Month: August 2013

Still the same old flux capacitor

‘Back To The Future’ was recently on TV again. According to the movie, I should now be driving a fusion powered flying car. Oh well. In another example of how things change more slowly than we may think, I just attended a presentation on Embarcadero’s latest version of RAD Studio, presented by David Intersimone (aka David I). Now David I has been around a long time – he (indirectly) taught me C++. Over 20 years ago I learned to program in C++ using one of Robert Lafore’s excellent C++ books, which came with an interactive computer-based tutorial. Along with this I watched a set of Borland videos, ably presented by David I. I also had access to the Borland C++ compiler so could try things out as I went along. So anyway, there I was at the beginning of 1990s having an interactive multimedia self-paced hands-on learning experience. I must admit that I’m finding it hard to see the vast strides we have made since, apart from the fact that we now have the web, which we didn’t back then, in fact I didn’t even have email. So the delivery channels have changed but I wonder what else we’ve achieved? The latest thing in self-study is, of course, the MOOC, and I have recently signed up for Waikato University’s new MOOC on data mining.  If those guys can teach me half as much as David I and Robert Lafore did in the last century then I will very happy.

Mobile devices in teaching and learning – Top 20 uses

I was recently asked to present some information to a committee about mobile devices in the future of teaching and learning. I made this into a ‘top 20’ list of things that mobile devices can be used for in education, starting with the more obvious and working towards the more interesting.

1. As a mobile web device for access to information

2. As a 24/7 anywhere any time learning device

3. As a support device for organising learning tasks and schedules

4. As a multimedia presentation device

5. As a data capture/ recording device for classroom, homework and field work

6. As a classroom memory (store files, photos of whiteboards, videos of talks etc.)

7. As a sharing device for showing and distributing work

8. As a creative device for capturing, editing and transforming digital material

9. As a host for specific apps for different subject areas

10. As a communications device for collaborative learning (e.g. Twitter, Google Drive)

11. As a feedback device (e.g. live classroom polling)

12. As a support device (task support in situ)

13. As an assessment device (questioning, submitting work, creating assignments)

14. As a tool with sensors (location, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, weather, luminance etc.)

15. As a scanning device (RFID, bar codes)

16. As a guidance device (geocaching, geotagging)

17. As a testing device for student created apps

18. As a contextual device (location and content aware – learning content tailored to place)

19. As an augmentation device (augmented reality)

20. As an appropriated device (ownership, personalisation)