My final project video for The World is Open course is based on the quote:

“With the enormous and intellectually enticing Web of Learning, anyone can now learn anything from anyone at anytime.” – Dr. Curtis Bonk

~Lisa

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Hot Dogs and iPads

April 15, 2010

I subscribed to the RSS feed for Elliott Masie this week.  According to his site he is: “. . . an internationally recognized futurist, analyst, researcher and organizer on the critical topics of workforce learning, business collaboration and emerging technologies.” According to Dr. Curtis Bonk he is an “elearning guru” and gets 8 mentions in his The World is Open book.

His learning center was just about the only place I found solid information on online learning when I started researching it in 2000 and 2001. It was someone from his center who very kindly answered an email I sent for advice on where does one go to learn about how to do online learning well. IU was in their top three list (the others were Boise State and Florida State). It’s what brought me to IU so they have a soft spot in my heart.

The first article to arrive on my iGoogle page RSS feed from Learning TRENDS was both entertaining and thought provoking, though very short. It came out of a conversation Masie had with a hot dog vendor near his home so I want to share it with you.

NYC Hot Dog Vendor iPad Ideas

-Lisa

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.)

That means lots of talk about Second Life, massive gaming, and simulations – much of which most people have negative views about and see little educational value. Sarah Robbins (Second Lifer Intelligirl who has taught in Second Life, co-wrote Second Life for Dummies with Mark Bell, just came out with a new research book of which she is a co-editor, works for the Kelly School of Business, and is mom to triplet girls), visited our class via Breeze.

I was impressed how she fielded a question about concerns of people posing to be someone they are not. She said someone needs to do the hard data because her experiences are that some people, yes, use virtual reality as a place of entertainment where they might pretend to be more outgoing than they are or try things out they are not likely to try in offline life, but most people (like her and Mark) are simply the same people in Second Life they are offline. It was refreshing to hear someone with validity make those statements.

Sometimes fears cause us to make more out of situations than they really. While it’s easier perhaps to make up a false persona online, it doesn’t necessarily follow that people will do that. I think most of us have much deeper desires to be known for who we really are than to pretend we are something we are not. And, when others know and respond to who we are, we grow a little – we become. And, isn’t that what education is all about? Becoming the person we are meant to be?

-Lisa