UNESCO mobilises Mobile Learning

Several hundred Educators from around the World descended on Paris this week for the third UNESCO mobile learning symposium. I was actually struck, first by how many people are doing so many small, medium and large projects (some working in the same geographical and topic areas and not aware of each other. )

It wouldn’t be a tech conference if people didn’t keep saying ‘its all about the learning not the technology’ . Of course they’re right but conflating M-learning as single set of functions, misses the fact that some projects are using full geo specific multi media functionality of smart phones whilst others are calling it M learning when content is loaded on an unconnected simple ‘dumb’ phone and passed out to teachers for their CPD.

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The event report will be online.,but what do i take away from it?

Agencies and governments have really high hopes for mobile. In developed countries this draws on users’ own sophisticated devices using high bandwidth functions. In much of Africa (UNESCO’s) priority area M Learning means imaginative use of SMS.

I saw lots of ‘delivery’, a fair amount of talk about promoting collaboration and rather less about user-generated content.

The workshop day gave us a chance to explore apps being developed – we created our own mini course on Ustad mobile. However, there is still lots of work in progress and some of this ‘innovation’ is actually replicating existing working systems!

M Learning is an immature field of learning technology. I might even suggest it is a petulant adolescent.

It is none the worse for this – it is full of vision, wild ideas and youthful energy.

For the UNESCO version of this event, take a look at.
http://en.unesco.org/events/mobile-learning-week-2014

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