Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Mimi Ito: what the user wants in mLearning at mLearnCon

A dressed in black woman with Japanese features who talks amazingly quick and eloquent.

Device proliferation is one of the specific features of the new mobile user. It is personal, ambient contact enabling, sharing media. People will go to a great length to have personal, customized media based on - sometimes - a conglomerate of devices.
Japanese youth are into mobile media longer than any other user group around the world. Very few learners and educators take advantage of the new mobile possibilites. We should overcome the boundaries of schools, companies... and really get into mobile sharing and learning across boundaries.
Kids always reiterified boundaries, but in todays society the boundaries are more than ever challenged. The media use of youth has had an innovative influence on society.
Technology becomes a proxi for social context. So both social and context are important. The relationship to mobile devices is a proxi for the social relationships the users have.

We have moved to an era that we can be part of the media flux 24/7. An era of multitasking, where the constant stream of social media is constantly there. Downside of connectivity => constant attention cuts => need new mechanisms to filtering focus.

fluid flows of knowledge is the model we should follow, dixit Ito, refering to Hagel, Brown and Davidson. Using connectivity as resources for lifelong Learning.
social media = social communication + personal media.
Peer sharing, social viewing, locative media, transmedia. The nice thing about mLearning is that it makes it ubiqiutous.

Peer sharing
shift from traditional top-down formal formats to connected, informal formats.
In a lot of ways the mobile phone is the first personal computer (emerging regions, youngsters) = personal connectivity to the mobile world. It is an individual device = powerful adoption pusher.
looks into the effect of mobile phone communication on language, e.g. 'U rawk', 'drinkin til 2'
The important thing about sms is sharing presents, it is about sharing presents, it is about sense of social connection, a social wrapper. Fulltime intimate community. Text messaging drove mobile internet in Japan, because it was not possible to text message across different providers. With this push into mobile internet, other sharing medias followed.
Connecting all this mobile connectivity into learning.
Participatory learning emerged, and the pc was not the best option for this mobile exchange. Ambient access became possible, and this ambient access was linked to the specialist community, or the trusted community. So this enabled building on each others experience. Peer learning gave much better results than the hierarchal learning that was happening before.

Linking social media to location: locative media
inward photography, putting themselves in the picture. Outward with pictures. Community pictures: mobile social network that captures where youth was when and which can be shared afterwards as well, so they are always carrying mini sticker albums around (Inge: this is reallllly great!).
Ambient storytelling: university of social California. application that launches once you enter a building, and it provides a set of tools that can be used in the building, creating a knowledge database of what people do and emerse in when moving through the building (qrcodes, ...). Effort to build a history, linked to a location. Visitors and residents of the building can also participate in these activities.

Social viewing
connecting through their mobiles to connect to similar experiences. Japanese example: Nico video: annotations can be made on the videos, so if you are watching a video with many, you can add your remarks at any part of the video and you can put it on any scene of the video. Access to video is increasingly via mobile, but there is a lack of social connectivity in videa and it is precisely the communication layer that drives the learning and attention. One exaple Project k-nect: students could connect to their mentors, peers, content => learning outcomes: Bjerede, Atkins and Dede, it is connectivity to learning AND mentoring (Inge check this).

Social glue happens. Linking up the specific features of mobile devices, and linking them to other media. Example: pokemon, media sensation that crosses cultures and regions. Infiltrating social meanings, it is a huge knowledge economy behind it. content is about gaming and social interaction. Media mobilezes kids to act: viral contageous media. Media is the social glue, one pokemon is taking out, and other people flock together. Opportunistic learning moments, because they have these portable devices. Context of learning and social learning. Gaming is based on sharing more and more, social learning wrapper is getting more important by game designers. Social experience is part of gaming for nintendo, and since pokemon they really got the idea and importance of social gaming. Social connection with other platforms is also gaining importance with Nintendo DS. Now they start with Nintendo DS classrooms.

Manhatta project: collaborative project in New York city, drawing on the work of eric anderson, who looked at the ecosystem of New York. These databases and learning resources is put online. Now a game is made, to get youngsters out in the streets of New York and share eco locations with the database. So knowledge base knowledge media.

Inge question: there have been some projects in trying to get kids of around 12 years old a different learning experience, different in it not being traditional school curriculum, but do you know of any early smaller children initiatives? Ito answer: most of the initiatives are for the middleschool kids, quest for learning school, manhatta project... but it is covering these kids, because they are at an age where they move from being inquisitive to being blocked by peer pressure.

Question to you all: do any of you know of any initiatives directed at really young kids (even beginning with kids only a couple of months old up to 6 year olds) that embeds the new media results that come out of these researches into new forms of education?