Tuesday, 27 April 2010

What needs to be researched in mobile Learning? Let’s share ideas

If you have any ideas on what should be researched asap to enhance mobile learning, share it and I will put it before an international mobile learning group and send the feedback back to us all so we can build upon it.

20 – 21 May 2010 I will be presenting in the 2nd Annual ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) S&T Workshop which will focus on Mobile Learning. You can follow ADLnet (the people that came up with SCORM) via ADLnet twitter, they give free webinars on instructional design topics.
It is a true honor to be asked to speak, as there will be an International panel of mLearning specialists discussing the future challenges of mobile learning. I was asked to speak in the European panel, and I am currently preparing my 10 minute (aiming at engaging so thinking openness and creativity) presentation. As it will be a workshop, most of it will be dynamic exchange of ideas. The outcomes of this two day workshop will be helpful for any mobile oriented learner/provider/researcher, as it will try and map what the future challenges will be for mlearning, and which mLearning topics should be researched. So if you know of, or are blocked by a difficult mobile learning issue, let me know, I will take it along and send you feedback.

Topics that will be covered during the workshop: augmented learning, connecting mobiles to learning management systems, what mobile projects are currently developed successfully all around the world, successes and lessons learned… It will be a brainy blast of ideas! It is also stimulating, as the format asks you to really analyze what the mobile project(s) lacked, or why it worked ... no blah, just the facts and down to earth analysis to be able to extrapolate into the future.

To think ahead and envision the future is what really stimulates me. So I wondered what could make me come up with ideas that are new or building on what is there, with true affordances for the mobile world? This is what triggered me to start carrying an ‘Ingenious Mobile Universe device’ (IMU-device). Basically I imagine I have an implant, and I move around in an unknown part of the world, surrounded by unknown people, that speak an unknown language and I must discover who is with me and who is against me (in the quest to find world peace). Now it is of course a play, but it is the sort of play that got Jeff Hawkins onto the Palm Pilot which capabilities got designed based on Jeff walking around with a block of wood that symbolized the mobile device so he could feel what would be good to add to this block of wood (thanks Clark Quinn for the anecdote).

Walking around with the IMU-device is not only tech-oriented, I also include the ideas that pop-up when thinking about mobile capacity and human brain necessity as I walk along. This might seem weird, but let’s be honest, all the other speakers are sooo well informed, I have to go for the wild imagination to be able to put forward different ideas that envision the future.

If any of you have encountered a mobile challenge or if you are struggling with one right now, let me know. I will put it before the joined specialists and I will give you feedback on it. Let’s get our minds together.

What I came up with so far:
  • mobile standardization (so mobile learners can access any content with any device),
  • easier scripting languages to enable augmented learning via a mobile device (without too much programming knowledge, ideally based on the modular approach),
  • recognition of people (like google goggles but with people, that would be great for me as I have a slight default in my facial recognition system).
Any other ideas out there?

Why was I asked to speak in this wonderful mix of participants? Because of the iPhone/Moodle project (which is currently in its next stage: the cleaning up of the code = a challenge which my developer friends are working on in collaboration with wonderful php programmers from all around the Moodle world). This project was picked up by mobile learning guru Judy Brown.

BTW: mid May I start a conference/workshop/training rally that might take me to a place near you (London in UK, Lusaka in Zambia, Tromso in Norway, San Diego in US and Bangalore in India… after that I will go on holiday in France looking at ancient roman buildings and settlements). If by any chance you happen to live or work in one of these areas and you feel like meeting up, do not hesitate to drop me a line.