Yesterday I gave a few online presentations (conferences) for the MoLeNET programme.
One was on microblogging, entitled I am having a coffee…
So how do you assess your learners? It’s a key question really. One that we don’t always answer.
All too often we fall back on traditional methods as it makes life easier for us as practitioners. You know, write an essay, complete an assignment, give a presentation,etc…
Of course this means when it comes to using mobile devices for assessment, you have a quandary over how to use them to assess learners. Despite improvements in text input, generally most learners will prefer not to enter large amounts of text into a mobile device.
I have talked on the blog before about text entry on mobile devices and how they are not ideal.
Back then I wrote:
Overall entering text on any mobile device is fraught with difficulty and complexity and the more you use a device the more familar you get with it, the easier it gets and quicker you become.
However if you are using mobile devices with a group who only use the device rarely, then you should consider alternatives to text entry directly onto the mobile device otherwise you may find that your learners start to hate the device rather than use the device for learning.
Use the device where it has strengths such as audio and video, and use other tools such as pen and paper or a computer with a full size keyboard when you want the learner to create a lot of text.
This means that learning scenarios need to be designed to avoid excessive text entry onto a mobile device, and often that means that traditional learning scenarios will not translate easily and simply to a PSP for example.
Think about replacing text entry with an audio or a video recording – the UX1XN and Q1 Ultra both have cameras and microphones which can be used for that, you can also get a camera and microphone for the PSP as well.
It is not essential or necessary for the learner to complete a learning scenario solely on a mobile device, let them use other tools to complete the learning activity, the mobile device should be just the one component that helps build the activity.
When it comes to designing assessment models using mobile devices, the same advice applies. Think about how learners will need to be assessed. If it is multiple choice, or single word answers, than the mobile device alone should be sufficient. If it is short answer, essay or similar then text entry on a mobile device is probably not only not the best option it is probably not an option at all.
As I said before, think about replacing text entry with an audio or a video recordings, these can be done much more easily on a mobile device or a cameraphone.
The 5th February sees the launch of the LSIS eCPD event in London. Not sure how many people will turn up due to the snow. I am thought about not going, though it was aright when I left, it has got heavier back home and even now it looks quite thick out of the train window as I write this.
I am running a workshop at the event which is looking at mobile learning. Unlike the MoD event, this time I have forty-five minutes which is longer, but is still not really enough time!
In the session I hope to get the delegates to discuss and talk about how mobile technologies can be used to support, enhance and enrich the learning experience of learners. I am also hoping (as I have done at previous workshops) the delegates use the same mobile technologies to post their reflections and views online.
The workshop blog can be found here.
The podcast channel (we’re using Gabcast) can be found here.
Even if you are not at the event, I hope you can still join in with the workshop by contributing to the stuff posted online adding comments, or joining in with the Twitter and Jaiku discussions.
The first session (as is the rest of the day) is being broadcast online using Elluminate and you can find out how to access the online stuff on the ALT website.
If people turn up it should be fun.
A joint event between Becta and the MoD looking at the transformative impact that using learning technologies can have on education and training.
I delivered a ten minute presentation on how mobile learning is having an transformative impact at Gloucestershire College.
It is always a challenge to deliver a 61 slide presentation in just ten minutes!
No it wasn’t death by Powerpoint (partly as I was using Keynote on a Mac) but think of it as more as a video with a narration by me.
Always disappointed that I have only ten minutes which never allows time for the audience to think about what I am presenting on, no time for discussion, debate, reflection; no opportunity to engage with the technology, use the technology.
Ten minutes is never enough.
However it went down really well with the audience.
Though to be honest there was thirty minutes at the end of the day which did give an opportunity, but it was just thirty minutes.
Okay what about the rest of the day?
Well as is typical at these events, lots of presentations, lots of content, lots of Powerpoint slides, but I wonder if much learning happened? Certainly according to the feedback it stimulated debate and thought, so maybe I am being a little negative.
I know that at these events that part of the issue is that the organisers and stakeholders feel that they need to cram the event full of short presentations in order to “transfer information” and meet the needs of the differing stakeholders, as in everyone has to have their say and present their view or vision.
I would argue that sometimes you need to take a step back and ask yourself, what is the aim of the event, what are you trying to get out of the event?
As a delegate you should also be asking yourself what are you expecting from the event and what preparation did you do prior to the event?
The whole day was not entirely presentations and there was a panel session, some discussion sessions and a hands-on session. My view though was that the weighting was wrong with the presentations taking up too much of the day.
Or is it that I just don’t like listening to lots of presentations.
In this show, James talks about what he believes mobile learning is all about.
This is the eleventh e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Mobile Learning.[audio:http://elearningstuff.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/elearningstuff011.mp3]
This is me presenting about the Glossy Project at the MoLeNET strand at the Handheld Learning 2008 Conference.
Download the iPod version.
So here we are on day two of Handheld Learning 2008.
I am in the plenary session listening to Steven Berlin Johnson talking about technologies and how children learn through simulations.
Common theme so far seems to be about the innate way in which young children learn through the use of technology.
Talking about Civilisation, of which I played the original version, and how this very complicated game is being played by children who are learning while playing.
Some amusing observations from the game.
Moved onto the simplicity of Pac-Man versus the complex goals of Zelda.
Today’s games are a lot more complicated than the games from my generation.
So arrived at Handheld Learing which though does have free wifi does not have free coffee. It’s open day here at Handheld Learning 2008 as a result the organisers are charging for food and drink.
So rather than pay silly amounts of money for conference coffee (which is always awful) myself and Lisa V and Anita (both from RSC NW) went off to a cafe and had a very nice coffee there.
So here I am my first session the Pecha Kucha which allows you to present twenty slides with only twenty seconds per slide.
I put together a short presentation which seemed to work well, you can watch it live on the internet.
Other good stuff as well, with a really nice presentation from Tony Vincent about Twitter.
The dust has not even settled from mLearn 2008 and I haven’t even managed to gather my thoughts for the final blog post from the mobile learning conference before I am off to another conference.
Handheld Learning 2008 starts tomorrow in London at The Brewery – I wonder how many times we hear that joke from speakers – and I am presenting in the MoLeNET strand on the Tuesday. Hoping to also present in the Pecha Kucha too.
Lots of friends going to the conference, David Sugden and Lilian will be there, as will Kath and Jon from Glasgow. Steve is taking the bus from Plymouth, whilst Lisa V will be down for one day only – she’s found a gap in her diary. Andy Black will be there also. Lots of people from mLearn will be there too including Mark Kramer, Adele Botha, John Traxler and loads of others whom I only met last week. Well I have met John before lots of times!
One of the challenges for me is that though I know them all, I am not sure if they know each other, must remember to introduce people to each other.
If you are going, do come and say hello.
I shall be using the technologies as per usual, lots of photos on Flickr, video here and there, tweets and jaikus as well.
Key question for me though is do I use my trusty Mac laptop, or pretend that I am a handheld learning guru and use the UX1XN…. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.
Yesterday (Thursday) was another good day at mLearn 2008.
I really enjoyed Jon Trinder’s session on chasing mobile technology. Though he apologised for the negativity but did raise the question of institutional barriers to the implementation of mobile learning.
There are some key points here, even if you are implementing mobile learning, how are you testing, is it just technical testing, or do you undertake usability testing with actual real life users.
Andy Ramsden’s session on Twitter was also fast paced, amusing and interesting. Out of the audience about half had Twitter accounts, but only a few were actively using it. We didn’t really get a chance to elicit reasons why they weren’t using.
Mick Mullane’s session on podcasting was similar to ones I had seen before, but was nice to view again in a very academic conference. He was very enthusiastic about podcasting, just a pity that he couldn’t do his live demo as there was no free wifi!
The reason I was in Mick’s session was that I was in the room for John Cook’s session on the appropriation of learners’ devices for learning. Which was a nice theoretical model which is akin to my views about using the learners’ own devices.