About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Elearning of the future: Mobile technology

I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but just did not have the time. As I commented on Michele Martin's blog

Each generation creates their own tools aside from their parents. 20 somethings have been using facebook and now others are catching up. Teens (of which I have two) are using mobile technology. My daughter was just lamenting that "Trackphone doesn't have any apps" (yes, she used apps which I am sure most 20 somethings don't use). "Can I get an itouch? They have cool apps." Did I mention that she is 13?

The media's new frenzy seems to be twitter. But many are overlooking the impact that mobile technology is having on our communication and access to information. One reason twitter is taking over is because the short messages are perfect for mobile phone access.

Ken Allen recently had a post about the impact of mobile technology on writing. Texting, in its various forms, is creeping into my student's papers. Will this mean that in the future writing conventions will include "i" and "u"? Perhaps. But the current state of truncated language in text messages do have a unique feature that will limit the extent of "texting language." Take a look at Ken's post. My initial observation is the "accented" language use. For example, my kids would never use "hiv." In fact, they would probably "translate" his title of "hiv u evr wundird wot it wiz lyk b4" as haf u evr 1Nderd wat it waz lIk B4." This leads to be believe texting will be more "regional" with some standard conventions internationally.

What does this mean for Elearning?

It would seem to me that the younger generation will use mobile technology as a means for not only communication but also learning and information sharing/gathering. However, it is likely this won't be in text form. Complex ideas will be difficult to convey in short textual spurts.

However, as my daughter pointed out, the new technology has powerful multi-media apps that will allow students to listen to lectures, watch video clips, and even post comments in a multi-media format (i.e. using a camera feature on the phone). It would appear that the current text based preference for communication among the younger generation will swing back to oral and visual communication for learning.

It is important that we begin to consider the ways we can integrate these new technologies into elearning, before it is too late. Michael Hanley has recognized this trend and posted a series of useful posts on using mobile technology for training. It is a good start. But we need to begin to recognize the importance of "place" of learning and how the portability of elearning technology will change access to education.


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora e Virginia!

I have always believed the adage 'necessity is the mother of invention'. Mobile txt character limitations and that of Twitter certainly are compelling when it comes to saying all that's wanted - I agree with you. It's not just that txt language is a cool way to write. It is mandatory in these media.

I recall when telegrams were popular, especially for greetings at weddings and special occasions. The constraint was more by cost than space for the sender was charged by the word. Poets had field days flexing their concise way of writing and with their ingenuity in creating new words and it caught on. Victor Hugo's famous telegram to his publisher, '?', when enquiring how sales were on his latest novel was matched only by the wit of the editor in reply, '!'.

Catchya later

V Yonkers said...

What I enjoyed about your post was the difference in accent that the texting demonstrated. I could almost hear the accent as I read what you wrote. And just like a spoken accent, it took me a while to decipher what you were "saying!"