I will hold my hands up and say I want an experience of ‘good’ mobile learning.
I know there are (or rather should be, we’ve been talking about it for long enough now) examples out there, but I haven’t ‘seen’ them. I have tried using mobile devices and a browser, I’ve tried Institutional VLEs and downloadable ‘courses’ through iTunes and iTunesU. I’ve tried different Apps (some linked to VLEs and some not) yet none were particularly any good and certainly not good enough to stop me going back to a desktop or laptop PC. I look forward to seeing how FutureLearn works as it is supposed to be developed with the mobile learning at the fore, but do not necessarily want to limit myself to MOOCs, or indeed MOOCs from one provider.
I have been on Twitter for nearly 5 years now, using my @hopkinsdavid handle/username.
In this time I’ve amassed nearly 6700 followers and am currently following just over 1300 accounts – I don’t call them people as some are ‘corporate’ or ‘organisational’ accounts. Many of those I do follow are individuals who are like me and are working in some form of education, as either learning technologists, instructional designers, etc. or are thought leaders, provokers, or game-changers who investigate and challenge the educational establishments to improve ourselves and the world we’re leaving the next generation.
Designed as a short ‘instant’ book (I read the MOBI formatted file for Kindle, using the Kindle App) it is well structured and covers the basic details of Prezi for anyone new to the tool, and is sufficiently detailed for experienced Prezi users to find something new and useful too.
“This book is for people in education who are bored of delivering the same old presentations to their students (or perhaps it is the students who are bored!). This is for people who would like to increase student engagement by using more dynamic tools. This is for people who have not used Prezi before and may not be technically minded, but are willing to learn and utilise this online presentation aid.” Continue reading →
The question as to when (or if) paper textbooks will be replaced with digital editions keeps cropping up, and I was asked this again on twitter today by @SteljesEdn: “Are textbooks coming to the end of their life? what do you think”: read the discussion we had on the link.
So, will they? I don’t think so, not any time soon at any rate. The digital editions of textbooks currently available are little more than a PDF of the printed version, and for publishers that literally provide a PDF and call it an eBook .. shame on you! An eBook doesn’t have pages as the text is defined by the eReader device or software and can be altered by the individual: you cannot change a PDF text size except by zooming in/out.
In order for digital textbooks to really surpass the paper editions they need to offer more, and by more I mean embrace the technology and have embedded video, links, question & answers, and even link (in real-time?) readers from all over the world. Continue reading →
Turnitin (iPad): Many have asked about an iPad App for Turnitin, and we have waited a while for it. But now it’s here, let’s see if it’s any good!
“Everything you love about grading with Turnitin® is now available on iPad, allowing educators to Grade Anywhere™. Teachers using Turnitin’s grading tools save time grading student papers while offering more meaningful feedback and ensuring their originality.”
The App offers the same functionality we use and enjoy through a browser but in an App-environment. It does take a while to get used to, especially the subtlety when including and adding QuickMarks or comments to the text.
Hangouts (iPhone, iPod, iPad): From a couple of failed Skype calls recently, and a computer that has decided to not allow the Google+ Hangouts software to be installed, I needed an alternative solution, and quick. One quick trip to the App store, a short search query, and a short download time, and the Hangouts App is ready.
While the App is for iPad and iPod, I’ve only used it on the iPhone at the moment (for you Android lovers out there, you can have it too!). The App is easy to use – just sign in and it picks up your Google+ settings and contacts / circles. The list of contacts makes it easy to see who’s online and who isn’t, and ‘calling’ them or joining a hangout is relatively straight forward.
It was during FOTE12 that I had the first hint of an idea on how to take conference attendee engagement to the next level.
As the curator for the ULCC YouTube videos from FOTE12, I had hoped to collect a series of video interviews with deleagates and produce a number of videos on the delegate responses to the conference theme and ‘future of technology in education’ issues. It did not pan out as planned on the day, so instead I used the archive of tweets from the conference (thanks to Martin Hawksey), as well as the great photos of the day taken by the ULCC photographer.
Here’s what I thought … take the delegates engagement in the conference activity (weeks and even months before the conference itself), add in a new feature in the Conference App (or associated website), and a little bit of 1980′s TV, and you’ve made a great way for individuals to be involved in the conference.
Having to watch, and comment/analyse, films introduced as “evocative and sometimes disturbing visions of what the future of information technology might hold” is always going to get your attention.
“Who is set to benefit from the personal, constant attentions of information technology, and who might lose out?”
How is education being visualised in “A Day Made of Glass”? You could argue that most of these ‘tools’ are already available in one form or another in society and that schools already do most of what is shown here – maybe not exactly as shown, but some of it: smart boards, NearPod App (teacher presents to student device), tablets, etc. What is shown isn’t as far fetched as you may think, it’s just the way in which it is presented rather than what is presented that is different. How the technology is used outside of the classroom is more ‘futuristic’ and is where you could argue its worth – should children be given space (in or outside) that is free from technology, free for them to experience the world as it is and not through some sanitised technology that reveals the real world through a camera lens?
I may have made the title up, as this video is not about a ‘wall of learning’ but it does showcase what can be done with technology and the need/desire to share and facilitate learning. The original Mashable post was simply about the tech and the multi-touch screen
“The wall … is designed to foster stronger engagement between visitors and individual items in the collection … not just for discovery, but for acting on that discovery. Using the museum’s ArtLens iPad app, visitors can link to the wall to add works to their own custom museum tours.”
This is a great way to introduce a museum’s catalogue of work to students, either in the museum or online (in the classroom. etc.). The student can pick one piece of work (or have one picked for them) and the wall/technology can show related or contradictory work, thus engaging the student and making them think about the work in it’s original context and/or in a new context.
Many museum’s have more work than they have space to display, so this could be a great way to bring artwork from archives and storage into the public display again.
Class trip to the museum can start in the classroom with a pre-activity that will direct what the student does or tries to find out when they are in the museum and can continue long after the trip is over and the students are back in class.
Wouldn’t it be good if it can be personalised, that it could remember who is looking through the catalogue (or use NFC to ‘see’ who is standing in front of it?), so collections can be tailored to the user’ profile? Or that it could be used to question the user on the artwork, the artist, or the sculptor, in collaboration with the app?
The idea behind the wall
“shows an openness and willingness, on museum administrators’ parts, to rethink traditional visiting experiences to achieve their chief goals: In this case, to foster interest and better educate visitors about works of art.”
PlainText (iPhone, iPad): I’ve only just downloaded this app but I can already see the benefits of being able to makes notes and work on documents and store/transfer them through Dropbox.
“PlainText is a simple text editor with an uncomplicated, paper-like user interface. Unlike the default Notes app, PlainText allows you to create and organize your documents in folders and sync everything with Dropbox”
I have used the default Notes app since first getting an iOS device some 4 years ago and it was only down to the recommendation of Alan Cann (@AJCann) that I thought to try/find something better – PlainText was one of his strong recommendations.
Here are my notes:
When you first start the app there some handy hints and tips, read them!
It’s as easy as using Notes or anything else to write or take notes, but the clean and uncluttered (apart from the adverts, more on this later) makes it nice to use.