So, we’ve had eLearning, e-learning, elearning, and ‘e learning’.
We’ve had mobile learning, mLearning, mlearning. But not ‘m learning’.
(We’ve also got the VLE, LMS, CMS, and many more besides, but that’s for another post).
I believe we are now at a place with web development where we should drop able all these different ways of saying ‘learning’. We should not need to be talking about the different platforms or devices students use to access their ‘learning’; they should all be scalable and accessible to accommodate students using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop (or any other device I can’t think of now). Access to learning resources should be across the board, easy, and not determined by the device. Pretty much everything the students need is now online – books, resources, notes, assignments – so the moniker of ‘e’Learning (for ‘electronic’) is void. Students have devices now which do not tether them to either a physical location or a specific IT network that I’m pretty sure we can drop the mLearning (for ‘mobile’) too.
I like infographics, but I don’t like this one on the LearnDash website: Mobile Learning vs eLearning. I find it inaccurate, or at least misleading. Here’s the comment I left, in case it doesn’t get published:
I disagree – to compartmentalise tablet or laptop users as either one or the other is misleading to people wanting to know about new online learning techniques based on their preferred method/device of learning. Is a laptop user, sat on a train, not mobile? Is a tablet user sat at home on the sofa still mobile, or just too lazy to turn the laptop/desktop computer on?
In an age of accessible web design, and course design, many organisations design their materials, indeed their learning platform, to offer the same experience to their students irrespective of the device used. In fact, this is key to the learning that a student is not disadvantaged for using their own device, irrespective of it’s age, operating system, screen size, etc.
And this doesn’t even cover the statement “eLearning is designed to be more static and be accessed at your desk.” Really? In this day and age, you still think that? What do you think? Am I being harsh?
As part of a new series of posts, I will be talking to authors of The Really Useful #EdTechBook about their work, experiences, and contribution to the book. In this seventh post I talk to Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE research fellow, University of Leicester.
DH – Hi Terese. How does the use of technology, in all its various forms, affect your day-to-day working life?
TB – Really, I do my job on the strength of first social media, and second mobile devices. I remember when I was being interviewed for my job at Leicester back in 2009, I was asked how I stay on top of developments in the field, and I said, “Twitter.” Even before I had any smart handheld devices, I was regularly using Twitter to learn from others in the field of learning technology and tech innovation generally. Even on extremely busy days, I can take a quick skim through Twitter, retweet a couple of things or put a couple of things on Scoop.it. Not only have I learnt from the blog post or news item, I have shared it, and often get some response on it — so in 20 minutes or so, I have done valuable horizon-scanning, learning, and networking in my field. Continue reading →
Over two years ago I wrote about a few experiences I’d had with some online courses / MOOCs, and why I ‘failed’ (according to the general headline figures of engagement, attendance, etc. that are used in mainstream press).
I want to revisit this, in light of more experience in both designing MOOCs and being a student on them.
Disclaimer: This is based on courses I’ve taken on the FutureLearn, Coursera, Cloudworks, EdX, and WordPress (OcTEL) platforms. I also highlight whether is was a student on the course, or part of the development team.
1. Comments and Engagement: For the most part I’ve been a silent students. This is both deliberate and accidental. Where it’s been a deliberate choice to not engage in the comments and discussion it’s been because I knew I didn’t have the time or inclination to trawl through the hundreds of fairly uninteresting posts to add my two-pennies worth or find the one nugget of insight that is worth anything. It’s also because, for some courses, I didn’t have enough interest to take my engagement further.
While some of us look to the skills, some to the technology, and maybe even some to the individual, it is clear that somewhere there needs to be a generic and ‘global’ view of the learner, the (learning) climate, Continue reading →
From the Sh!ft eLearning website – 10 Ways to Keep ELearning Interesting. Creating the learning resources and delivering the content is one thing, but creating and delivering content that is both engaging and thought provoking (and ‘sticky’) is something else. This infographic (below) is a nice handy chart on the kinds of things you could consider adding to keep the learner interested.
“Even more than other types of education, eLearning must struggle to attract learners’ attention: the Internet is full of distractions, and adult learners are both busier and more free to indulge in distractions. Helping students to pay attention is a primary concern of training professionals, so here are some optimal methods to win the attention game in eLearning.”
“The mere presence of a cell or smartphone on the table can disengage people during in-person conversations and hinder their empathy, according to a new Virginia Tech study that finds your attention is divided even if you’re not actively looking at your phone.”
The 2014 IGGY Junior Commission report on Education and the Internet is an important read. I’ve not had chance to digest all of it yet, but what I have read makes for some uncomfortable reading for Higher Education – take note: children understand the technology they have access to, the understand the possibilities (and challenge them), and know how they want to use it and bring it into all aspects of their lives, including learning / classroom / education.
“The IGGY Junior Commission enables ten of the brightest young minds to collaborate with one another to achieve a global goal. These young people are the potential leaders of the future and deserve an opportunity to share their views and recommendations.”
Research and interviews from 289 school children and 109 teachers from 14 different countries helped form the conclusions of the report which include: Continue reading →
This article by Austin Fitzhenry asks a simple question: “can students teach their lecturers a thing or two?”
Go read the full article on the Times Higher Education website, it is very good, extremely well written, and full of thought provoking comments and observations that need consideration if we are to improve the relationship between ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’.
Below are a few sections that caught my eye for one reason or another:
“The question “Why am I here?” often strikes in the 73rd minute of a droning lecture. Don’t misunderstand – I love lectures. But only if the person delivering it knows how to allow learning. And yes, I do mean “allow”, for academics don’t create learning – only the student can do that. Unfortunately, most if not all lecturers are crippled by misunderstandings about their students and ill-founded assumptions about education itself. If we can filter the mud from the Pierian Spring, then they will have far less frustration in their lives and students will stop wishing that they were somewhere else. So one afternoon, after a particularly frustrating day with my professors, I sat down and wrote my lecture to them. I pray that they are taking notes.” Continue reading →
Mobile learning is a relatively new phenomenon and the theoretical basis is currently under development. The paper presents a pedagogical perspective of mobile learning which highlights three central features of mobile learning: authenticity, collaboration and personalisation, embedded in the unique timespace contexts of mobile learning. A pedagogical framework was developed and tested through activities in two mobile learning projects located in teacher education communities: Mobagogy, a project in which faculty staff in an Australian university developed understanding of mobile learning; and The Bird in the Hand Project, which explored the use of smartphones by student teachers and their mentors in the United Kingdom. The framework is used to critique the pedagogy in a selection of reported mobile learning scenarios, enabling an assessment of mobile activities and pedagogical approaches, and consideration of their contributions to learning from a socio-cultural perspective.