Week 13 post

There are two things I cannot leave my house without, and it’s not my lipstick and mascara, but my wallet and…you guessed it…my cell phone. Although I have never really used my mobile device for formal learning, I learn a lot of things in the informal category using this device. What’s the best way to get to my destination, how many calories should I be consuming today, and the list goes on.

I really loved reading about the Flipped classrooms, and the rationale behind Roshan’s approach to asking him (the instructor) how to solve a problem last. What a time saver this type of class could be. I hope there’s a way for this new approach to students from low income backgrounds too.

In another article I read about Flipped classrooms here, the reporter also highlights some other potential problems we could have if we flip the class without too much thought. Instead of saving time, it could eat up time if the course is not structured well. Also, the emphasis should still remain on learning—using the technology and support of cohorts, and not just as a way to showcase new technology.

I agree with all the benefits of m-learning that Cochrane and Bates list—except the one about bridging the digital divide. When we look around, “everyone” seems to own a cell phone, right? Well, let’s not forget that not all cell phones are smart phones, and despite what we say, not everybody owns a phone. So, I think a mobile app should have a regular desktop version for non-mobile users.

Reviewing the Seeds of Empowerment site was a heartwarming experience for me. What a simple concept, and yet so powerful. I also found it equally encouraging to read about Professor Chao and his attempts to reduce the cost of online classes. With these kinds of programs taking wing, it is easier for me to believe that the world is truly opening and the gap between the educational haves and have-nots is reducing.  

On the flip side, reading about android tablet made just for school left me disturbed. Education does not have to be drudgery. And, there’s nothing wrong in chatting with your classmates while you do homework. It might actually add to the team-building and collaborative experience.

Regardless of the anticipation and excitement surrounding m-learning today, the authors of

 “Mobile Usability in Educational Contexts: What have we learnt?” remind us that success with m-learning learning depends on the learner to a great extent.

I can also see how designing m-learning solutions can be challenging because there isn’t sufficient research to tell us the preferred mode of use learners are going to employ.

I agree with the authors that screen size is a huge factor in play when it comes to learners using their mobile devices. I, for one, prefer using my tablet or e-reader to the smart phone. I see myself quitting a lot earlier if I have to spend more than 10 minutes reading using my phone. The next generation growing up with these itty bitty devices may not face the problem—just because they got used to it a lot earlier in their lifetimes. Then again, they might come up with yet another category of devices between the tablet and the mobile phone that serves both purposes, and is a lot easier to carry around than a tablet. Read this before you chuckle. J


2 thoughts on “Week 13 post

  1. I have been pleasantly surprised with how much my spouse now reads, and all of it on the iPhone. I think it has to do with the “one-free hand” aspect. Most readers are still 2 hand devices. This is problematic on crowded public transportation one one hand is needed just to hang on. The “quick draw” aspect of the mobile phone seems to be fueling this advantage over the larger mobile devices. In our just-in-time attitude towards information, portability seems to be trumping visability.

    And as a literacy specialist, I am all for anything that gets people reading.


    • The fact that you can take as many books, magazines, and documents with you as you want is a huge plus on these devices as well! I wonder if people continue to read on phones and tablets, will it become a “gateway drug” back to libraries, or will they be forgotten? (perhaps this belongs with the e-book discussion, but oh well!)

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