Take Your Pic

A Touch of Mobile Learning

Dandelion

Source: Penny Bentley

You’re “doing” mobile learning if:

  • you’re not constrained to a particular location
  • you’ve got a device that’s easy to carry around (tablet, smartphone)

It’s beneficial because:

  • opportunities are everywhere
  • it’s an informal and spontaneous way to learn
  • makes learning more personal and authentic

Here’s an example…my iPhone has a pretty good camera for taking photos. It’s with me all the time and takes up little space. I have apps that enable me to add text to a series of photos, pin them to a map, share with others and upload to an archive.

The image above was shot with my mobile device. It’s a weed, a humble dandelion. Not only does it look amazing through a macro lens, but it has a fascinating history. By using the internet I’ve discovered that dandelions have been around for 30 million years and are used in coffee, salads, sandwiches and wine making. They’ve also been used for medicinal purposes and their seeds are easily spread by animals. The public domain image found on Wikipedia helps me to identify different parts of the dandelion life cycle. 

I can contribute to a Citizen Science project by uploading photos to the Atlas of Living Australia. Contributing to Australia’s biodiversity knowledge is a wonderful learning outcome. 

The mobile phone is a capable content consuming, creating and sharing device.

Taraxacum_officinale_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-135

Source: Kohler’s Medicinal Plants, Wikipedia

Here’s more of my images on Flickr.

Caught by Surprise

Last week I had the pleasure of co-presenting with Junita Lyon and Kathryn Matthews, in Community Connect, one of the Australian e-Series set of webinars.

Titled “Heading Down the iPad Road” this webinar was intended for people new to using iPads.  By sharing experiences, presenting our favorite apps and having a closeup look at an iPad, we hoped to explore how to manage workflow efficiently.

What we hadn’t anticipated was the number of participants who attended, their diverse backgrounds and expectations for content along with the large range of questions asked.

Here’s a summary of most of the topics raised:

  • using iPads with small groups or whole class
  • interactive ipad activities for class
  • do I need one?
  • how will it help me study?
  • are they any better than tablets?
  • easily shared or best personalised for one user?
  • passwords and settings
  • credit cards and privacy
  • learning to read, finding eBooks
  • replacing textbooks with iBooks
  • creating and publishing iBooks
  • iCloud
  • annotating pdf files
  • best apps for education
  • dictation and translation
  • iPads for Special Education, the elderly, kindergarden, primary, secondary and tertiary students
  • browsers and flash
  • pedagogy and best practice
  • app prices android vs apple
  • Microsoft Office on the iPad
  • integration with Apple TV
  • air streaming
  • file organisation with Dropbox and Evernote
  • distance education
  • using iTunes
  • iPads for assessment

So were we, 3 volunteers running a show and tell session about how we use our iPads, overwhelmed?

NO!

This wonderful experience helped us realise a number of things:

  • people from all sectors of education drop into Community Connect webinars
  • we cannot meet the needs of everyone who drops in, but we can gather information and plan our sessions accordingly
  • there is a thirst for knowledge about iPads and tablets
  • many skills for mobile teaching and learning are generic
  • meeting online in this casual, informal way provides a wonderful opportunity to learn
  • serendipitous learning occurs in webinars that allow interactivity
  • participants have a great deal to offer
  • sharing ideas saves time and opens eyes

I could bang on for ages here, but that will do. Yes, we were caught by surprise but what a great learning experience we had. If you’re interested here is a recording of “Heading Down the iPad Road”.

Can you give us some feedback please? How can we improve our Community Connect webinars to meet your needs? Is this style of learning useful for you, why?

iPad on Holiday

My iPad has made it on holidays for a trial run…to see how it performs out in the “field” using a 3G connection.

About this post:

  • I’m lying in my tent writing it
  • 3G connection via micro-sim card
  • Using the Blogsy app for the first time
  • Images shot using iPad camera
  • Collage created using Frame Magic app
  • It’s a trial run to test these apps

Which blogging app for iPad do you prefer?