which an iPod is used. As discussed by several educational bloggers (like Jeff Utecht and Wes Fryer) with regards to a revamping of Bloom’s taxonomy as described on the website of the American Psychological Association, (media) creation should be at the top of the pyramid. And even then, we have to be careful in that what is created is not simple regurgitation of content learned, as discussed by Christian Long in his post “Is Podcasting the New PowerPointing, Or Will We Finally Teach that the Audience Matters?” After all, we want learners who can think and act for themselves, and who can create and tell their own stories; to quote Juliet Sprake from another one of Mauru Cherubini’s posts:

Do we want a gadget that can see through buildings or do we want learners that can find cracks in the concrete?

(via Leonard Low)

Image credit: “Concrete to the Sky”. Brian U’s photostream: