Mobile learning: turning place into a learning space

October 03, 2013
10:00 am - 11:00 am PST
By Educator Innovator

How can various contexts for learning be supported and maintained through context-aware technologies such as mobiles?

Key Questions and Comments:

  • (07:37) How do we turn “place” into a learning space? Do we need the device to do that? And, if we do use the device, how does that affect the learning experience?
  • (12:01) One point of connection for kids is actually through their neighborhood. They’re very interested in where they are and where they live, and they love to learn more about it.
  • (18:27) Mobiles are such personal devices, whether your tablet or your phone. And now you have a device that is deeply personal for a young person and they’re using it outside of school to socialize, to explore, to play games. Whereas, in the class, you can only use it for school which can be boring and constrained. There’s definitely going to be a tension there.
  • (21:54) As educators…we want to focus on a reality-based education (an education that focuses on the reality of youth-based experiences and utilizes those experiences as the anchor for instruction). The only way to get insights into those realities is to be able to have a piece of those experiences in school.
  • (25:42) If the mobile device becomes a tool through which [students] can be pushed forward into looking at those connections between science and their real-life experiences, it works.
  • (31:36) When we think about this work, what fascinates me the most is these multiple layers that young people construct and create–it’s almost otherworldly…After a while…the entire school structure has to exist in this way in order to capture their imaginations. This is where we have to go.
  • (35:58) I think one thing that [youth] love is that, with this kind of learning, they’re just hacking the classroom experience, they’re actually hacking the content that they’re taught in school. In a way, they’re actually taking the lead in deciding what gets taught.
  • (38:50) Learning is inherently based on exploration. It’s really a matter of presentation. We don’t have to present to the kids these neat packages…we want to provide them with the tools and allow them to play. Oftentimes, they will match what we’ve invented; in other instances, they will go beyond that.
  • (42:20) To what extent is age segregation (e.g. youth under 13 not being allowed in certain places or platforms) likely to prevent effectiveness of mobile technology? Or will mobile technology tend to break down that tendency to segregate by age?
  • (44:07) When there are no identities associated with phenotype and socioeconomic segregation…then we are able to engage and enter into this intersubjectivity based on our intellectual curiosity, our likemindedness, our shared ideals/goals/interests/beliefs.
  • (51:57) The modalities that are accessible through the mobile devices can be used to surface the kind of qualities that we use as ways to structure the world and structure our prejudices. They can also be used as platforms for critiquing, for exploring.
  • (53:47) How do you integrate something as seemingly radical as inquiry-based learning into the confines and strictures of a Common Core standard or the curricula that teachers have to follow? How do those two meet?

From this Series:

View the Conversation
During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtags #connectedlearning and #mobileed.

Guests for this webinar included:

  • Richard Scullin – Founder,; Director of Mount Greylock Regional High School DML Lab
  • Chris Emdin – Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University; #HipHopEd
  • Jack Martin – Associate Director, Global Kids; NYC Haunts
  • Matthew Battles – Principal and Associate Director, metaLAB at Harvard
  • Steve Vosloo – Senior Project Officer in Mobile Learning, UNESCO

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