Tag Archives: molenet

State of play updated

On this day nine years ago I was presenting and giving an  overview of the current state of play of mobile tech and MoLeNET for the JISC Cetis Mobile Tech Event on the 15th June 2010 in Bolton.

Here are the presentation slides I delivered.

I created the slides in Apple’s Keynote application before saving them as images which I then imported into Powerpoint.

I thought it would be interesting to reflect on what we thought then was the state of play then and what the current state of play is.

June 2010 was just two weeks after the iPad was available in the UK and people were still wondering what to do with it and what it’s potential was, I used the image of iPad boxes to show that this was going to be a “something” and I think we can say it certainly had impact. 

Not just putting the tablet as a mobile device into the heads of consumers and educators, but also the influence it had on smartphones as well. I don’t think we would have the huge large screen smartphones we have today if it wasn’t for devices such as the iPad and notably the iPad mini.

In most of my presentations I usually put a slide like this in.

There was still a culture of presenters asking people to turn off devices, give me your full attention and all that. Today I think we have more idea of if we want to use our device or not at conferences and presentations. I certainly wanted people to think about what I was saying, but also join in the conversation using new tools such as the Twitter!

In the presentation I started to look at the news headlines of the day

Apple had released their iPhone in 2007, now three years later it was having a huge impact on the market for phones.

Today the figures are somewhat different, there is no more sign of Nokia, RIM, HTC or Motorola, but look how Samsung dominates that market along with Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers.

Another headline was the success of the iPad.

What was interesting was how much the iPhone (and the iPad) were used to browse the mobile internet back in 2010.

Today most smartphones are capable of web browsing, mainly as most websites are now mobile optimised, making it a much easier experience than trying to navigate a desktop enabled site on a mobile browser. The other big change has been the growth of smartphone apps.

Back then the data limits with mobile contracts was really limiting.

Though these limits are still here today, having an unlimited data contract is no longer the realm of business accounts, consumers and students can access contracts with unlimited data more easily and quite cheaply as well. The data landscape has changed as well with 4G speeds being widespread and we are on the edge of the 5G world as well. The other factor that has changed is the widespread availability of wifi.

I really find these data usage patterns for the O2 network for 2010 incredibly low compared to today.

I have been known to use between 50GB and 100GB per month on my mobile contract.

What’s the difference?

Hello Netflix!

I then had a link to a Jisc report published in 2009, on issues in mobile learning.

Identifying Emerging Issues in Mobile Learning in Higher and Further Education: A report to JISC

This report describes the results of a series of discussion workshops where experts and experienced practitioners explored visions of how mobile technologies and devices will influence practice in Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) in the near future. The workshop series was funded by the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) as part of the Emerge Community within JISC’s own Users and Innovation research programme. This exploration focused on identifying emerging issues for the sector arising from the increasingly likely large scale use of Smartphones, PDAs and camera phones by learners in HE and FE, both on campus and in the workplace. 

One of the things that is apparent from the report is how different mobile learning was back then compared to now. The main difference is the increase in bandwidth and connectivity. Then there was quite a bit of reliance on offline mobile learning and SMS texting. Today we see the use of mobile optimised web sites and apps.

However some of the issues in the report, highlighted in my presentation are still relevant today.

Training is still an issue, and not just with the technical side of things, understanding the affordances of mobile devices and mobile learning as well isn’t something that just happens and people instinctively know.

As discussed above, the issue of connectivity. Luckily today we have much better and more reliable wifi and mobile connectivity. This allows for mobile learning without the learner having to worry about being connected. Faster speeds allow for real time video chat, as well as streaming high quality video whilst on the move.

Collaboration back then often meant asynchronous textual conversations, as poor or expensive connectivity meant that real-time chat and conversations were not a possibility. Today collaboration is so much easier and can be done with audio or even video chat.

I also mentioned the Twitter.

As well as issues I also in the presentation talked about the fears that practitioners often felt when it came to mobile learning.

The cultural shift towards the use of mobile devices and learning whilst mobile, was something that hasn’t really gone away. 

There is still resistance to change despite advances and increases in the use of mobile technology. Often though people are happy to discover and use mobile devices for their own stuff, using mobile devices for learner is still a step too far for some.

One reference I think still stands is how as learning technologists we often think we come over as Luke Skywalker, here to “save you”.

We do need to remember that others mainly see us as…

Resistance is futile.

One important aspect that is equally important today was privacy.

With the increase in data gathering, location data gathering and increase in analytics, what was a real issue in 2010 is a much bigger issue today.

Having discussed the state of play back in 2010, I then went into discuss the MoLeNET project.

It’s interesting to see what has changed and what has remained the same.

References 

Clay, J. 2010 ‘Mobile: The State of Play (featuring MoLeNET)’ [PowerPoint presentation] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/jamesclay/state-of-play . [Accessed 14 June 2019].

e-Learning Stuff. 2010. Mobile: The State of Play (featuring MoLeNET). [ONLINE] Available at: https://elearningstuff.net/2010/06/15/mobile-the-state-of-play-featuring-molenet/. [Accessed 14 June 2019].

Wishart, J & Green, D 2009, Identifying Emerging Issues in Mobile Learning in Higher and Further Education. JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), Bristol.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #084: The Legacy of MoLeNET

MoLeNET was a three year multi-million pound programme of mobile learning projects for Further Education, funded by the LSC and managed by the LSN. Two years on what is the legacy of MoLeNET and where are we with mobile learning now in FE. Have other sectors listened and learned from the lessons of MoLeNET. Listen to the legacy of MoLeNET.

With James Clay, Lilian Soon, David Sugden and Ron Mitchell.

This is the 84th e-Learning Stuff Podcast, The Legacy of MoLeNET.

Download the podcast in mp3 format: The Legacy of MoLeNET.

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Podcasting Workshop Reflections

Today I ran our final event for our MoLeNET Academy, a podcasting workshop.

Quite a good turnout and lots of hands-on activity and discussion. We covered a fair amount of ground covering content, audience, tools, techniques and usage of podcasts in teaching and learning.

We used a range of equipment and services including Edirols, video cameras, Audioboo, iPadio and software such as Audacity and Garageband.

It made me reflect, and that people have asked, that it might be helpful to write and post a series of blog articles on podcasting. It would cover not just the technical aspects of podcasting, but also pedagogical aspects, assessment perspectives and opinion on areas such as iTunes U.

Hmmm, that could work.

MoLeNET Podcasting Workshop – 8th December 2010

I am leading a Podcasting Workshop on the 8th December 2010 between 10.00am to 4.00pm at the Gloucestershire College MoLeNET Academy at the Gloucester Campus of Gloucestershire College.

This is a hands on workshop looking at the process of:

  • Planning
  • Recording
  • Editing
  • Publication
  • Distribution
  • Marketing

of Podcasts for teaching and learning.

The workshop will look at:

  • Content of podcasts, what works and what doesn’t.
  • Recording, tools and tips, use of Skype, mp3 recorders, Audioboo, iPadio.
  • Editing podcasts using tools such as Audacity or Garageband.
  • Publishing your podcasts using blogging, FTP.
  • Distribution, looking at creating and using RSS Feeds. Will also look at iTunes, the iTunes Store and iTunes U.
  • Marketing, how you get your learners to listen to your podcast.

The day starts at 10.00am and will finish at 4.00pm, lunch will be provided.

The event will be led by James Clay and will be working with Di Dawson.

Travel

Gloucester is well served by rail networks from across the UK and the college is a 15 minute walk from the railway station.

Gloucester is on the M5 and can be accessed from Junction 12 from the South and Junction 11 from the North. Please note that there is NO PARKING available at the college, though pay and display car parks are close by.

Booking

Please book online at RSC South West.

The event is FREE to any member of the MoLeNET community, in other words your college has led or been a partner in any MoLeNET project.

Background

Gloucestershire College has a wealth of experience in the use of mobile devices to support assessment. With three successful MoLeNET projects and a MoLeNET Academy, the college is using podcasting, video and audio to support and enhance learning and assessment.

James Clay is an experienced podcaster with a well respected weekly podcast, e-Learning Stuff. James is and has been passionate about the use of learning technologies to enhance and enrich the learning experience since 1991. James has been ILT & Learning Resources Manager at Gloucestershire College since November 2006. He is responsible for the VLE, the use of learning technologies, e-learning, mobile learning, the libraries, digital and online resources and the strategic direction of the college in relation to the use of learning technologies.James has extensive experience of mobile learning and has a vision that goes beyond mobile technologies and focuses on the mobility of the learner, blurring the demarcation between formal and informal learning.

Di Dawson is an LSN MoLeNET Mentor and a gadget lover and she brings expertise to the day in the form of enthusiasm for mobile technologies and as a teacher trainer. She likes to link teaching theories to practice and explains how activities can be designed to make the learners think deeper and therefore broaden their learning. Di loves gaming technologies and she enjoys enthusing teaching staff to look ‘beyond the play’ and see the potential for learning. Di has written various books on the use of computers and handheld technology and delivers online training to education and business establishments. Technology has certainly changed since Di started as an IT tutor 20 years ago.

Photo source.

Is this the end or just the beginning?

Camera Roll-26Today was the third MoLeNET conference, a celebration of mobile learning and the MoLeNET programme.

There were a few presentations, but lots of demonstrations, discussions and workshops.

I was quite reserved this year and let others do a lot of work.

There were lots of lessons from the conference that I and others could take home and use with our institutions. The key here was that even someone like me, who is well versed in the potential of mobile learning, can learn something from a mobile learning conference.

I hope to over the next couple of weeks bring some of the highlights and thoughts from the conference. There are some really interesting thoughts and lessons about cultural change, sustainability, technical issues as well as people and training and development.

With the changes in funding recently it is looking like that we will not see anymore MoLeNET funding for projects. This doesn’t mean that this needs to be the end of MoLeNET as a community.

It’s obvious from the work of MoLeNET projects that mobile learning is here and is here to stay. Learners are using mobile devices for learning and institutions need to be ensuring that they have the infrastructure to support this.

Camera Roll-24Where MoLeNET comes into this, is by providing a community of expertise, knowledge and guidance. As I said above, we can learn from each other and there is always something new to learn.

Today should not be the end of MoLeNET, merely the beginning…

The age of mobile is now

I have been talking about using mobile devices for a long time now, well before I started working at Gloucestershire College (and all that MoLeNET stuff), well before my time at the Western Colleges Consortium (and that Mobile on a VLE presentation).

Despite protestations about screen sizes, lack of power, inferior operating systems, we are now seeing the rise of the mobile device as the next big step in computing.

The first computers were BIG and clunky and you didn’t just use them, you booked time slots to use them.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers!”
Attributed to Thomas Watson of IBM, but in fact no evidence to say he ever said it.

Computers then became the mainstay of business, something to do business on.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
Ken Olson, president/founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

With the rise of the personal computer and importantly the explosion of the internet in the late 1990s, not only did we see computers in the home, we also saw a lot more personal computers in education.

Laptops at this time were expensive, but small portable ones were available, I really liked the Toshiba Libretto that I bought at that time.

In 2000 I was working at @Bristol in the centre of the Bristol Harbourside, one project we worked on was using the HP Jornada  and using JetSend technology to “squirt” URLs to the device that would then access the webpage over (what was then) a spiffy wireless network.

It was at this point that I could really see some real benefits of using mobile devices for learning, and using devices that weren’t laptops.

Over that decade we did see the emergence of the laptop over the desktop, more and more people would buy a laptop rather than a desktop for their main computer.

During that time I did a lot more work on using mobile devices for learning, focusing on multimedia content on devices such as PDAs, Media Players and mobile phones.

I remember in about 2001 driving up the M5 and getting stuck in one of those traffic jams in the early evening. My wife was watching the Matrix on my iPAQ PDA. I had converted a ripped DVD (uh oh I know) that I had converted into a MPEG1 video file, placed on an IBM Compact Flash Microdrive and played it back on the iPAQ using PocketTV. As she watched the film people in the cars looked into ours in awe and curiosity about what was that glowing light in our car. Of course today everyone can do this, but at the time it was both clever and geeky!

“I’m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen.”
Steve Jobs of Apple in 2003.

The seminal presentation of mine, Mobile Learning on a VLE, at the JISC 2006 Online Conference really got a lot of people thinking about using mobile devices and put my name out there as a leader in mobile learning.

There were many others at that time who were also following the same journey as myself, people like Mick Mullane, Lilian Soon, David Sugden and others. We were all very passionate about using mobile devices for learning.

Despite our passion, we still heard the resistance from practitioners (and sometimes from learners, but usually practitioners) that the screens were too small, they weren’t powerful enough, battery life was too short.

We, with others, were very much involved in the MoLeNET programme and that has had a huge impact in FE in kick starting the use of mobile devices for learning.

Mobile devices in the last few years have also dramatically changed too. Mobile phones have moved on from phones that just made calls and SMS, to mobile computers. Apple have also changed the landscape, first with the iPhone, then the iPod touch and now the iPad.

“There are no plans to make a tablet, it turns out people want keyboards…. We look at the tablet, and we think it is going to fail.”
Steve Jobs of Apple in 2003.

Innovation now is in the mobile sector of the market, these are the devices that our learners are buying and using.

The age of mobile is now.

Mobile Boot Camp Reflection

On Tuesday we ran a Mobile Learning Boot Camp as part of our Open Day for the Technology Exemplar Network. Combining our skills and experience in mobile learning, we as part of our commitment to sharing through our TEN, running an informal boot camp was our way of doing this.

The plan for the day was quite simple, a semi-formal introduction, a short one hour session on possibilities, whilst the rest of the day was about letting delegates getting on sharing, networking and importantly building mobile learning content and activities.

I covered a fair few technologies and ideas during the event and feedback from delegates was very positive.

We looked at the PSP with GO!Cam camera, Sanyo MP4 video camera, Kodak Zi8 video/still camera, iPod, iPad, iPhone, Audioboo, Posterous, iPadio, iTunes, iMovie, Garageband, Turbo.264HD, Screenr, podcasting, Edirol R-09HR and many other bits and pieces.

I think though if I was going to run it again, I would ask people to show and share at the end of the event.

Mobile Learning Boot Camp

Gloucestershire College Open Day Tuesday 6th July 2010

Mobile Learning Boot Camp

With the wealth of learning technologies mobile technologies and web 2.0 tools and services available to Further Education, this open day, will provide an opportunity to see how Gloucestershire College are using learning technologies to enhance and enrich learning.

The open day will also give you an opportunity to plan, develop and build learning resources for mobile learning in Further Education. This is a change to the original advertised programme.

Gloucestershire College is running the open day as part of the Becta Technology Exemplar Network (TEN),

This event is free to all FE Colleges and learning providers in the learning and skills sector; you do not need to be part of the TEN to visit.

We are running the Open Day on Tuesday 6th July at our Gloucester Campus. The day will focus on the creation of mobile learning resources and how they can be used to enhance teaching and learning. The day will also give you an opportunity to tour the college to see how we use ILT and how we have embedded learning technologies across the curriculum.

The day will consist of a formal introduction followed by semi-structured unconference format in which delegates will be able to build and create resources that can be used on mobile devices such as the PSP, the iPhone and mobile phones.

Delegates will be expected to bring some content for repurposing or ideas for content.

The day starts at 10.00am and will finish at 4.00pm, lunch will be provided.

Travel

Gloucester is well served by rail networks from across the UK and the college is a 15 minute walk from the railway station.

Gloucester is on the M5 and can be accessed from Junction 12 from the South and 11 from the North. Please note that there is no parking available at the college, though pay car parks are close by.

Booking

Please book online by Friday 2nd July here.

PAT Testing…

The future of mobile learning has to be in user owned technology.

From a sustainability perspective, no educational institutions (especially in the current economic climate) would be able to provide all learners with a mobile device or a laptop – even if they are getting cheaper!

However… sometimes the question of PAT testing student equipment arises from someone within the organisation. It is then decided that students can only bring in their laptops if they have been properly PAT tested or they can bring their devices in, but can not plug them in or in extreme examples students will be banned from bringing in their own devices.

I have read and checked the relevant legislation and I have phoned the HSE to confirm this.

There is NO legal requirement to PAT test student equipment, a formal visual inspection is sufficient under the current legislation.

See more details in this HSE leaflet.

The HSE were quite clear that they would not expect colleges to PAT test student devices.

Think about hotels for example, who NEVER PAT test guests personal laptops. Read this leaflet which has more information.

However… having said all that there may be good reasons to ensure that student equipment is PAT tested.

If you have an old building with rubbish wiring, it might make sense (from a risk assessment perspective) to PAT test.

Some insurance companies REQUIRE PAT testing, but check with your insurance company.

The answer to your H&S Officer is provide them with a proper risk assessment and the documentation from the HSE. Ask them to then explain why PAT testing is required beyond what is required under the legislation?

Or…

Ask H&S to set up PAT testing sessions for students, they want to do it, let them do it. Give them an indication of the session frequency required.

Or…

It actually doesn’t take that long or too much effort to train people to PAT test equipment, even the testing equipment isn’t that expensive. Train all relevant staff, Learning Resources, IT Technicians, other Technicians, teaching staff!!!! and get them to do the PAT testing.

Finally ignore all the “smart” people who tell you that PAT testing is an example of redundant acronym syndrome syndrome.

Disclaimer: ALL information containing in my post is for informational purposes only and should never be construed as legal advice. For proper legal advice you should consult a lawyer.