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grouchal
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« on: August 28, 2008, 11:23:13 AM »

I am researching for a blog post on the iPod Touch and iPhone and looking for any opinion on what it would be great to do on the devices.

These ideas need have no limits - but here are some questions that might help inspire.

How could a particular subject become more engaging?

How could the trickiest part of a subject become more engaging?

How could students be better supported outside of the classroom?

If you had the chance to put some interactive exercises or tuition in front of students when they were sat on the sofa or in another social situation - what would it be?

Hope this inspires some ideas!
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MAMK
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2008, 03:31:19 PM »

Dear Grouchal (Al),

You pose some interesting questions regarding the iPod Touch/iPhone platform (iPlatform) and education.  Let me give you my perspectives on the following questions from the perspetive of a researcher who uses both the iPod Touch and iPhone on a daily basis.  For the sake of brevity I will not go into details, but rather share some thoughts and highlight certain subjects and the applications I believe would address the questions you are posing.

Your questions:

How could a particular subject become more engaging [with the iPod Touch / iPhone] ?

Music Theory =  Karajan and Karajan Beginner
install the Karajan Beginner (free version) on your iPhone or iPod Touch and you will experience for yourself that "music theory" becomes more engaging.  This is a wonderful program to develop ear training and has fabulous reviews from music teachers.

Also, there are many program for Language Training applications available, but personally I would just pick up my iPhone and call a friend whom I could practice my target language with.  From this perspective the "killer-app" is the communication afforded by the mobile phone function of the iPhone.


How could the trickiest part of a subject become more engaging?


Regarding "Anatomy Instruction" Modality, Inc. offers several flash card applications based on the illustrations of Frank Netter.  These applications literally allow one to touch the illustraitons and highlight the anatomic structures with ones own finger.  This is definitely more "engaging" physically than using a mouse cursor and clicking a button or turning a page in a book.  So, to answer this question the tricky part in anatomy instruction is getting learners to get a feel for a 3D subject (like anatomy) and this iPlatform fits the bill. Touch/Flash cards!


How could students be better supported outside of the classroom?

This question is self-explanatory.  The iPhone or iPod Touch are mobile devices and can be used in many learning contexts outside of the classroom.  The iPhone or iPod Touch extends formal and informal learning to anywhere, anytime and also "Just-in-time" learning scenarios.  The difference with the iPlatform now is the emphasis on "Location-based" services which fit well into location based / contextual learning scenarios.

If you had the chance to put some interactive exercises or tuition in front of students when they were sat on the sofa or in another social situation - what would it be?

I would encourage my students to engage in " interactive exercises or tuition " while on their daily commute to school or when they feel inspired or moved to do so when socializing/communing with their peers. These devices are handheld and portable tools and can be used anywhere.  Students should be encouraged to use these tools as mutli-modal information and learning support devices.  Call up a friend (expert) on your iPhone if you have a question.  Fact check something quickly on Wikipedia.  Use an application suited to learning (practicing) a certain subject.  Keep abreast of any subject through RSS and use your e-mail as an information delivery point.  Business people use their Blackberry-like devices to keep informed and on top of the game, why can't students do the same for their own personal education!?

The beauty of the iPlatform for education is its human centered approach.  Apple has developed  a truly intuitive interface which makes using the internet (on a mobile basis) easier for  people.  With the ease of use comes increased usage and uptake for various reasons, including education.  Individually we use our iPods / iPhone in different ways to accomplish our personal learning goals.  The strength of the iPlatform is that it is fairly dynamic and can accommodate to many learning styles (including kinethetic learners)!

Just a few thoughts for the questions your posed.

Cheers.

mark
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 03:46:39 PM by MAMK » Logged

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Mark A.M. Kramer

University of Salzburg:
ICT&S Center for Advanced Studies and Research
Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse 18
5020 Salzburg, Austria / EU

Coordinates: www.mamk.net/mamk.htm
Skype: mamk-mobile
grouchal
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2008, 04:54:33 PM »

Thanks Mark - great responses and will need a bit more time to think through most of them - one thing I'd like to question is the point you made about the daily commute.

Data and feedback from our users says that they mostly use our driving theory test software on the sofa and in bed (along with on the loo). I am keen to really test the notion that putting educational content on mobile devices is about revising on buses and trains.

I have a post called Handy Education not Mobile Learning (http://blog.luziaresearch.com/mlearning/handy-education-not-mobile-learning) which says that putting educational content on mobile phones is more about convenience than it is about being mobile.

As you state that you use your iDevices daily, can you give some personal experience feedback about where you use them the most? Is it the commute or is it more mundane places - your desk, sofa and bed?

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grouchal
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2008, 05:06:02 PM »

OK Mark before you answer - I have just noticed your daily commute - so perhaps before you answer - I should point out that maybe you are not the average user!
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MAMK
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2008, 05:30:54 PM »

I routinely use my iPhone in bed just before I sleep.  I turn the brightness down on the screen (it can be overwhleming when the lights are off) and I read the news and sometimes watch a news video podcast (AC 360- CNN Politics) It is a relaxing way to wind down before sleeping.  I use my Nokia phone for mobile television if i want to watch BBC or AlJazeera in real-time

I rarely use my iDevices while in the loo and I find that this is not very hygenic.

I do use my iDevices when I am in a line (que/cue) or waiting for something that will happen shortly (i.e. I am waiting for water to boil and will refer to my iDevice. Or, I am waiting for a friend or wating for someone to do soemthing  (grab cash from an ATM) then I will use my iDevice briefly.

Also, I am out with family or friends and we want to find out th e name of a song that is playing or fact check something, or look up a schedule.

I could share more.

mamk
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Mark A.M. Kramer

University of Salzburg:
ICT&S Center for Advanced Studies and Research
Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse 18
5020 Salzburg, Austria / EU

Coordinates: www.mamk.net/mamk.htm
Skype: mamk-mobile
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