Day 1

I am not engaged in m-learning in any large way outside of the house. I have an ipad2, but use it basically at home. The only ‘mobile’ element to my use of it at home is using it while on the elliptical exercise machine. It fits nicely in the magazine-holder shelf. I’ve watched many NewVentures BC presentations while fitting in my 30 minutes. Northern Canada has very crappy cell coverage. We have a cell phone, but can’t use it in our community (we use it when we’re in Yellowknife or travelling) – as such, we own the cheapest flip phone available and just use it for calls.

Day 2
My Mobiles
I have the ipad2, which I would (and do) use for m-learning. I connect to this course and to Blackboard for another course using the ipad, and find it good for viewing, but not as good for responding through typing. I wouldn’t use my crappy cell phone for m-learning. I also have an itouch, but find it very annoying to do any online activities with it – the screen size annoys me. I really get why the consideration for too much scrolling is such a big one. The mobile versions of things have really improved this, but I find the functionality very limited compared to the non-mobile versions.

App review: MyHomework app
Problem solved: keeping track of homework assignments; connecting school and home information flow; organization; multitasking
Affordances: mobility, ubiquity, accessibility, individuality
Competition: old campfire notebook method; written homework book; google calendar
Advantages: cost (free); organization is better – no more losing papers
Changes needed for wider adoption: acceptance of mobile devices by schools as learning tool; integration of parent and teacher commenting within the app would advance it to the next level

Day 3
For my own venture, I’d like to expand upon the service described by the MyHomework App.

There are communication barriers between school and home, with schools debating over the best ways to report to, and involve, parents, and parents unsure of how to engage with schools and teachers in productive ways. If the service provided in the MyHomework App were extended to include teacher and parent feedback on assignments, this could help to solve this communication gap.

I would like to see the controls very easy to manipulate, and ideally would like to have the information synced with a cloud-based system, so that parents, teachers and the student would be able to access from anywhere, and simultaneously if desired.

The service would be simple: for each listed item (tests, quizzes, essays, assignments, etc), details to what is involved could be linked in (through syncing with teacher’s system); feedback on when the assignment was submitted and evaluated could be included, and the parent could then indicate with a click that they have viewed an item. They could also send comments back to teachers if desired.

For an app like this to be widely implemented and used effectively, there would have to be systemic changes happen at the school level. The app would have to be synced to a cloud-based system on the school system that contains assignment information and evaluation information. There would also have to be a widespread acceptance and buy-in on the part of the school that mobiles will be present and used in the classroom.

Day 4
I already encourage students to use their devices in class. I have made use of mobiles for many of the items listed by Thomas. I frequently recommend apps that a student may be interested in that could help them outside of class with specific skills or activities. For example, the purchase of expensive graphing calculators is no longer required if the student has a mobile that can hold a graphing calculator app.

A drawback to use of mobiles is administrative (and union) stance on the issue. There are mixed messages everywhere – ubiquitous mixed messages, one might say… . We want more technology, but we shouldn’t be on fb, we shouldn’t be emailing students, there are still discussions surrounding banning certain technologies. Widespread adoption of m-learning will be held up by these issues, and the longer the debate goes on, the less experience teachers are getting working with them in classes, teaching responsible use, and improving their management skills to handle the new learning paradigm.


Posted in: Week 11: Mobiles