Archive for December, 2011

Having got my first conference presentation out of the way the day before I was feeling pretty chipper about Day Two!

The first keynote was presented by Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, a softly spoken professor from the Open University in the UK.  Her presentation entitled “Self directed learning with mobile devices: where is it taking us?” underlined the trend mentioned in the Horizon Report [pdf] that mobile learning is here and becoming more and more important.  It was interesting to me to hear about the projects her teams have been involved in because we’ve just launched our mobile library site.  Her presentation involved a text heavy slide presentation which I’m hoping will be available online somewhere because she mentioned many print references I’d like to chase up and read.  As you do.

#icelf keynote on Twitpic

Some of the projects she mentioned were:

Kukulska-Hulme says there are many choices for mobile learning, both informal and formal, especially for areas like language learning. So what can educators learn from these mobile learners?  She refers to her research paper to answer this.¹

Learning environments are varied and include at home, out and about, on transport and so on.  This has implications such as privacy to undertake learning in such spaces.  Motivation for learning with mobile devices varies, but most express a desire to have a mixture of spontaneous and planned learning experiences.

Two of the keynotes from this day were from top geeks working for IBM and Vodafone.  Personally I felt they did not add anything to the conference knowledge as I felt their content had already been addressed in earlier keynotes.  I would recommend that if you’re invited to give a keynote that you actually attend the other conference plenaries to get a flavour for the audience and adjust your presentation in response.

Of the parallel sessions I attended, I enjoyed hearing about

  • Peerwise – a tool that supports students in the creation, sharing, evaluation and discussion of assessment questions.  It seems like it would be helpful in revising for some content heavy courses.
  • Intelligent tutoring tools – computer programs that teach people and respond to their learning
  • The use of augmented and alternative realities in teaching – this one has made my brain tick a bit about the structure and design of some of our orientation activities.

The last keynote from Judy Kay showed us some projects her students are working on involving touch tables, a way of monitoring group participation and a project aligning course outcomes with accrediting body standards.

The overall themes to the conference appeared to be the importance of personalisation (of tools, curricula, pedagogy etc) and mobilisation (of tools, curricula, pedagogy etc).

1. Kukulsha-Hulme et al (2011). Mature students using mobile devices in life and learning. International journal of mobile and blended learning, 3(1), 18-52. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/28367/

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