Day 1 & 2

Day 1

 If we are to narrow m-learning to the context of cellphones as mobile learning devices, I would not consider myself a very active participant. This is for two reasons; I do not consider my device a great m-learning device and second and most relevant reason, it is too expensive. I own a blackberry and often question why I decided to purchase one in the first place. I limit the use of my device to phone calls, texting, emails and Blackberry Messenger.  Unless I am in a location with free wireless, accessing the web while on the move (on the bus/car/train) increases my monthly bill substantially. I could change my plan to support more economical web browsing I do not feel the older Blackberries are great devices for m-learning. The screen is too small and cannot be enlarged easily (as with a touch screen). I used to try to read PDFs but found it was just too straining on my eyes and would rather print them out and read them. I do use my phone for quick access to information on the spot (bus times, locations of places, movie times, etc.) but this is minimal.

 Day 2

 I personally do not consider my device a good m-learning device for reasons mentioned above. If I am to apply Koole’s framework to my device I would add that if I were to take full advantage of the applications and various uses of my phone it would better serve me in m-learning but I would still argue that it is still not a great device for m-learning. It is lacking in some of the key areas outlined in Koole’s framework:

  • It does not offer easily used inputs and displays

The buttons and screen are small and I do not find the blackberry OS overly user-friendly.

  • Interaction with content, instructors and other learner-communities for me is limited to email.

I would never use the device to write a long email, make a blog-post or even read the blog. Although I recognize there are other ways to engage with content rather than text as shown by the Urban Planet Mobile English App.

  • While it supports WiFi and 3G these are too costly to use in locations that do not have free access.

However this is more an issue with the plan and provider  and less of the device.

Urban Planet Mobile’s Urban English application is a creative deliverance of language lessons to learners. It allows learners to access lessons and key phrases from any location and at the learners own pace and convenience. The categorization of different “types” of English allows the learner to choose a program suited to their individual needs and context (business, travel, social, academic) taking away the need for the learning to have to filter through information and content that may not be relevant to them saving time and money. This can also be done in a traditional classroom learning setting however is much more costly as it requires paying a tutor/instructor teaching the language for that specific purpose. What the app does not allow for is for users to be able to interact and use the content (at least not that I can see) a vital component to language learning. If users were able to connect with one another or had a way of using the phrases and then being critiqued by an AI tutor it would fill this gap but likely lead to a much more expensive product.

Posted in: Week 11: Mobiles