Today, the students presented their mobile learning units that they were reporting on. Again, we got a lot of ideas on good didactical approaches and also identified a lot of bad things.
Mobile learning means your smartphone must turn into your learning environment. Here students often mentioned functions to take notes – my eBook reader didn’t support this which was a big disadvantage to me because switching between a notes app and the reader itself takes a long time. There were some great examples of even marking video timelines and adding notes while having a summary function at the end – this is really great!
Other students figured out that many learning units don’t allow downloading the contents – podcasts for example. If you want to distribute podcasts you should also cover the use case to view it while you have a weak connection, especially in public transport and with reduced data plans.
I was inspired by special mobile learning units that offered dedicated apps including videos with exercises functionalities. The contents were kept mostly short and you could easily interrupt the steps – that’s necessary if you think of changing trains.
Small portions of contents to be learned really work good as I mentioned in my report. But in my personal opionion, mobile learning can only be seen to be useful for bridging time. For intense learning across different layers of Bloom’s taxonony the learner should really dive into a topic while having a rich learning environment, e.g. to order notes, sketch mind-maps, reading additional books etc.
Learning in public transport also includes distracting elements, lights and bright colors (advertisements) and even constantly changing smells.
So to sum it up, the main focus of didactics especially in the field of new media should be on non-mobile learning environments in my opinion.