Join me on Periscope as I broadcast live from ISTE 2016 in Denver June 26-29! Come with me as I visit poster sessions, see what teachers are learning, and get a chance to hear from ISTE's closing keynote speaker. If you miss a live broadcast, don't worry. They will all be archived.Read More
Interested in iPad, iPod touch, tablets, netbooks, laptops, phones, apps, podcasting, Android, iOS, and web-based tools? Excited about mobile technology for learning and teaching? Want to connect with other educators and learn from their successes and challenges? Then join me for Mobile Learning Experience 2012 April 11-13 in Phoenix, Arizona.
It's my pleasure to be on the team organizing Mobile Learning Experience 2012. It's the second year of this terrific conference. If you'd like to get a feel for 2011's conference, then read dozens of blog posts submitted during the event.
Registration for Mobile Learning Experience 2012 is open. You can save $200 if you register before January 20, 2012.
Please consider applying to present a session at Mobile Learning 2012. We're looking for presentations that address topics like:
- Web-based tools
- Netbooks and laptops
- iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone
- Mobile phones
- Classroom management
- One-to-one learning environments
- Personalized learning
- Collaborative learning
- Project-based learning
- Inquiry learning
- Research about mobile learning
- Assistive technology
- Common Core
- Science, math, and language
- Higher order thinking
Presenters receive a $50 discount on registration.The deadline for session proposals is November 16, 2011. Read more about the call for proposals.
The event will offer dozens of breakouts sessions, but the best part is connecting with other conference participants. As I'm reading Steve Job's biography, I'm learning that he believed in the power of random encounters. Walter Isaacson, the biography's author, wrote:
Despite being a denizen of the digital world, or maybe because he knew all too well its isolating potential, Steve was a strong believer in face-to-face meetings. "There's a temptation is our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat," he said. "That's crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings. From random discussions. You run into someone. You ask what they are doing. You say, 'Wow,' and soon you're cooking up all sorts of ideas."
That's certainly what happened at 2011's conference and I look forward to cooking up all sorts of ideas April 11-13, 2012!
- Download and share the invitation to Mobile Learning Experience 2012.
- Follow Mobile Learning Experience on Twitter.
- Use the Twitter hashtag #mobile2012.
- Like Mobile Learning Experience on Facebook.
I traveled to Columbia, South Carolina to work with teachers, students, and parents in the Richland One School District. On March 28 I presented an evening session called "I'm a Mobile Learner" and shared my vision and examples of mobile learning. The local news station, WLTX, interviewed me and broadcasted a story about the event and about mobile learning. They titled the piece "Expert: Smart Phones Are the Next Classroom Computers." Of course, I didn't write the piece or pick the title. I wouldn't limit mobile learning to simply smartphones. I see mobile learning as using tools at hand, which might be phones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers, and web-based tools.
You can view the aired news piece online and read the transcript at wltx.com.
Mobile learning is a hot topic, and that's why there are conferences devoted to using readily available digital tools in education. I'd like to tell you about three conferences for those interested in mobile learning. I happen to be fortunate enough to be part of all three.
Formerly known as Handheld Learning, Learning Without Frontiers takes place January 9-11, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. It's an international festival of learning and technology and has the theme of "Disruption, Innovation and Learning." Speakers include Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Theodore Gray (co-founder of Wolfram Research), Stephen Heppell (award-winning educator), and Karen Cator (US Department of Education Director of Educational Technology).
I will be hosting a Pecha Kucha style session where participants have 6 minutes 40 seconds to tell the group about an app or mobile learning activity, project, or concept. I will also be presenting "Mobile Movie Making"
Register for Learning Without Frontiers by December 31, 2010. Follow the the conference tag #lwf11 on Twitter.
mobile 2011 is the conference for those interested in the latest in teaching, learning, and mobile computing. It will be held in sunny Phoenix, Arizona April 6-8, 2011. Sessions will be devoted to iPod touch, iPad, netbooks, web tools, and apps. Participants can look forward to a dinner keynote by Graham Brown-Martin, founder of Learning Without Frontiers. The event features many visionary speakers. Some of them are Travis Allen (iSchool Initiative), Derek Keenan (Rocky View Schools, Alberta, Canada), Susan Wells (Culbreth Middle School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina), Scott Meech (The Joseph Sears Schools, Kenilworth, Illinois), Suren Ramasubbu (CEO of Mobicip), and many more.
I will present sessions about learning through projects, movie making, and personal productivity. I'm also planning other fun and entertaining activities since I'm part of the volunteer conference team.
Register for the Mobile Learning Experience by January 7, 2011 and save $100. The registation deadline is March 1, 2011. Visit mobile2011.org's News section for updates about the conference, and follow mobile2011 on Twitter.
In its second year, Slide2Learn is an education event by teachers, for teachers. The conference will be held April 18 and 19, 2011 on Queensland's Sunshine Coast at the ICT Learning Innovation Centre, Sunshine Coast University, Australia. Not only will it feature beginner and advanced sessions on the iPod touch, but also have a special focus on the iPad, with every attendee being able to borrow a device for use.
I will be keynoting the event and presenting breakout sessions. This will be my first time in Australia and I am very much looking forward to Slide2Learn.
The website for Mobile Learning Experience 2011 is now online! mobile 2011 is the conference for those interested in the latest in teaching, learning, and mobile computing. It will be held in sunny Phoenix, Arizona April 6-8, 2011. Many sessions will be devoted to iPod touch and iPad. Participants can look forward to an extraordinary keynote by Graham Brown-Martin, founder of Learning Without Frontiers. I'm looking forward to attending and presenting sessions myself.
The launch of mobile2011.org also brings the launch of registration. Registration includes two nights at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Phoenix. The conference team, presenters, and the Arizona K12 Center are not making a profit from mobile2011. The event is a volunteer effort and every dollar of registration goes into the venue, catering, materials, and logistics. Registration deadline is March 1, but the conference is expected to sell out before the deadline.
Mobile Learning Experience 2011 already has a great line-up of speakers. From teachers, to visionaries, to students, those presenting have a passion for mobile learning. Are you interested in sharing your passion? mobile 2011 is accepting proposals to present breakout sessions. If you are interested in presenting, please complete this form. The event’s schedule will be finalized in January, so please complete a proposal before December 1, 2010.
I'm thrilled to announce the Mobile Learning Experience in Phoenix Arizona April 6-8, 2011! A group of mobile-minded educators and the Arizona K12 Center have come together to offer what I think will be one of the best education and mobile technology conferences in the U.S.
We're still working hard on the program and registration materials, but the planning committee wants to get the dates out there so you can mark them on your calendar. Please download the Save the Date flyer and share with educators who are interested in teaching and learning with mobile technology. I can't wait for passionate educators to gather in the city I call home!
The K12 Online Conference is an annual event where presenters share about various topics in education and technology. Most presentations are in video format and are freely available to educators around the world. The conference, run entirely by volunteers, began November 30th and is ongoing through January 9th. I'd like to point you toward two presentations about iPhones and iPod touches.
Just a "Touch" of Leadership – Using the iPod touch/iPhone in Administration
Andy Crozier and Mike Amante in Cedar Rapids Iowa and New Hartford, New York show you apps and success stories from administrators in the field that are using iPod touch/iPhone for data collection, organization, creating a mobile office, and personal professional development. Links to apps and resources mentioned in this video can be found at the Apple Learning Interchange. (Audio in the video below is not working correctly. Click here for a better version.)
The iPod touch in the Classroom
Kern Kelley from Newport, Maine shows some of the basic uses for iPod touch. Kern first takes you from unboxing the iPod to syncing with iTunes. After showing some basics, he shares a dozen of his favorite apps and they are listed here.
My talk, "Create It in Your Hand, Share it with the World," from Handheld Learning 2009 is online in video form! This is the presentation where I talk about the importance of creating and sharing, focusing on iPod touch and three types of products: comics, animations, and audio podcasts.
Below is some of my 30 minute talk at Handheld Learning 2009 in London.
The presentation is called Create It in Your Hand, Share It with the World.
I decided to become a teacher when I was in sixth grade. From then on I studied each and every teacher I had and analyzed each and every activity they had me do. As a student I vowed to remember what I liked and didn’t like like when I was finally the one in charge.
I was lucky enough to have Palm computers for my fifth grade students in 2001. I would have very much liked a handheld computer when I was 12 years old. Though, I’m afraid that even if they were available in the 80s, most of my teachers wouldn’t have used them in very engaging ways.
As a teacher, I tried hard to use the handhelds in my classroom as creatively as possible. Of course I wanted to make learning fun. Boredom is the enemy of learning. We had about 50 apps we used on the Palms. Most all of the apps were drill and skill apps. Which, don’t get me wrong, were great. My handheld-equipped students learned their multiplication tables, historical figures, and science vocabulary faster than they would have with ordinary tools. Even with thousands of Palm apps, it was sometimes hard to find or adapt apps to move beyond drill and practice.
My favorite handheld today is the iPod touch. It’s amazing to compare the number of iPod touch and iPhone apps to the number of apps for the Palm Operating System. Ten years after the launch of the Palm OS, we have 30,000 apps for Palm devices. After little over a year since the launch of the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch, we have 85,000 apps, with and average of 46 new ones being added each day. There’s just got to be some good ones for students, right?
Of course, many of them are silly or frivolous. In fact, this name tag on the screen is actually a web app for iPod touch. Just point your mobile browser to mkaz.com/nametag and input your name. Presto! You are now holding a very expensive name tag.
But peeking into the App Store, there are plenty of apps for learning. Multiple-choice quizzes, flash cards, math games, and the like are plentiful.
Benjamin Bloom ranked thinking skills from lower order to higher order in 1956. Bloom’s Taxonomy helps teachers classify the objectives we set for students. Like we just saw, there, are plenty of titles in the App Store that address lower order thinking skills, like remembering, understanding, and applying.
Anderson and Krathwohl have slightly reworked Bloom’s Taxonomy for the 21st Century. What’s the highest order thinking skill? Creating.
Creating is reorganizing elements to form a new functional whole. In order to create, you have to evaluate. But in order to evaluate, you must be able to analyze. In order to analyze, you have to understand. And to understand something, you must be able to remember things about it. So, creating is the ultimate activity.
As a student and as an adult, I love to create things. In sixth grade I produced a video about the U.S.‘s Strategic Defense Initiative. It wasn’t exactly assigned by the teacher, but I didn’t care. I wanted to learn how to make a movie and share it with my classmates. As you can see, there are lots of verbs associated with Creating. I enjoyed planning, producing, and broadcasting that video.
American writer John Updike wrote, “Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better.” We can kind-of-sort-of make our students care by holding grades over their heads. But that’s not authentic. Educators can invent activities (or have students invent activities) that are creative and that they will be excited to share with an audience.
I’d like to share with you three kinds of products that can be created on an iPod touch or iPhone: Comics, Animations, and Audio Podcasts.
Comics are a great way to synthesize information. The combination of images and text can be fun to plan and fun to read. Comics may sound like fluff, but consider that last year Google commissioned a comic book to tell the world about why they are making the Chrome web browser and the technologies inside of it.
Comic Touch and Comic Touch Lite are two of a few iPod touch apps where you can create comics. You can import any saved image into Comic Touch and layer text bubbles on top of it. There are also some limited special effects you can apply to the image. Where can you get images?
You can save images from the web. Mobile Safari makes it easy. Simply tap and hold an image and the Save Image option will appear. The image will be saved into your Saved Photo album, which is accessible in Comic Touch.
I want to share my comics on my website. I have to think about copyright--I should have permission to use copyrighted images. So I use Creative Commons licensed images. You can search for images that are labeled for reuse using Google Image Search. However, you have to choose to do an Advanced Search from the Classic view first. Then you can select to only search for images that are copyright friendly. I suggest bookmarking the Advanced Image Search page or saving it as an icon to your Home screen.
You can also save screenshots of what’s on your iPod’s screen. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button on top of the device and quickly press the Home button. The screen will flash and you’ll hear a camera sound. The screenshot is now in your Saved Photos album.
I think it’s fun to take screenshots inside of Google Maps. Sure, you can take screenshots of the satellite view, but it’s much more fun to go into Street View and take screenshots. Whenever I have a pin on the screen, I can tap the orange and white Street View icon to go into street view. Here’s I’m in Washington D.C. taking photos of the Supreme Court Building.
I can use these images from my virtual field trip in a comic. Another comic-creation app is Strip Designer. Strip Designer lets me have up to three panels in my comic.
Let me show you a comic I made using images from Street View and images I’ve saved in Safari. My goal is to tell about the three branches of the U.S. government and their role in a particular issue. I chose mandated health insurance as the issue. I ended up with three two-panel comics. I was able to save them in high resolution and email them to myself. If I was a student, I could email them to the teacher. The teacher could then put them up on a class website. Or, many blogging and photo services allow for posting directly from email. The comic I just made in my hand is just an email away from being published for the world to see! (Watch a video that explains how I made the comic.)
For even more fun, I could save my comic to photo or save a classmates comic to then use an app like Ali’s Jigsaw Puzzle to turn the comic in a jigsaw I can put back together by dragging the pieces around my screen.
So comics are a fantastic way for students to piece together their learning and share it with others. Now on to animations.
A favorite Palm app of my students’ was Sketchy. We could draw directly on the screen, duplicate the frame, make a change, and then duplicate the frame again until a masterpiece was created. When played in a row, you’ve got yourself an animation.
Planning and drawing a animation can take time, but it’s time well spent. The learner is interacting with content in a creative way and he or she enjoys sharing the final creation with others. Heck, they’ll watch their own creation over and over again.
Flipbook and Flipbook Lite are two of a handful of animation apps for iPod touch. It’s tricky to draw without a stylus and there’s no text tool. But there are useful features like layers and onion skinning. Then, when done, users can publish the animation to Flipbook.tv, where the file can be viewed by others and saved as mp4 video files. View samples.
Like comics, animations are great way for students to sythesize their learning and present it to others.
The third kind of product people can create on iPod touch are audio podcasts. There are a variety of apps for recording audio. The catch is that iPod touch lacks a built-in microphone. There are mics that attach to the connector on the bottom of the device. Or, you can buy earbuds with a build-in mic like the iPhone has.
When making audio recordings, I usually like to record directly into my laptop so I can edit and arrange the audio as I record. But, in classrooms where there aren’t enough computers or students need to record in the field, iPod touch can be made into a little podcast studio.
Let me play a short clip from a field trip I took recently. (Download the clip.) In Tucson, Arizona there is the Sonoran Desert Museum. Yes, there’s a museum in the desert about the desert. It was a really hot summer day. I took a break under a tree and felt a light, cool mist. I thought maybe the museum rigged up something for their guests to keep cool. I asked a couple docents under the tree where the mist was coming from...
I used an iPod to make a sound-seeing tour of my trip. I was forced to describe what I saw during my excursion.
The Voice Memos app is a pretty straight-forward app for voice recording. Besides a trimming option, it has a handy feature of being able to email recordings as an attachment. That’s great because the blogging service Posterous lets you post podcasts by email! Simple email the recording from Voice Memos to your Posterous email. It’s automatically posted to the blog and has a news feed so it can be subscribed to in iTunes.
Now, schools probably want to screen audio recordings before they are posted. Instead of emailing Posterous, students email to their teacher who could then post it after approving the content. It’s exciting that something recorded during a field trip can be instantly published online.
Comics, Animations, and Podcasts are just three of many creative endeavors that can be done on an iPod touch or iPhone. In fact, you don’t need an Apple product to create--other phones and handhelds have similar apps. But the key is letting students create. Letting them create something they care about because they are sharing with, educating, or helping others. Another key to success is letting students choose what kind of product they are going to create--give them a choice of making a series of comics, an animation, or podcast.
Twelve-year-old and thirty-four-year-old Tony Vincent both enjoy having choice. Giving choice engages learners because everyone likes to have a say in what they do. After using these apps for a while, students will get a sense of what they like to create--let them choose!
I worked with a school in Phoenix last month and I received an email from one of the high school’s English teachers. After showing how to create comics with students, Jason wrote, “It all of a sudden has become important to my students to get the information right, which isn’t always the case when they do a ‘worksheet.’”
If you’re interested in iPods, I have created a podcast called Learning in Hand: iPods. Like Jason’s students, it is important for me to get the information right in my podcast because I know that thousands of teachers download what I've created and shared. I learn so much in the process.
I'm often asked about conferences about handhelds and mobile learning for educators. There used to be a few conferences across the U.S. dedicated to this subject. Unfortunately, none of these conferences are around today. There is, however, a conference in London called Handheld Learning. I've reviewed the conference in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
Registration is open for Handheld Learning 2009. This year's theme is "Creativity, Innovation, Inclusion, & Transformation." As I've seen the conference evolve, I can tell you that it now excels at offering a compelling mix of lectures, debates, showcases, breakouts, networking, and socializing. This year will have a large iPod touch focus, as many of the attendees are receiving one as part of their registration. I'll be presenting a session about using iPod touch for creativity. I'll also take part in my favorite activity from last year's conference: Pecha Kucha. That's were presenters give talks that are exactly 6 minutes and 20 seconds. It turns out that being pushed by the clock not only makes for concise presentations, but it can be pretty humorous to watch.
Handheld Learning is October 5th-7th, and it's definitely an international conference where all are welcome. Standard registration goes through September 25th.
Here's my review of Handheld Learning 2008, which took place in October in London.
When delegates arrived at The Brewery in London for Handheld Learning 2008, they received a traditional conference bag containing the printed program and other paper materials. The bag also contained a Nintendo DS game since many received a DS when they registered. The interesting part wasn’t what was in the bag--it is what was not in it: a name badge.
In his closing speech, conference organizer Graham Brown-Martin said that there were no name tags because everyone was important. Without name indicators, delegates would have to introduce each other, and it didn’t matter where they were from or what connection they had to mobile learning.
Out of the three Handheld Learning conferences I’ve been to, this one was the most interactive. Maybe that was because name badges were absent. Another reason the conference was so interactive was because of those Nintendo DSs. With so many delegates toting the gaming handheld, it was easy to fire up the built-in Pictochat. During sessions delegates shared text and pictures with others DS users in the room. It was fun to look around the room and try to figure out who was who from the Pictochat.
It’s unfortunate that there was no way to log the conversations and frivolity that took place in the DS Pictochat. Luckily, there was a way to archive the 140-characters-or-less updates that were posted online to Twitter. Twitter user GillClough noted, “Lively backchannel going on using DS pictochat. Shame we can't capture it.”
Many of the Twitter conversations can be found by clicking the archives on Handheld Learning’s page: http://twitter.com/hhl. The Twitter posts certainly showed variety. Delegates posted humorous musings, serious thoughts, fun ideas, and a few frustrations.
User johnwilkie voiced a problem many at Handheld Learning had. He wrote about keeping his devices charged. He wrote, “found an extremely rare 13A socket... juicing up the MacBook. Now I need a USB cable for my iPhone...” Having a powered learning tool is important, particularly because johnwilkie also wrote this quote he heard from Professor Stephen Heppell: “Every device turned off is a child turned off.”
Quotes and thoughts were a popular thing to share via Twitter. kathtrinder posted, “We have more work to do on assessment than we do on curriculum. Astute final comment from putnam.” jont posted, “Nice to hear people trying things and accepting they may fail.” I wrote “‘Viral Learning’... Infect a few students and it will spread to the others.”
Twitter user xlearn simply shared, “Hungry...” Every delegate I met was always hungry for learning, so I’m betting her purpose was to inform us she was craving food (which, for the record, Handheld Learning 2008’s lunch was full of delicious choices. At the two previous Handheld Learning conferences, l usually left lunch still hungry. Not this year).
Twitter was used to post links to resources. GianninaRossini posted each time she blogged live from a conference session. This was a great way to get others to her blog and interact in real time. I posted a link as reminder to delegates that they can search for Twitter posts from the conference using http://search.twitter.com. I also shared a link to the class site of the Learner’s Y Factor winners. The site, http://is.gd/46Hn, is an excellent example of using handheld devices to publish to the Web and to facilitate collaboration and cooperation.
Besides sharing links, delegates shared feedback on presentations. I used Twitter to tell jamesclay, “Great visuals in your Pecha Kucha slide shows!” Admittedly, my favorite Twitter message of the whole conference was from LordLangley. After the conclusion of the conference, he wrote, “Sitting in St. Pancras Station drinking organic beer whilst feeling chuffed that he met Tony Vincent.” After I looked up the meaning of chuffed, his message made my day.
Like always, Handheld Learning had fantastic prizes. They were of course saved for the very end. Unfortunately, jamesclay wasn’t present for the prize drawings. He explained on Twitter, “Alas I am missing the end of hhl08 as I misread the end of the programme and had to catch the 16.30 train. No prizes for me then!”
A favorite occurrence was to the meet in person someone I followed on Twitter. Some people actually looked like their avatars and others did not. Without name badges, it was more of a chore to figure out who was who--but so rewarding as I met lots of people by asking.
Names of delegates wasn’t the only thing to figure out. Conference speakers made several references to what they have figured “Handheld Learning” to mean. I noted on Twitter that one speaker says that teachers “hold students’ hands” and guide their learning using technology. And like Handheld Learning 2006 and Handheld Learning 2007, delegates have suggested alternative names for the conference. This is what I wrote on Twitter while in a session about netbooks: “Handheld Learning could be renamed Hand-Over Learning because teachers become facilitators.” The speaker said this quote as she was explaining how teachers should be guiding learning and inspiring their students to take ownership of their learning.
Whether a delegate’s name, avatar, or screen name is one others were familiar with or not, each person at the conference had incredible ideas and thoughts about education. I’m glad that delegates who were not scheduled to speak in a formal session had opportunities to talk in front of groups. The Pecha Kucha game where anyone could speak for exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds was a highlight for me. I liked the brevity of the presentations. I liked even more that the session was informal and as the three-hour session progressed, more delegates decided to participate and give a presentation.
Participation is how learning occurs. We often talk of how learning is not passive. Handheld Learning’s delegates weren’t called attendees because they were expected to do more than simply attend; they were expected to participate. They were called delegates since their function in the conference was active. Asking people their names, discussing issues in Pictochat, posting to Twitter, and making presentations were some of the ways that delegates were active participants. My problem with the conference: not enough coffee and power outlets to keep delegates and their technology active all day long.
The summer is usually full of events for educators. This summer is no exception and you can find me at these upcoming conferences:
The National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) is in San Antonio, Texas June 29-July, 2008. I'll be presenting in three ways:
- The Special Interest Group for Handheld Computer is sponsoring a forum, Mobile Devices are Shaping the Way We Learn, on Monday, July 30, 2008 from 10am-12pm. Mark van ‘t Hooft is moderating and presenters include Cathie Norris, Elliot Soloway, David Whyley, and me. We'll be presenting smaller breakout sessions during the forum. $20 registration is required. Here's the description of my Web Apps To Go mini-session:
- I'll have a poster session (where you just drop in) Tuesday, 7/1, from 1pm-3pm and the title is Meet the Mobile Web: Internet in Your Hand. "Explore Web sites and services designed for tiny devices. Leave with a great list of online destinations for teachers and students."
- I'll have a lecture session Wednesday, 7/2, from 12pm until 1pm and the title is Audio is Great! Video is Cool! iPods Can Do More! "More than mere music players, iPods can make for motivating learning tools. Learn about interactive texts, dictionaries, news feeds, flash cards, quizzes, and more!"
There are many tasks that used to require software that you can now do from inside of your Web browser. Web applications are great for students and teachers because they are usually free and you won’t install software. Web apps don't require a specific operating system and so many of them work perfectly fine on ultra-compact and inexpensive laptops like the XO and Eee PC. Because Web apps and their data are stored online, students and teachers can access the apps and data from anywhere. They also tend to facilitate online sharing and collaboration. Tony will share some of his favorite educational uses of web apps, including word processing, text-to-speech, and cartoon creation. The group will even use a Web app to share their favorite ones.
The Mid-Atlantic Handhelds & Emerging Technology Conference (MAHETC) is July 24-25, 2008 in Salisbury, Maryland. The conference will have a mixture of hands-on workshops and breakout sessions. I'll be teaching I Didn't Know You Could Do That with an iPod, Doing It Without Software: Web Applications, and Education Image Sets for iPods and other Mobile Devices. I also have the pleasure of presenting the opening keynote presentation, Then and Now:
A lot has certainly changed in the last few years in technology. Laptops used to cost big bucks, but today ultra-portable and cheap laptops can be had for $200. Websites are more interactive and fully encourage participation. There's little need to know HTML as online services now allow easy and instant publishing. Some software no longer has to be purchased and installed because we can do the same tasks online for free. iPods are physically smaller but storage capacity and capabilities have greatly increased. The pace of change only seems to be increasing. Let's examine changes in technology and society so that we can leverage these exciting trends in education.
The 6th Annual Successlink Technology Innovations Conference is July 17-18, 2008 at the Tan Tar A resort in Osage Beach, Missouri. Sessions at this conference are hands-on and I'll be conducting ones about handhelds, podcasting, and blogging. The resort is always fantastic and the conference features so many great topics in educational technology!
I do hope I get to see you this summer!
Registration is now open for Handheld Learning 2008. The conference takes place in London, October 13-15, 2008. The event is open to everyone. I'll be there along with 1,000 other international delegates.
Handheld Learning 2008 will address items such as 21st century learning, handhelds, iPods, game consoles, affordable laptops, and more.
I've reviewed Handheld Learning 2007 and Handheld Learning 2006 if you'd like to know more about what I think of past conferences. While it is expensive for those of us in the USA to attend, the expense is worth it. The conference just gets bigger and better each year!
Handheld 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.
- RM 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.
Learning while Gaming on Handhelds is the first session I attended at Handheld Learning 2007 in London. It was lead by Marc Prensky. Marc's specialty is analyzing today's students. He is author of Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.
Marc says that educational computer games are really "mini" games. Only a few things are learned in the 5 minutes to 2 hours spent playing a mini game. Complex games can be played for 8 to 100 hours and involve much more learning.
Complex games have the goal of "being a hero." Many times in school the goal is to master the material or score well on a test. Isn't being a hero a much more appealing ambition? Games also engage students because they involve frequent decision making, create an emotional connection, balance cooperation and competition, and are personalized.
Marc shared the numbers of kinds of computers sold. He admits that finding numbers was hard. I'm not sure about the first number either. But, we know that are definitely many more mobile phones out there than PCs.
- PCs 200 million
- PlayStations 100 million
- GameBoys 150 million
- DS 50 million
- Mobile phones 1.5 billion
Marc says that "we just don't have the imagination" to use all those mobile phones in learning. He is a fan of an "open phone test." Teachers who do this say they can ask better questions. Makes me think an open handheld test would be a great alternative. Fill your iPod, Palm, Pocket PC, etc. with the information you need. That's exactly what I did to prepare for my trip to London--it's a real-world skill!
One obstacle is getting games on mobile devices. For instance, getting software on a mobile phone is complicated and you often have to go through your cell phone carrier. Also, there are not yet many complex games for handhelds. When better games and software are available for handhelds and mobile phones, maybe we'll imvite them to be used in and out of school for learning.
I want to encourage you to attend Handheld Learning 2007. The conference and exhibition is October 10-12, 2007 at Central Hall Westminster, London. As part of the steering group, I'd like to invite educators from all over the globe to attend.
I'll be presenting about innovative uses for iPods in learning. The preliminary program is online. A detailed program will be published shortly. Here are some other great sessions, workshops, and seminars:
- Learning While Gaming
- Technologies for Learning 2012
- Reflections on Pedagogy
- Creating Content for Mobile
- Science, Math, and Mobile
- Mobile Application Showcase
If you are planning to register, please contact me and I'll provide you a code to save £70 ($140). Last year the conference filled to capacity--early registration is a must. I know, I know: It won't be easy to convince the-powers-that-be to fund your trip to the U.K., but it will really be worth it!
I Didn't Know You Could Do That with an iPod was the name of a session I presented at last month's National Educational Computing Conference in Atlanta. The room was pretty much full when I entered to set up. By the time the session started, people were crammed in every square foot of space. In fact, blogger David Jakes gave his Most Ironic award to the fact that there was "so much interest in the educational application of a tool that is banned in most schools."
Kyle Stevens took great notes during the session. You can read his notes and listen to a recording on his Final Curve blog.
I used an iPod as a fun way to give away a prize. One of the possible prizes was an iPod Key Chain Connector. Lots of attendees wanted more information on the connector, so I wrote about it here.
I got many questions for more information about the camera I was using to show the iPod's screen. Unlike Palm handhelds and Pocket PCs, there is no software that allows iPod's screen to be transmitted directly to a computer. So, the only solution to show an iPod to a group of people is to point a camera at it. Often I've used a document camera. This time I used my iSight camera on top of a flexible stand. The stand is available from MacMice, but you must already have an iSight camera (Apple no longer sells them). Any USB camera can be used, but you'll want it to have a flexible stand so that you can position it over an iPod (or whatever you happen to be showing). USB cameras can be as inexpensive as $30, making them much cheaper than document cameras.
The camera does me no good if I can't show it on a computer screen. I use Monitor Mode, a free Mac program that takes any video source and displays it in full screen mode. With my Mac connected to a projector, I can show what's under the camera to a whole room. I've searched for a Windows alternative to Monitor Mode but haven't yet found one.
The NECC conference was a great event, with thousands of educators everywhere. Many of them blogged from the conference. I was tickled that Diana Laufenberg wrote the she was star-struck to see "the beloved Tony Vincent." Can you see me blushing, 'cuz I am! Furthermore, I got to meet the very sweet Midge Frazel and the brilliant Wesley Fryer, both of whom blogged about meeting me.
While it was a busy conference, the best part was meeting so many great educators. I didn't catch her name, but one technology teacher said she didn't retire this year because of me. She learned about podcasting from me and her students absolutely love it. She enjoys doing it so much, that she's staying on for another year. This is exactly why I share everything I do online!
Next year's National Educational Computing Conference is in San Antonio. Perhaps I'll meet you there!
Here are some fantastic summer conference opportunities:
National Education Computing Conference
This year's conference takes place in Atlanta, Georgia June 24-27, 2007. I will be participating in a panel discussion, presenting a lecture on iPods, and presenting a poster session. Please stop by, say hello, and hopefully learn a thing or two.
5th Annual Technology Innovations/Handheld Computer Conference
Mark your calendars for the 5th Annual Handheld Computer Conference scheduled for July 10- 11, 2007 at Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage Beach! Each session will be a “hands-on” experience. There will be sessions for beginner, intermediate and advanced users. Unfortunately, it's the first time I won't be presenting at this conference (I wish I could be two places at once!), but I highly recommend this conference.
Mid-Atlantic Handheld & Emerging Technology Conference 2007
The conference planning committee recently gathered some data from past conference attendees and has decided to expand the conference for 2007! This year's conference will continue to focus on using handhelds in education, but also highlight some emerging technologies. As a result of this expansion, the conference has evolved into the Mid-Atlantic Handheld & Emerging Technology Conference (MAHETC)! I will be doing a keynote presentation, breakout sessions, and a couple workshops.