Thursday, 28 May 2009

#ela2009: African learners - institutions and organisations should leave them to their own devices

by John Maurice Traxler, Learning Lab, UK
(John is a man in white, with glasses, holistic in speech and thinking).

learning starts to mean something that it was not in the past
He looks at projects that have been at what has been tried and tested all across the world.
technology to reach people and to transform them into a different technological world.
Mobile learning fills the gap that 'normal' learning cannot reach.
We managed to extend the perception of what people mean with learning.
We can transform, enrich and extend the ideas of learning itself.
Taking learning out of the classroom. John mentions that the classroom is the last resort for learning.
localised learning, location awareness becomes more wide spread.
People start to know what the special features of mLearning is with a mobile phone

Problems that were tried, but not achieved
Scale and sustainability: small pilot, big pilot, evaluation, implement ... but up until now there is no combined research for these kinds of projects.
Cost-benefit is key to take sustainability into account.
Centralized computer rooms for students has a lot of downsides: limited time per student, security, connectivity...

Meraka: audio wiki project. It exploits the devices students already own. this is the way to go, because it is obvious that everyone choses their phones, so building on personal individuality is key for sustainability and respect for the material.

mLearning is used to produce content, that is one step further. The people holding the phones start to learn based on their context, on their priorities.
it also gives people the chance to discuss what they learn with their peers.
John mentions mobile journalism (My comment: but of course how do you hold up quality and critical thinking?)
so problem on how to turn young people into critical, literate global citizens that hold their own learning.

(Steve Roche's book was mentioned: 'protect our children from Internet and mobile phone dangers )

Mobile learning is based around autonomy, so we do no longer build conformist students, with a colonist amount of information (my remark: hallellujah for that, diversit rules!).