mLearning from an early age

Last week I read Towards a Theory of Mobile Learning which cleverly superimposes learner and technology layers onto an activity system and considers the interplay between these.

I lost the plot a a bit early on though with the astounding (sarcasm) comment that:  “It is the learner that is mobile, rather than the technology”.

Hey I have been a mobile learner since 6 months old!  Learning happens on the hoof, and doesn’t even need technology! Our learning friends “what/when/why/how/who” are extremely well used and we practice them on anybody who is around that can help out.  What mobile stuff does for us though is to connect us to friends/information sources readily, so we can quench our curiosity thirst without reference to a local sage.  (Now admittedly here my perspective is informal learning.)

One of my questions earlier on in the H800 journey was whether technology alone can change practice.  Whilst the answer to this is no, it does become increasingly clear that learner-centred practice is important and that technology has a place to make this easy to implement.  So when two superimposed activity systems each have contradictions does this accentuate the possibilities for change, or do they dampen each other?  In one we have a tension in control moving from teacher to student (sage on the stage vs guide on the side) and the other a similar tension between centralised resources and facilities to distributed applications (small pieces loosely joined) into which initiatives like SocialLearn are born.

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