Handheld Learning 2007 Nuggets

Handheld Learning 2007Handheld Learning 2007 conference in London continued Thursday and Friday. Over 800 attended this year's gathering. Here are just a few nuggets from the conference:

  • Just before entering Central Hall, I was handed a flyer with "Voice of Sanity" written across the top. The flyer opens with, "Dear Delegate, learning occurs when brain cells are able to freely communicate with each other. Science now shows that Wi-fi signals disrupt inter-cellular communication and impedes learning." Really? Just because they cite a source doesn't make that statement true. Read more from the Mast Sanity organization. Seems that some in the U.K. are fearful as Wi-Fi's presence is dramatically increasing.
  • Two projects in Bristol have show three key benefits: high motivation and engagement, student ownership of learning; and bridge between teacher-directed and autonomous learning.
  • Asus miniBookRM released their Asus miniBook for £169 ($344). It has a 7 inch screen, Wi-Fi, keyboard, USB ports, microphone and headphone ports, VGA video out, and more. It may not be available outside of the U.K., but it's nice to know that inexpensive laptops (called sub-notebooks) are real. It's unclear to me if the miniBook runs Windows XP or Linux.
  • Francesc Pedro from OECD spoke about today's learners. Most students have more access to more technology at home than they do at school.
  • "Students aren't little us's anymore" -Marc Prensky. We can't teach them the same way we were taught.
  • A theme of many sessions is that mobile in mobile learning refers to the student, not the technology.
  • Online safety is just as important with mobile phones and devices as it is with desktop and laptop computers. 75% of British kids have their own mobile phone. 33% of them pay for the use themselves. 61% have their own PC.
  • Robert Hart wants a RAPID: Really Affordable Personal Internet Device. This won't replace a powerful desktop, but it will let students get online and do 90% of the work they would do on the Web.
  • Check out the Learning Everywhere project.
  • Fellow American Mark van 't Hooft has written much more than I have about Handheld Learning 2007 in his blog, Ubiquitous Thoughts. Additionally, you can do a blog search for "Handheld Learning 2007" and "Handheld Learning" conference for more posts by various bloggers.
  • Over two dozen delegates to the conference posted short Twitter updates throughout the conference. You can read the updates at twitter.com/hhl/with_friends.