Wednesday, 17 October 2012

#mLearn12 Lauri Jarvilehto on #games the learning playing brain

Learning as Fun: introducing gaming pedagogy by Lauri Jarvilehto.

Wonderful keynote linking gaming to pedagogy to neuro-science!

We can reproduce relevant information, because we engaged in it previously.

Games that truly engage children and high quality substance, might result in the best possible learning.

Flow channel: learning and engagement (Milhaly Csikszentmihalyi) sits on an axis of challenges and skills.

Boredom: (interesting Tedtalk Robinson related to ADHD non-accurancy) versus anxious.
Flow = total immersion of something that is happening now (cfr the Zone).

As teachers, you can redirect children into the flow.
We all have the neural mechanisms to get into the flow, but we need to be lucky!

Learning and the brain
Learning => new neuron connections.
The brain is constantly evolving.

Concentrated work: you need to switch of outside impulses.
Creative thinking is pushed by games, colorful things...
=> due to constant dynamic of our brain and how it is wired.

Dopamine is the most rewarding hormone => works at optimal level, giving a good feeling, it pushes our prefrontal areas to concentrate better. The neural links are strong and lasting, so being engaged and happy strengthens your learning and knowledge durability.
But overactivating the dopamine level => getting anxious.
Brain study of emotion has shown that emotion pushes learning (ex. sick by soup => no longer soup).

2 successful learning: having fun or dictatorship system => both result in emotionally constructed learning. Example: tiger mom approach (VERY strict raising, ex. Agassi's dad, forced to play tennis).

So how do we get our children into learning and play
Playing is an evolutionary requirement of every living creature (Stuart Brown: how it shapes the brain, 2009).

Experiment: stop playing (no intrinsical motivation), only do 'serious work'. By the end of one day, the majority of people showed sever symptoms of depression. Playing is at the very heart of what we are.
Play is also optimal for getting into the flow. And play can push us just a little bit further, hence learning.
Neuroplasticity is one of the major neuro-science fields of today (e.g. the brain can restructure, if a certain area is disconnected, other parts of the brain can take over, BUT the challenges first need to be lowered to get back into the flow).

Games (and horror) rise the dopamine levels in the brain => affecting learning.
Good games automatically adjust to the gaming actors.

Danger of non serious games: a game without substance will lift the dopamine level, but without a learning award (e.g. Angry birds (classic), there is Angry birds Space (substance)).

Substance is VERY important to get a meaningful, rewarding experience.
Example dragonbox: algebra application with really complex algebra, and based on dragons and boxes.

We all have all the tools available, so let's see what we can out of this.

(Inge, look at this flow model for your own learning!)

#mLearn12 David Parsons on digital divide

David Parsons (black and grey sweater and matching jeans) always gives a clear presentation, based on clear academic arguments.

Bridging digital divides in the learning process: challenges and implications of integrating ICTs
Digital divide 3 parts: digital access, digital capability, digital outcome.

Projects on digital divide tend to focus on access, so open territory for research.

Agenda for study:
Take all the forms of digital divides and put them into a digital divides in the learning process. 
Digital access divide: socio-economic status, ethnicity, geographical region
Digital capability: infrastructure, access..
Focus of this study on digital divide outcomes: attitude and motivation, nature of ICT usage, capability of meaning making.

Aims of the study:
Evaluate the one-to-one integration of ICTs into the learning process
Investigate the impacts of various factors on aspects of the digital divide
design an intervention to minimize negative and/or increase positive impacts on learning outcomes

Research environment: classrooms and using mobile devices.

Top 4 positives from data so far?
studnts can gather information quickly and easily from various sources
students don't need to carry books etc., just one device
engagement of students in learning activities has improved
students carry and use their devices anytime

Top 5 negatives from data so far?
distraction and lack of control in the classroom
internet problesm and non-recommended devices distrupt learning activities
digital devices do not prepare students for written exams
negative impact on the students' critical thiking
increased teacher workload

Want to read more? Look here for the paper with Janak Adhikari, the PhD student working on this research

Abstract of paper:
Emerging digital technologies have a potential for transforming learning in deep and meaningful ways. For this reason diffusion of information and communication technology is needed to reach out to learners and it is very important that all learners have equitable access to these tools. A broader definition of equity reaches beyond physical access to technology to include meaningful use of these tools by learners. This study explores various aspects of the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in formal education system to investigate learning. The paper focuses on how different types of digital divides may arise and be addressed in the process of integrating ICT into formal education.

#mlearn12 impact of #learner interactions on mobile enabled open courses

Presentation giving an overview of the first steps in a study looking at the impact of mobile accessibility on learner interactions in an open, online course. This presentation was given during mLearn12 in Helsinki, finland.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

#mlearn12 learning analytics in #mobile and pervasive learning environments by Naif Aljohani

Liveblogging from mLearn12: learning analytics in mobile and pervasive learning environments Naif Aljohani
Clean nice suit, glasses and linking to other researchers to anchor it into existing research and adding his ideas.

Naif first gave an overview of two different types of  analytics
Academic analytics and Learning analytics
two main terms for the efforts made to identify practical ways of making use of higher education data are academic analytics (was first introduced by Goldstein and Katz, 2005) and learning analytics (student, teacher and content,

The written presentation (full paper) of Naif can be found here
Short abstract of the paper:
Learning analytics (LA) is one of the promising techniques that has been developed in recent times to effectively utilise the astonishing volume of student data available in higher education. Despite many difficulties in its widespread implementation, it has proved to be a very useful way to support failing learners. An important feature of the literature review of LA is that LA has not provided a significant benefit in terms of learner mobility to date since not much research has been carried out to determine the importance of LA in facilitating or enhancing the learning experience of mobile learners. Therefore, this paper describes the potential advantages of using LA techniques to enhance learning in mobile and ubiquitous learning environments from a theoretical perspective. Furthermore, we describe our simplified Mobile and Ubiquitous Learning Analytics Model (MULAM) for analysing mobile learners’ data which is based on Campbell and Oblinger’s five-step model of learning analytics. Finally, we answer the question why now might be the most suitable time to consider analysing mobile learners’ data.

Mobile learning analytics
interaction between learners
interaction between learners and learning materials
Both interactions are immediate interactions.
Mobile Leanring Analytics (MLA): focuses mainly on the collection, analysis and reporting of the data of mobile learners, which can be collected from the explicit mobile interactions between learners, mobile devices and availbable learnign materials, it is oalso supported by the preregistered data.

Explicit learner-to-learner interactions
an analysis of the learner

Ubiquitous Learning Analytics (ULA)
Two types of interactions: direct and indirect

Example Zoodles for explicit learner-to-learning materials

Dreamweaver CS6 makes it easy to build mobile apps for learning analytics integration.

Added value of learning analytics for the learner
The learner can analyse their performance with the others
(adding my ideas: enabling meta learning, understanding the benefits of interacting, keeping track of personal barriers (content wise)...)

A big issue with learner analytics is privacy of the data. How to enable this: opt out must be offered at any time for example.

Aljohani, Naif R., Davis, Hugh C. and Loke, Seng W. (2012) A comparison between mobile and ubiquitous learning from the perspective of human-computer interaction. International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation

#mLearn12 on #augmented reality with Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Live blogging from mLearn12, so writing and vocabulary is influenced by writing speed need...

Elizabeth Fitzgerald from Open University UK gives an overview of augmented learning state of the art. She looks fine as always and you can feel her passion for research as she gives her presentation.

What is AR
making the learning experience of a place more meaningful

current uses of AR
 sports coverage
networking (augmentedU) or find somein in a crowd
aviation (head-up displays on wndscreen of plane)
training or task support
sightseeing e.g. outdour venues, museums and art galleries

defining technology-enhanced realities: virtual, mixed and augmented
fusion of digital information in real environment

AR, situated learning and embodiment
Situated learning
authentic: contextualized
use of tools to mediate contact with the world
Embodiment and embodied cognition (physical interactions with world help us to creeate meaning

other related research

ecology of resources
reality -based interaction
space/place (Dourish)

Classifying AR based on 6 projects using AR for mLearning
Dimensions used:
devices or technology used
mode of interaction
method of sensory feedback to the user (visual/audio/text /video)
type of experience (personal or shared)
fixed/static or portable experience
learning activities or outcomes

Criticisms and limitations of AR
Technical challenges:
GPS accuracy and registration errors
varying signal quality of phone networks/WiFi coverage
battery life of devices
viewing the screen in bright sunlight
using devices in the rain

Pedagogical challenges 
 learning not necessarily driven by the pedagogy
novelty of the tech may detract from the experience
ensure learning is not altered to fit around the limitations of the device
tech might be more engaging that surrounding environment (is the student removed from the real world?)
consider first the learning goals and objectives
reduction in observation skills due to excessive reinforcing/scaffolding

Issue: how can we make any educational innovation sustainable?
Is it a matter of time? Maybe this is one step along the way to completely integrated sensors etcetera for looking at the world? Increased hapticness, audio... or will this risk information overload => maybe we need to curate the augmented environment.

Do we need a new theory of augmented place? see E. Fitzgerald (in press - oct/nov 2012) Towards a theory ....
The slideshare of her presentation can be viewed here

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

True History of #MOOC with mixed panel by Steve Hargadon

Steve Hargadon is famous for his Future of Education series in which he focuses on a number of educational changes and evolutions. He does this by interviewing a variety of educators, researchers and enthusiasts.

In one of his latest shows he got together a panel of MOOC pioneers to talk about what is the difference between a cMOOC and a xMOOC (connectivist MOOC (the so called cMOOC) and a xMOOC based on more behaviorist approaches).
The panel consisted of Dave Cormier is an educational activist, researcher, online community advocate and the Manager of Web Communications and Innovations at the University of Prince Edward Island. He has published on open education, Rhizomatic Learning, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), Digital Identity, and practical classroom uses of virtual worlds.
Dr. Alec Couros is a Professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. He has given hundreds of workshops and presentations, nationally and internationally, on topics such as openness in education, networked learning, social media in education, digital citizenship, and critical media literacy. His graduate and undergraduate courses help current and future educators understand how to use and take advantage of the educational potential offered by the tools of connectivity.
Stephen Downes works for the National Research Council of Canada where he has served as a Senior Researcher, based in Moncton, New Brunswick, since 2001. Affiliated with the Learning and Collaborative Technologies Group, Institute for Information Technology, Downes specializes in the fields of online learning, new media, pedagogy and philosophy.
Carol Yeager: I am a practicing artist as well as a life long learner. I have been associated with SUNY since 1989. For 8 years I was traveling and teaching for ESC's International Programs in Europe, Greece and Lebanon. In addition to my life and travel as an artist, and my work with SUNY, I can also be found working on Broadway shows in Manhattan from time to time. I discovered long ago that moving targets are hard to hit - so I keep moving!! In my spare time I have been, to name a few other pursuits, a magazine editor, a designer, real estate agent, writer, paralegal, painter, carpenter and a farmer ... I have recently completed another graduate degree, an MS, through the ICSC program in Creativity and Change Leadership at SUNY/Buffalo State. Expanding my horizons as a life long learner offers great adventure now and for the future.
And myself.... Inge (Ignatia) de Waard.

Recordings: The full Blackboard Collaborate recording is at and a portable .mp3 recording is at
Because it is a Blackboard Collaborate recording, you will need to look at it with a Flash enabled device or computer. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Tryout this #Android #mLearning game and alter it for your setting

David Parsons from the Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand has developed a mobile business consulting game. The game is not yet fully finished, but he and his team offer us the means to go and install the game on our Android mobile phones and give it a try.
The nice thing is, if you are a bit familiar with XML, you can adapt the code to fit your Google map based location and play in your setting. The game also has augmented features, so it is nice for a variety of reasons.

How to download the game to your Android and tweek it to fit your setting, can be seen in this recorded webinar (26 min). The zip-file of the game and the configuration documentation can be found at this wikipage:

The webinar is part of MobiMOOC2012 a free, open, online course on mobile learning that ran in September 2012. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

#mHealth projects and examples from David Metcalf

David Metcalf has a longstanding expertise in mobile projects. In the last years he has been involved in mobile health projects varying from nutrition to full-blown medical simulations. In this recorded seminar he shares some of his expertise on mHealth.

He also lists some key ideas of mhealth:
Develop once, deliver many
    Messaging versus applications versus Web: an integrated approach
mLearning is bigger than any single country or region
    'project M' - 1 billion people served on changing attitudes on HIV
    micro-financing options connected to mhealth initiatives (connecting mobiles to pico-projectors)
mLearning integrated
    bluetooth connections for glucose monitors (ability to build a social connectivist peer group support, what happens if knowledge comes together like siri, or other semantic knowledge )
    digital pens to scribe medical reports (captures audio and written notes)
    mobile 3D-scanner to get an idea of someone's medical condition
     Watson voice-based AI expert mentor (look up YouTube)
Location-based GPS everywhere (also indoor): as you walk through the clinic, you get the appropriate content related to that room, e.g. operating room, with surgery checklist application...
    4G and 3D
    giving improved learner outcomes for future doctors, and in other fields.
Mobile augmented reality for health
    launch 3D visual content so you can follow or learn a medical procedure

And he launches a call to develop our common mobile talent pool
    we need more people entering the mLearning talent pool: developers, UCF mobile makers club, need for partnerships...   

With examples from the health sector and some emergency mlearning examples and some challenges.This webinar is part of MobiMOOC, the free, open, online course on mLearning (

#Augmented Reality #AR overview and examples provided by Victór Alvarez

Augmented reality is moving us slowly moving towards the future of embedded intelligent technology. In this webinar recording from Victór Alvarez he gives a comprehensible overview of what augmented reality is and can be.
In addition he shows Ariane, a really wonderful and promising AR-tool for teachers or trainers. The video of Ariane shows the application that will be available on iPhone, iPad and Android soon and which gives teachers and/or trainers immediate, intuitive and simple access to embedding the outer world into a meaningful learning experience. You can watch the Ariane video here (but do know that in this video you only see the application in action, while in the embedded video below Victór also explains how it works and why it is build as it is):

Or you can look and listen to Victórs wonderful overview on AR and Ariane below.

This webinar is part of MobiMOOC2012, a free and open, online course on mobile learning that took place in September 2012.

The slideshare of this presentation can be found here: 

How #mobiles helped save Los Angeles Adult #education with Sean Abajian

With education being at the crossroads it says to be and with the crisis cutting educational initiatives around the world, this video can give us some strategies to see positive change happening thanks to grassroot action.

In this 25 minute video Sean Abajian shares the journey of some educational activists that were able to ralley using mobile phone calls and community action to safeguard adult education in Los Angeles.
Adult education has been thriving in the Los Angeles area from 1870's and last December 2011 it was said to be cut completely by the local government. This would have had a disasterous effect on both adults (many of which are parents) as well as on their children.
Thanks to strong grassroots action and the joining of hands with community leaders, they were successful in saving adult education.
In a marginal note, I learned that the use of "Si se puede" - Yes, we can - the oneliner for which Obama became famous in his last campaign is actually taken from the Latin American activist population!

This is a remarkable story of just a few activist, gathering a community to change the future of education and save the creation of knowledge for hundred thousands of families.