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Saturday, April 25, 2015

A digital ‘Arab Spring’ for higher education? by John Traxler

Photo: John Traxler
John Traxler, professor of mobile learning at the University of Wolverhampton writes, "The phrase “Digital Life and Mobile Learning” is intended to summarise the tensions and paradox between two powerful and significant ideas."

This article is based on a presentation he will give at the Digital Life Environments conference in Turkey to be held from 4-6 May.

These ideas are, on the one hand, the attempts in schools, colleges and universities around the world to use personal mobile devices to finally deliver learning ‘anywhere, anytime’, as promised 20 years ago by the e-learning missionaries and visionaries, and, on the other hand, the reality of people outside these institutions, using the same mobile technologies to create, transform, discuss, discard, share, store and transmit ideas, opinions, images and information.

These attempts at exploiting mobile devices within schools, colleges and universities have succeeded in demonstrating:
  • that the reach of education can extend (to rural areas or marginal groups, for example),
  • that education can be enriched and enhanced (by being more personalised, customised and localised, for example), and
  • that education can be more engaging (for disaffected and disillusioned groups and individuals, for example).
But these attempts have been resource intensive and have not always produced convincing evidence. In the words of one journalist, the evidence has been “fluffy” and not addressed the business case for mobile learning. Many of the more successful projects have been the least exciting or innovative.
Read more...

Source: University World News


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