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Learning at a distance - Digital frontiers

A podcast worth hearing on mobile learning at:

"New technologies and new media bring with them new affordances, such as portability, potential for content generation, context sensitivity and augmented reality to name but a few." (1.)

I agreed with most of what was discussed but the distinction between learning and technology seems to get cloudy, leaning toward myth that learning is connected to technology with a small step forward to learning = technology.

In my experience, the technology has shortened the time for communication, thus a Skype call is faster than snail mail.  In general, "computers (of any size) are just a better pencil" (2.)  Passing class notes (small bits of paper with writing) could have been considered social networking if smart phones were not available.

Overall I found the discussion on mobile learning to be an echo of the past, this form of technology is not new, nor is it a break through for humanity (unless you believe everyone can afford a data plan on this planet).

Newtons, WinCE, Palm, and Sinclair, to name a few 'mobile learning' devices, have been around over a decade, yet did not appeal to the populace.  I suspect it is due to lack of Facehooked and UTubed connectivity.  The smartphone (or miniature computer) offers unprecedented connectivity.

The challenge I see for education is to leverage the computing technologies of any size (hint - responsive design) towards clean communications that offers quality information and tools for a 'smart' learning environment (3.).




(1.) Routledge Education Arena - Expert Review

(2.) D.Leask, Mount Royal University 1992

(3.) The London Mobile Learning Group


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