Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Content from the Social #Mobile #Networking for #Informal learning roundtable #somobnet

A quick recap of some of the SoMobNet International Roundtable on "Social Mobile
Networking for Informal Learning" that ran on 21 November 2011 in London:

Guy Merchant's keynote:
From which I quote some key ideas here:
What happens when mobiles are founds in formal educational contexts? They get banned! Classroom ecologies: possibilities for different kinds of learning relationships. BUT institutions are patterned by established relationships. Institutions find it difficult to break into new approach.

David Parry coins the term mobile literacy. Understanding info access, hyperconnectivity and the new sense of space. Latter, is location specific, e.g through QR codes.

But, there are 3 concerns.
  • Is the fact that we can do new things sufficient justification?
  • How can teachers, trainers manage the the potential levels of distraction?
  • Which students have devices that are sufficiently nimble, who owns them and who pays for them?
More positive story. 2009 Campsmount secondary school, when burnt to ground. After fire no coursework, student contacts, VLE. Within 24 hours Wordpress blog, Twitter feed, Facebook group (1,500 members) and YouTube video press release (3,000 views). Worked with donated laptops, iPod touch. Got going as a school I a new form within 1 week and school became mobilized and mobile. Changed way school worked spurred on by extensive blogging, QR clouds etc. Head sprints around school ‘capturing learning’ using Soundcloud etc. But some questions, What (and whose) device are most appropriate in different learning contexts (smartphone, iPod touch, tablet)? What should we be teaching about mobile social networking?

Conclusion: What practices are seen as legitimate/legitimated in learning contexts? (Need to remain safe). What constitutes ‘advantageous practice’? Especially for disadvantaged students ...

Another keynote came from Charles Crook's:
Giving some stats on UK access (the video is to be found at ), here are his slides:

Christoph Pimmer, Sebastian Linxen: The transformational role of social
mobile media in the context of the Nepalese medical education system
In this contribution the transformational potential of social mobile media in developing countries are addressed from a socio-cultural perspective. Networking sites – like Facebook – that are often accessed by means of mobiles are highly popular in developing contexts. They can be regarded as a catalyst for mobile internet use in general. From a learning perspective they enable students and teachers to participate in social professional communities beyond local and even national boundaries. The technological artifacts do not only lead to new and emerging educational practices in informal learning contexts, they also affect the overall educational system. The on-going change has to be critically viewed with respect to media literacy, privacy as well as to ethical and legal issues. In the light of the achievement of the UN Development goals it’s pedagogic implications, however, appear to be far more powerful than those of the numerous initiatives that distribute technology and knowledge - bottom up - in formal learning settings.