Why go to College?

April 1, 2010

Mobile learning is the topic of the week in the World is Open. We read some of John Traxlar’s articles as well as having a live meeting with him via Adobe Connect which was great. Some of the interesting points and comments that came from those were:

  • “mobile learning is essentially personal, contextual, and situated; this means it is ‘noisy’” (Traxlar, 2007)
  • Mobile learning exploits privacy in places where women are restricted from other learning opportunities.
  • Learners are generating their own learning spaces.
  • Learning doesn’t get you a job.
  • Current 19th century learning models are being challenged to the point that about the only unique thing a university can offer any more is a degree.
  • “These attributes place much mobile learning at odds with formal learning with its cohorts, courses, semesters, assessments, and campuses, and with its monitoring and evaluation regimes” (Traxlar, 2007).
  • When thinking about using technology for learning one has to also be paying attention to the underlying political and power struggles that affect the how, when, where, what, and most importantly perhaps, why a particular program is being piloted. Those issues must be addressed as well.
  • A study with mobile learning was done with students in the UK (I believe) who were not likely to go to university. The purpose of the study was to show them they could do the lessons, it could be engaging, etc. in hopes they would then enroll in a university program. Evidently the mobile learning was so effective about half the students concluded, “Why go off to formal college when this works just fine?”

(All, except article excerpts are Traxlar meeting 30-March-2010.)

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