Day 2 – my m-learning devices

I find Koole’s framework to almost be a bit naive in its scope.  I would argue that the framework applies equally to all computers, mobile or not.  I understand that mobile is always there, but the pervasiveness of computers is ever-present.  For example, I don’t need my own mobile device to have the immediacy: I can use the person beside me’s device; I can use the device at the library; I can use the device next door, etc.  For the desktop that is used at home, I think almost all of the aspects of the framework still apply.  The PC is situated data gathering, personal, collaborativespontaneous, finding, just-in-time and just-for-me.

I have tried using smartphones for m-learning.   I generally didn’t find the experience to be particularly authentic or collaborative, although I do think the potential for collaboration is great.  The synchronous communication capabilities of smartphones is incredible.  The smartphone is definitely a great device for finding information, and it is “just in time.”  However, the issue that grabs me is that I think the smartphone is not necessarily contextual, and I think it can lead to very shallow (ie not meaningful) outcomes.

So, as with all things that are lacking, I feel that one of the greatest potential opportunities for m-learning ventures is to capture and enable meaningful learning.  What kind of functionalities can a device have that affords this?  Or, since I think it is safe to say that m-learning must focus on software rather than hardware, what kinds of software can be brought to market that enable meaningful learning?

Just to emphasize my thoughts on this, I’ll consider not only my personal experience with smartphones but also my observations from “educational apps” developed for the iPad.  I have not seen an exhaustive list of iPad apps, but the ones that I have seen include very basic math skill testers and shallow coverage of scientific conceptions, with little to no regard for common misconceptions in science (which is arguably the most significant factor in science education).  I find it incredibly depressing that these apps get touted as the next-gen for learning.  I could say a lot about this, but suffice it to say that the wrong analysis is easily made when we rely on people that have conflicting interests, or simply a lack of knowledge in learning theories.




Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 11: Mobiles