Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Mobile Learning in the Work Based Learning Sector

I’ve recently promised several people links to mobile learning related sites so thought I’d post them here so that everyone can share.

The NIACE Mobile Technology website offers lots of practical suggestions and examples of how and why handheld devices can be used in teaching and learning in the sector. It includes sections that cover:

What to look for when buying the devices, with reviews and suggestions
FAQs and issues that organisations experience
Technical Tips, troubleshooting, software and hardware solutions
Guidelines for using the technology accessibly
The Future and the changing world of handheld devices
An a-z glossary of mobile technology terms

I posted a free online Mobile Learning guide here on Wobble back in November. This guide is aimed at people in the learning and training community who are keen to learn more about the potential applications and practicalities of mobile learning in their organisations.

The m-Learning and Accessibility section of the TechDis website explores the accessibility issues around mobile devices, focusing on Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones.

Using PDAs with learners focuses on work being carried out by Dewsbury College in West Yorkshire into the use of PDAs in Outreach Centres. There, a childcare tutor is using PDAs in her delivery of NVQ Level 3 Early Years Care and Education.

ACLearn’s Resource Exchange has a useful page on Mobile Learning which addresses the question - why use mobile devices for learning and then also goes on to outline some of the issues.

The LSDA report Mobile technologies and learning (pdf format) presents some exciting ideas on how mobile technologies, such as smartphones and PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), can be useful learning aids - particularly with young people. It noted that “The learners were mostly enthusiastic about mobile learning and 62% reported that they felt more keen to take part in future learning after trying mobile learning”. It also suggests that mobile learning can make a useful contribution to attracting young people to learning, maintaining their interest and supporting their learning and development.

Finally, on the subject of mobile learning its worth noting that right now, there are 32 project teams across the country involved in Mobile Learning Projects supported by the MoleNet initiative. These will no doubt result in a lot more material being available to support developments in the mobile learning area.

There are also plans to extend the MoleNet work into a Wider MoLeNET community . This will extend access to the MoLeNET on-line networking and knowledge sharing system to enable more people with an interest in mobile learning to benefit. This wider network will also offer face-to-face events which project teams and members of the wider community can join. Watch this space to learn more about that as it is rolled out.

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