Sunday, 25 September 2011

Mobile Learning

Zoraini Wati Abas gave a presentation on mobile learning at the Open University of Malaysia. For me the big question is, "How do I convince my colleagues that mobile devices such as phones have a legitimate place in the classroom?" While I have some support, most staff see mobile phones and mp3 players as distractions and discipline issues rather than readily available tools for teaching and learning.
I attended a Biology revision lecture recently with some of my students. The presenter was Andrew Douch (, a very technologically switched on teacher who uses a wide range of ICT to develop a learning environment that extends well beyond his classroom and his class. Andrew asked the students in the lecture to get out their mobile phones. Instead of telling them to switch them off - the expected outcome - Andrew gave a phone number that students could SMS questions to which he answered during the course of the lecture. A brilliant use of technology that brought the phones alongside of the learning rather than excluding them.
I have been using vodcasts this year, taking my PowerPoint slides and adding narration, and they work well but demand significant time to create. Andrew's SMS option took no time at all. The moral to this is that effective use of ICT in teaching and learning can be effective and simple to use, we just need to be more creative with the tools.

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