Monday, April 27, 2009

Mobile Learning: A Symposium / May 1, 2009 / University of Manitoba

Mobile Learning: A Symposium / May 1, 2009
St. Paul's College, University of Manitoba

Globally, mobile phones now outnumber computers by a ratio of 3:1. Recent innovations with smart phones – the Blackberry and iPhone – suggest the revolution has only just begun. Mobile devices now marry the power of the personal computer with the convenience and mobility of the cellphone. Emailing, web browsing, multimedia data gathering, social networking, location awareness, text messaging, and gaming are all possible on a mobile device.

Other devices, such as netbooks, ipods and Amazon’s Kindle, provide new opportunities for mobile computing. How do mobile technologies impact education? What can educators do to take advantage of the powerful computing devices most students carry in their pockets? This symposium will explore the educational impact of mobile devices, drawing on examples of successful educational implementations and case studies.


8:00 - 9:00 / Registration and Breakfast

9:00 - 9:45

Keynote: The Diminishing Relevance of Place

George Siemens, Associate Director, Research and Development with the Learning Technologies Centre at University of Manitoba ; Founder and President of Complexive Systems Inc.

How important is “place” in networked learning? The internet, netbooks, and mobile phones answer with “not very important at all.” Activities that only a few decades ago required physical presence – such as banking or purchasing a book – are now accessible without concern for the location of the individual. Mobile phones have far greater penetration than computers.

Many students now carry in their pockets computing devices more powerful than the desktop computers of only a decade ago. Information is at the fingertips of these students. What are the implications of the diminishing relevance of place for education? How can educators take advantage of mobile devices in improving learning, research, and interaction? This session will explore how mobile phones influence how people interact with each other and with information.

Emphasis will be placed on:

The educational implications of perpetual connectivity to information and peers

Suggestions for educators in incorporating mobiles into current teaching practices

Potential systemic impact of mobile learning

9:45 - 10:15

From the Ultimate Mobile Device to Ultimately Mobile: Libraries and Mobile Services

Karen Hunt and Richard Jones

You can carry it in your pocket, you can use it in your bath, you can write notes on it and share it with your friends. Libraries already provide access to (mobile) books, but how are we adapting to new devices and modes? From text messaging help services, podcasting, hear how libraries are adapting, thriving and the distances yet to travel. We’ll also report on a new service at the University of Manitoba Libraries to lend notebook computers to students.

10:15 - 10:45 / Refreshment Break

10:45 - 11:30

The Evolution of Wireless

Mansell Nelson, VP Business Product Management, Rogers Wireless / Bruce Dagge, Apple Inc.

Hi-speed mobile Internet access is quickly becoming broadly available, empowering the ability of both students and educators to communicate, collaborate, and research online. As wireless network speeds accelerate beyond Third Generation (3G) levels, mobile Internet-ready laptops and powerful smartphones are now offering connectivity and application options beyond the boundaries of WiFi hotspots and wired desktops.

This session will explore the evolution of wireless network and mobile device capabilities and profile mobile usage trends.

11:30 - 12:00

Hands on session: Explore an array of mobile devices: netbooks, Kindle, iPhones, and others

12:00 - 1:00 / Lunch, Daily Bread Cafe

1:00 - 1:45

Are We Ready for Mobile Technologies and Their Impact on Pedagogy, Tool Development, and Assessment?

Thomas C. Laughner, Director, Educational Technology Services, Smith College / J. Scott Payne, Director of Academic Technology Services, Amherst College

The promise of mobile learning has recently attracted a great deal of attention among educational technologists. Numerous institutions have begun using a range of mobile technologies to support anytime, anywhere learning; however, the impact of the mobile web has been limited.

In this presentation, we will argue that the capabilities of the iPhone and iPod touch and emerging data on adoption rates of these devices may herald a shift in how students access information and instructional tools and interact with instructors and peers. We will discuss potential implications for pedagogy, tool development, and assessment.

1:45 - 2:15

Location Awareness and Data Gathering

Dr. Shirley Thompson, Sonesinh Keobouasone, and Larry Laliberty

Attaching photos or videos to a map is an excellent visual way to show both the pictures and where they were shot. Photos and videos from a camera phone or other camera can be geotaged to map with shared online photo albums, such as Flickr, Buzznet, or YouTube. A geotag from a geographic positioning system (GPS) allows the software to know where the pictures were taken and post them on a map at their exact geographic locations.

We will show you examples of photo journeys and explain how to save the track on the GPS unit, upload it to your computer, import the information into the geotagging software, import the photographs from the camera, find a digital mapping software, match all these components, and start all over the next time you want to attach photos on a map. As well, we will demonstrate how a phone or camera with a built-in GPS can upload a location-marked picture to Flickr, to automatically post the photo onto a map.

2:15 - 2:45 /
Refreshment Break

2:45 - 3:15

Introduction of Cell Phone Technology in Open and Distance Learning of English: a Case Study

Irene Parvin, Assistant Professor of English, School of Education, Bangladesh Open University

Bangladesh Open University is offering formal as well as non formal programmes for different level of target groups through distance mode and it is providing tutorial support, printed text materials and audio-video programmes which is broadcasted through mass media. BOU currently delivers pre-recorded non-interactive TV programs for its lectures.

The effort of the Bangladesh Virtual Interactive Classroom is to test a method that would make these pre-recorded lessons interactive. They will also get feedback from the teacher using mobile. In any time of the day they can send SMS to the teacher and they will get feedback through SMS.

In VIC approach another concept is Learning Partner (LP) who will give support to each other outside the tutorial session also. This new method is introducing participatory approach in open and distance learning and introducing two way communications, which is reducing the gap of teacher and learner in distance education.

3:15 - 3:45

Theme: Future Trends: A multi-institutional panel

George Siemens (Moderator)

Paul Little, Dean, School of Learning Technologies, RRC / John Anchan, Executive Director, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology, University of Winnipeg



$75 / $ 40 (Student) [includes breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks]

Registration is limited to 100 people.


Co-organized by the Learning Technologies Centre, Libraries, Learning Assistance Centre, Information Services and Technology, and Extended Education, University of Manitoba




  1. Extremely interesting agenda! Are you planning to make any of the presentations available one way or another for us unlucky guys who live far far away from the event? It would be just awesome to be able to follow the discussion live. Have you considered Bambuser for example? A great way to stream live to the web from your cell phone! :-) Read more:

    Thanks for a great blog!


  2. Yes, or at the least maybe some people will live blog the sessions....

  3. I would also be interested in attending some online sessions!

  4. I would also like to attending some online sessions.




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