Coming Back!!!

22 04 2009

Hello world!

My absence from the edublogosphere (is it still called that?  Was it ever called that? :D) was noted by many of you, and on behalf of the curveballs that life threw me I would like to humbly apologise for the almost-one-year since my last post.

As old friends do, however, let’s catch up!  I hope very much that the year that’s passed has been kind to you and that you’ve been enjoying a happy and successful 2009 thus far.  This year has brought sweeping changes in my life, one of the most significant being a new job with significantly bigger possibilities for me to put into practice many of the ideas and possibilities for mobile learning that I’ve shared with you here over the last three years.

I’m now working as an E-Learning Designer at the University of Canberra’s Teaching and Learning Centre (“TLC” – I  really ❤ its acronym 🙂 ).  It’s a fantastic team and I’m absolutely loving it… and I’m also very much enjoying working on a university campus that’s full of life every day.  The University of Canberra recently implemented Moodle as its Learning Management System, and it has been warmly received by both academics and students alike.

In addition to an excellent online learning environment, there’s considerable interest in mobile learning at UC. My new team is currently investigating the possibility of making Moodle accessible via mobile devices, and a number of lecturers are already exploring podcasts and vodcasts.  One of the more exciting discoveries I made when I started here was the use of a tool called Votapedia, which allows teachers to get instant responses from students in the manner of “audience response systems” – simply using students’ mobile phones to dial a number and hang up.  Caller ID means that each student can only vote once… and the results can be instantly aggregated and displayed.  Best of all, because the call never connects, the system is free!

M-learning itself has taken off in a big way over the last year.  Most exciting to me was the sudden interest in the use of QR Codes in teaching and learning that has taken hold around the world.  I may have been the first to see the potential of QR Codes as a means of providing authentic, situated learning experiences way back at the start of 2006, and I’ve been thrilled by others who have taken up the idea and run with it.

The netbook is the another thing I’ve been getting excited about.  Highly functional, mobile computing became incredibly affordable during the last 12 months, and the shared “dream” of the Alan Kay’s Dynabook and Nicholas Negroponte’s OLPC – with every learner equipped with a portable, digital learning platform – is edging ever nearer in developing and first-world countries alike.

Hmmm… that will do for a start!  But I promise to start writing here again regularly with some of the dozens of opportunities and possibilities that have come to light recently for mobile learning practitioners everywhere!