Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Educause Mobile Learning Issue

The latest issue of Educause Quarterly (EDUCAUSE Quarterly Magazine, Volume 34, Number 1, 2011) features mobile-based learning system.

It can be found here:

What I find interesting from these articles is how mobile learning is being defined not so much by a mobile phone, but by any technology that improves communications between content, teacher, and student. Some of this relates to the notion of ubiquitous learning namely:
- More social networked type communications
- Learning occurring in highly contextual environments
- Collaborative-based learning
- Information access anytime/anywhere

Of note, is the article by Higdon et al(2011), where they discuss a research project that involved the development of the student response system called ChimeIn. ChineIn functions beyond the typical 'Clicker' system allowing for collection of student data beyond the multiple choice question structure. It also works with any mobile device (laptop, smartphone, or any SMS phone). Its a clean interface and provides instance data via word clouds or pie charts.

Mobile systems are evolving towards something more than just a phone. These articles provide some insight into this evolution.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Can a mobile learning design be better than this?

I came across this app to help teach the Periodic Table of Elements and was a little disappointed:

I ran into this problem with iPhone/iPad interface design with another project. It seems that due to programming constraints, it is difficult to break out of the iPhone interface template, so what ends up happening are apps like this one.

On the other side of the argument, it is simple and sleek. However, such an app is nothing more than an electronic flash card and quiz machine.

How can this app be made more graphic, more engaging, and simply more fun?

As an instructional designer interested in creating mobile learning apps, I know there are better ways to create apps. However, I am not a programmer/developer, so I'm not sure of the programming constraints.