The fourth session that I am blogging at Provincial and Territorial Distance Education Association 2016 annual meeting is:
Mobile Learning for Flexible Delivery of Education
Dr. Mohamed Ally
Young and upcoming generations of learners are using emerging technology on a daily basis. These students demand that their education and support be provided through such technologies, and suggests that it is critical that we, as educators, adopt a sense of urgency to transform our education system accordingly using mobile technologies.
Dr. Ally proposes a pedagogical model where the learning is learner-centred. For example, problem-based learning can be used to develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Learning materials can take the form of games to challenge students so that they can be motivated to learn. A variety of delivery formats can be used.
Mobile learning can be used to deliver education to students any place and at any time. The blended learning approach, which combines face-to- face instruction and mobile learning, can be used to provide flexibility in learning. A flipped classroom—where students learn theory outside the classroom, and develop the high-level and affective skills in the classroom or lab alongside a teacher—can also be used.
Students can also download mobile learning apps to learn anywhere and at any time. They can use mobile technology to access Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at their own convenience to further their own knowledge and skills.
This presentation will describe how mobile learning can be integrated in education to transform education for the new generations of students and provide accessible education for all.
Mohamed’s session was interesting, particularly when looking at how mobile learning is impacting education around the world. Its relationship to K-12 distance, online and blended learning – particularly within the Canadian context (which is who comprised the entire audience) – there wasn’t a lot to report or not.
A couple of interesting factoids that I did hear (all tangential in nature):
- UNESCO has a goal of educating all students with basic grade level of ~5 or 6, which would require 190,000 new schools to reach this goal
- it would cost an additional US$19 billion to provide an education to all of the students in the world that do not currently have access to education
- at present, the world collectively spends US$2 trillion in education
- education organizations should develop mobile learning strategic plans
- there should be a national organization in Canada to provide a framework and standards for mobile learning, help guide funding for research and development projects
- some brief details from K-12 mobile learning projects that Mohamed conducted in Brazil and Pakistan
As you can see from these examples, from the perspective of people interested in education it was an interesting and fascinating session. From the perspective of those providing and regulating K-12 distance, online, and blended learning in Canada probably less useful.