Friday, 21 February 2014

Future of #mLearning inspiring ideas @dave_parsons

David Parsons
Imagine a future world where mobile learning is intuitive.

And now read the challenges and ideas that David Parsons from New Zealand Massey University comes up while reflecting on that same topic. His paper swooped me from one train of thought to another, adding new insights, challenging old ideas and reshuffling current mobile learning 'facts'. Because David is such an expert, his paper also spans decades of mobile learning knowledge and evolutions, which provides new insights in how the history of mLearning has (or has not) evolved.
What a refreshing research document! He starts off with a student showing his off the shelf hardware robot to his peers, while controlling the robot with his own adapted mobile device. From there he takes us along a journey of e-glasses, over (non)-mobility, to the poor return on investment of any IT (the IT productivity paradox), all the while linking each idea to current mobile learning myths and possible misconceptions. What a refreshing and easy to read paper. If you have not done so, connect to David and drop him a line on his wonderful insights here.

Sometimes I forget the most inspiring part of science: exploring and constructing the now to imagine and build better futures for us all. Not the dry scientific facts, but the organic flow of ideas that come to us as research projects are build. The point where everything is possible and the mind shapes the actions to come.

His paper covers 4 major mLearning subsets:
top 5 myths and misunderstandings (e.g. Mobile Learning as an extension of distance learning: It is true that distance learners can benefit from mLearning. However, once again to regard the mobile device as only for use at a distance is to miss its opportunities for use in the classroom, where mobile applications can support learning processes. Or another exampe: it is interesting to consider Amit Garg’s “Top 7 Myths of Mobile Learning” (2012), and note how many of these myths are about technology rather than learning, including perceived issues with screen size,costs of creating and distributing content, security, fragmented platforms and SCORM compliance. Garg’s point is, perhaps, that we can easily get hung up ontechnological aspects of mLearning when these are not important barriers at all.)

Top 5 mobile learning innovations (e.g. having an adaptive learning toolkit in the palm of your hand: A mobile device is increasingly a toolkit. As well as the tool-like functions that are built in to the device hardware (camera, sound recorder, video recorder,multimedia messaging, etc.), there are also many applications that can take advantage of various combinations of functions and sensors to make the phone into all kinds of tool.)

Top 5 future potentials of mobile learning (e.g. One of the major potentials of learning technologies is that they enable us to provide access to learning experiences that were previously too expensive, complex,dangerous or specialised to provide. We can now overcome these limitations by connecting learners to remote learning activities. It is already the case that distance students can perform engineering experiments remotely using remote data connections (Toole, 2011)).

Top 5 future risks of mobile learning (e.g. The opposite of the green manifesto: Already there are more computers in landfill sites than on the desktop, and we continue to turn the planet to trash at a frightening rate. Every year, hundreds of millions of electronic items go to landfill in the United States and, globally, tens of millions of tons of e-waste go to landfill. To compound the problem, mobile phones have a particularly short lifespan.)

If you like some reflection and are into mobile or overall learning with technology, this is really a treat of a read.