Mobile Learning: Innovative Research Topics and Applications

Events on Mobile Learning Research

Speaker/facilitator: Professor John Traxler
Professor of Mobile Learning
University of Wolverhampton

Seminar on Success Factors in Mobile Learning Research
Date: 5 July 2016 (Tuesday)
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Venue: D0309, 3/F, Block D, Jubilee College, the Open University of Hong Kong
81 Chung Hau Street, Homantin, Kowloon [Map]

The idea of learning with mobile devices in its current form is nearly two decades old and the first research workshop was held in 2002 in Birmingham. In roughly the first decade, sophisticated mobile technology was scarce, fragile, expensive and difficult, and was the prerogative of institutions, and the global economy seemed buoyant and robust. This meant that mobile learning was positioned at the vanguard of e-learning research and necessarily bought into the rhetoric, vocabulary, mechanics and funding of innovation, leading to an ecosystem of projects and pilots, and ideas about early adopters, opinion-formers and critical mass within institutional settings. It grew out of the aspirations and frustrations of e-learning and built on the same foundational disciplines of computing, education and psychology but produced evidence and output that had little to say outside the realms of small-scale fixed-term subsidised projects and pilots run by enthusiasts with stable consistent hardware platforms. In the second decade, mobile technology became universal, robust, cheap, diverse and easy, whilst suddenly the global economy seemed fragile and weak. For institutions, change, if it happened, was forced outside-in, no longer promoted top-down. Mobile technology had become so familiar that policy makers and practitioners could be excused for thinking that learning with mobiles was now common-sense and that research and researchers were no longer necessary. The foundational disciplines should perhaps include sociology rather than psychology. Learning with mobile challenged, disrupted and by-passed the processes, professions and institutions of formal learning and knowing rather than merely enhancing, extending and reinforcing them, as the production, transformation and consumption of ideas, images, information, identities and opinions became taken-for-granted and not-worth-mentioning. This seminar will analyze these two differing mobile learning research world views in an attempt to distil sustainable factors for sustainable success.

Workshop on Experience Sharing and Discussion on Mobile Learning Research
Date: 5 July 2016 (Tuesday)
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:15 pm
Venue: D0309, 3/F, Block D, Jubilee College, the Open University of Hong Kong, 81 Chung Hau Street, Homantin, Kowloon [Map]

Abstract: The specific focus of this workshop will be opening up discussion and activities on the design of learning with mobiles, based on several observations, namely

1. There is an abundance of online resources from which to learn—communities, groups, videos, downloads, experts, websites, podcasts, friends, blogs; many of these are apparently free, some are open, a lot are transient, some are rubbish;
2. Learners live in a world of connection and mobility, where they access these resources continuously, spontaneously and simultaneously, amidst conversations, obstacles, obligations and tasks in the real and online worlds;
3. Informal learning is not necessarily consolidated in curricular, textbooks and qualifications, learners need to query, rate and review the people and resources from which they learn, and to establish their own growing expertise;
4. Infrastructure, attitudes, tariffs, access, coverage and handsets change, vary and differ across people, communities, regions and countries;
5. Learners need better educational experiences, not more educational artefacts;
6. Much of the history, methods, techniques, theories and expertise of mobile learning has been inherited from its ancestry in e-learning with computers in the universities, colleges, schools and corporations of the global North.

We will treat these observations as axiomatic, and a new beginning for learning with mobiles. This workshop will explore the consequences of these observations in order to define the 'design space' and 'lesson plan' that learning with mobiles must occupy, and provide the outline of a design/teaching process that could deliver appropriate mobile learning experiences. The workshop will break into sections:

1. Why Mobile?
2. Living with Your Mobile
3. Learners with Mobiles
4. Learning from Abundance
5. Developing Personae
6. Starting to Design

This workshop will grow out of discussion and development within the mobile learning research community and represent an attempt to define the design space and design options for learning with mobiles freed from the legacy, methods and trajectory of using computers within institutions of formal education.

Enquiries: Hoyee Auyeung (The Open University of Hong Kong)
Tel: 2768 6051
Co-organized by: The Open University of Hong Kong
Caritas Institute of Higher Education
School of Professional Education and Executive Development, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

This event was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/IIDS16/H01/15).

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