The Reflection Pool

Why You Should Try Mobile Learning

Photo Credit: DavidMadden via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: DavidMadden via Compfight cc

As I was mulling over all the ideas presented in Week 1 of ETMOOC, I came across Steve Wheeler‘s post on Game Changers in the Training Zone .  In particular, these lines struck me:

“I think ultimately, the biggest game changer which has been going on for some time now, is mobile learning. Using your own personal devices to access learning, access peer groups, access social networking, access the ability to create and share content, anywhere and everywhere…I think we’re going to see that impact a whole lot more.”

This is exactly what I have been doing for the past week.  The impact is huge!  At every opportunity I have been using my tablet, my smartphone and my laptop to read and comment on ETMOOC blogs, to participate in Twitter chats and follow links. I’ve been investigating the difference between collection and curation and whether Evernote, Diigo or Delicious is the best application for me. I’ve fooled around with About.Me and Vizify. I’ve connected to the ETMOOC archives to learn from @SueWaters about blogging. I’ve pondered what it means to be a connected learner.

My learning continues as I struggle to make sense of all this and where it fits into my life and my work. And how will I do it?  I can’t imagine sitting in a classroom or even tied to a desktop and trying to bring all this together. I am learning on my couch, or at a conference, or waiting to have my hair cut or even during my morning run. This is mobile learning.


Do you want to change the game? Do you want the opportunity to learn wherever and however you can? Do you want to take charge? Try mobile learning.

5 thoughts on “Why You Should Try Mobile Learning

  1. I believe that this is the key component when people talk about BYOD. The assumption around Bring Your Own Device is that it is a cost saving measure — one that will eliminate the need to provision devices to all but those who cannot afford them. BYOD (in my humble view) does not eliminate the need to outfit classrooms with the kinds of technology necessary to achieve the learning goals set out (I don’t want a lesser device to tether the imagination, and believe our classrooms should provide access to rich learning tools). All it does is provide permission to learn within the classroom in the same ways we as adults learn outside of school, and provides us the opportunity to teach how to learn in a mobile world. When I have a question I can’t answer, I Google it. Students should be afforded the same luxury, to not second-guess pulling out a device. We must be open to “mobile”.

    We are becoming a culture of mobile learners; whether that is reading a blog post while getting your hair cut or searching for a fact to solve an argument during a dinner party.

    I wish I could attribute this quote, but it went something like this: if you could tell someone from the 1950s one thing about the future that would defy reason, what would it be? Answer: “I carry a device in my pocket that provides me access to the depth and breadth of human knowledge, I use it to look at pictures of cats.”

    In order to ensure that the next generation appreciates and leverages the access they have, we must embrace BYOD to model mobile learning for when we are no longer there to provide the answer, to ensure we are doing more — with the amazing access to knowledge that we have — than looking at cats.

    1. True – why should mobile learning be restricted to adults? Not allowing devices in classrooms is akin to not allowing adults to use devices during meetings. I’ve heard this comment: “what if they text each other?” I figure if adults are not engaged during a meeting, then organizers need to ask themselves some reflective questions.

  2. I can’t believe how mobile technology has changed my learning. It’s been almost a year (yes, late start) since my iPad purchase. I was reluctant as I really didn’t know how I would use it but knew it was already in the hands of students and I’d need to learn about its use before I could support staff to support kids. The constant learning is remarkable. Connecting with other educators and leaders has been (should I quote MasterCard here?) priceless! I am lucky to be part of a learning team that shares their learning and love of technology with me. By the way, what are you listening to when you’re out on a run?

    1. I love CBC podcasts. Current faves include Q with Jian Ghomeshi, Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly, and Spark. Keeps my mind engaged as I run on my own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.