Tuesday, September 28, 2010

eLearning attributes of mobile devices with an emphasis on smart phones and the iPad (Peter Looms at Sharefest)

Peter Olaf Looms opened this session about the attributes of mobile devices, smart phones and iPads with a suggestion that the wait and see approach is an approach but perhaps not the most positive! Do we want to be reactive or proactive? Normally the lead in time for significant developments is a couple of years...things never stay stationary.

A quick overview of mobile technologies and their use was followed by a more in-depth description of some of the uses. So, for example, Peter mentioned that iPads are often used by groups of people (3 or 4 in a group) because the size of the screen is conducive to sharing. However, the smaller device can be more convenient in some circumstances where you might not want to be conspicuous.

Wallace and GromitImage via WikipediaLaptops are seen as work devices, and iPads are not in the same league as far as the range of functionality is concerned - but the aim / use of the devices is ultimately different. There seems to be a lot of focus on products that are based around TV programmes that parents and children can interact through and with (e.g. Wallace and Grommit). Will the iPad replace the picture book? Does it empower the child to interact more (listening to a story can be pretty passive, but don't children interact actively while engaging with a picture book?

Thinking about media consumption per week (e.g. watching TV, playing console games, watching videos and DVDs) surveys can be misleading as there is either social taboos around some media consumption, or the person is truly unsure how much time they spend (an hour may pass in what seems like 5 minutes). There is a wide range of devices that young people use, but they may not have all the3 skills necessary to use them in ways efficacious to learning.
iPad with on display keyboardImage via Wikipedia
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