Mobile learning demonstrations (2 Demonstrations 0088, 0151)


11:30 - 12:30 on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 in Room MA


88 The Magic Pens Project
Paul Mahoney, Helen Hewertson, James Gotaas


151 Mobile learning lessons from Africa, America and Europe
- contrasting international case studies to highlight current trends
Geoff Stead


88 The Magic Pens Project
Paul Mahoney, Helen Hewertson, James Gotaas
Digital pen technologies offer interesting possibilities for university teaching, where presentation software is used in nearly every classroom, but is often limited to electronic text. Pen technology can increase access to graphical information and facilitate the sharing of content in real time between students and lecturer. (Abowd 1999; Anderson et al 2004; Iles et al 2002; Motoki et al. 2007). In the academic year 2009/10 the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has trialled the use of digital pens with staff based in each of its eighteen schools. The type of pen used is notable in that it writes like a conventional pen on ordinary paper, but the movement is picked up by a receiver unit which can store and display the note as a digital file. The project is evaluating whether the use of these devices can positively affect the following: classroom interactivity (pens can be used by students/ syndicates to record answers to questions for display and discussion by all); digitisation (encoding software can be used with the pens to create simple narrated animations explaining processes and diagrams which can be used in class or made available electronically); sustainability (digital pens can perform the same function as traditional flipcharts whilst using a fraction of the paper); feedback (the pens can record handwritten notes whilst away from a PC). We will introduce the specific digital pen hardware and highlight the differences to comparable hardware on the market. We will also briefly explain the supporting software. The demonstration will focus on different uses of the pen supported by examples provided by academics at various schools within UCLan. The session will also cover the practical implications of setting up such a cross university project by a centralised learning technology team. The session hopes to demonstrate how the adoption of simple and inexpensive hardware for the classroom may engage not only students and academic enthusiasts but also novice users with the rich world of technology enhanced teaching.


151 Mobile learning lessons from Africa, America and Europe
- contrasting international case studies to highlight current trends
Geoff Stead
Like a Swiss army knife, mobile phones are already being used across the planet to solve many everyday problems. From vote monitoring in Nigeria to micro-loans in South America. From parenting advice in China to sex education in India. Educators are slowly starting to adopt the same mobile ideas to enhance learning, and a growing number of m-learning projects in both UK and Europe are showing marked successes in reaching new learners. Despite these successes, there is no simple formula for ensuring an m-learning project will succeed. Equipment vendors are often biased. Technical solutions are often locked to a specific device or supplier. Many of the current UK m-learning projects use non-standard solutions that make it hard for another institution to build on those for themselves. This session will take a step back to look at m-learning solutions from across the world and draw out key success criteria, as well as exploring some of the more significant differences to see what the UK can learn from our international friends. The authors have been actively involved in a broad range of mobile learning programmes across countries (USA, Africa, UK, Europe), sectors (schools, work-based, FE, military, charitable) and languages. They will be demonstrating some of the technologies and pedagogies used, as well as providing unique insights into both their successes and their failures. Projects covered will include: 1 - m-uBuntu: working with impoverished South African schools to improve English Literacy (so successfully that students and teachers were invited to the USA to share their knowledge with the Whitehouse and US schools); 2 - Bloom: working with taxi, bus and truck drivers across Europe to deliver multilingual, mobile access to learning; 3 - US Military & Mobile Health: working with multiple nations and agencies to provide mobile learning about health issues at the point of need to relief workers and other remote learners. Active participation will be encouraged!