Sunday, 28 June 2009

Twitter, Mobile Learning, Africa, and a whole heap of big ideas

Right, I'm going to attempt to draw some threads together here.

First up, a fascinating story, with accompanying video, all about how an American professor is using Twitter to get real time feedback and asynchronous comments during and after her History lectures. Read all about it here

I've noticed that only a few of my Media students have engaged with Twitter (or maybe they have, they just don't want to engage with me!). Still, it's something I'm going to try with my sixth form Media students come September.

I noticed in the video that a number of students were using iPhones and other smart phones. I got a Samsung Omnia at the end of last year and I love it. Running off Windows Mobile I can sync with Outlook, watch BBC streams live when I get a 3G signal, and best of all, pick up Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents from students and colleagues when I'm out and about. 

I also run Skype off it, play movies and generally use it as a good tool for taking notes and gathering ideas. In that vein I'm quite excited by the ways new smart phones are developing. For example, HTC's Hero, using Google's open source Android operating system, seems to be taking the Web 2.0 criterion of 'collective intelligence' and allowing users to tap into that on the phone. It's possible to select someone from your address list and see their details, Facebook postings, Flickr uploads, Twitter tweets and so on. As someone who resides in numerous spaces online this is an attractive option. 

Educationally, I can see the potential for it being harnessed to improve informal and formal learning opportunities. Students could harvest ideas and search engine entries into a format that will allow information from a range of sources be assimilated and presented in meaningful ways. This could be distributed to friends, peers, teachers and learning groups, in order to drive projects and assignments forward.

All of which ties in with this week's topic on H800 Technology Enhanced Learning, the MA module I'm taking at the Open University's Institute for Educational Technology. I've been preparing some ideas on the use of mobile learning in Africa, since my school, Berkhamsted, sponsors Sandi School, a developing school in the Eastern Cape. As Head of Media/ICT I'm keen to help the school explore ways of bringing e-learning into the curriculum. So, here are some articles that I read which I hope you'll find interesting too.

1 comment:

Don said...

Hey Sacha,

Just followed one of your Delicious links to Prezi. I like it a lot!

Easy to use. Captivating. Deals nicely with complexity: zoom in, zoom out.

This I'm gonna try!