There are a lot of new technologies developing at a fast pace. Just in a couple of years technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have become mainstream.
It’s hard to know for sure, but we can at least try to predict something based on the knowledge and insights of futurists and other experts of mobile learning. At the moment, these are the technologies and mindsets I find the most intriguing in the field of education:
- Cloud Computing
- Location-Based Adaptive Mobile Learning
- The Development of Indoor Environments
- Gamification of Learning
According to Knut-Arne Futsæter, 99 % of the Norwegian population between the age of 12 and 49 have their own smartphone (2017). My viewpoint is that of a teacher in secondary school, and I can see that all the kids have a smartphone these days. Not everyone has a PC, but they all have a modern (and quite expensive) phone.
An ever increasing number tangible and connected devices are being developed. I believe that the AR-technology and wearables, smartwatches being one, Google Glass being another will eventually make a significant impact on how mobile learning develops.
Nowadays, everybody owns a smartphone (Futsæter, 2017) (and quite a few some kind of smartwatch). The rapid evolution and ever-evolving possibilities of cloud computing make the team working, collaboration learning, and information gathering/sharing easier. In Oslo, all the pupils in grammar school, secondary school, and high school have
their own Sharepoint account and access to Office 365. Many schools use Google docs and services such as Dropbox as well. Even the LMS (Its Learning) is on its way with more integrated systems for collaboration.
Location-Based Adaptive Mobile Learning
I believe that the development of wearables and location-based technologies will influence education a lot in the next decade(s).
Mobile phones are becoming context-aware, with GPS, positioning, recognition of objects by infrared or wireless tags, and automatic interpretation of images.Sharples, 2010, p. 4
The same applies to the evolution of smartwatches and other mobile devices. Schools will, in the future, hopefully take advantage of this and use such technologies to make education more motivating, social, democratic, and give room for deeper learning.
The development of Indoor environments
The fact that almost every modern smartphone can show the user an AR environment makes room for endless options for developing exciting indoor environments.
Gamification of learning
I believe schools will try to use elements from games to make education more fun, and hopefully, not only points, badges, and leaderboards. However, those are the easiest to implement. Ideally, gamification also includes exciting and meaningful choices (Deterding, 2012, p. 14).
“Gamification” is the use of game design elements in non-game contextsDeterding, Dixon, Khaled & Nacke, 2011, p. 10
Mobile learning course
If I were to plan a mobile learning course, I’d love to use location-based technologies and AR if possible. It would be exciting to use some of the modern web technologies to make the learning material interactive (Web 2.0, 3.0, and even 0.x).
It’s not possible to guarantee knowledge acquisition and student engagement. But it is possible to plan for such a thing to occur. Depending on how much time the students have to study my course, I would try to implement most of the following aspects:
- Location-based technologies
- Argumented Reality
- Interactive Web
- Photo, video, sound
- Social learning and constructivism
- Motivation (Autonomy)
Here is an example of how modern and optimized tools for knowledge acquisition and student engagement can be used in education:
Stolpersteine (snublesteiner) (Jødisk Museum Oslo, n.d.)
The students watch short videos with some background information and instructions
on what to do.
The students explore the city (in groups, 3-5) equipped with mobile devices (AR, wireless connection, Bluetooth, haptic). The use of AR combined with haptic signals and the ability to offer location-based and contextual information: Who lived here, everyday life, a peek inside the apartment, how did they end their life, the fate of the Jews in Norway, and so on.
The students participate in a information-sharing session or debate using web conferencing software such as Skype, Adobe Connect, FaceTime.
The students make a video presentation of an important aspect. They decide what sources to use (digital literacy). Podcasting, blogging, vlogging, making youtube-videos, and so on. Most of the new mobile phones are almost full-fledged movie studios. This approach can, of course, also be of use with a lot of other historical events.
And how about some AR technology (or even low-tech QR-codes combined with more high-tech webpages) making excursions to geological sites more interesting? And, of course, with Web 2.0, 3.0 (and 0.x) these interactions can get more interactive and motivating for the students.
- Deterding, S. (2012). Gamification: Designing for Motivation. Interactions, 19(4), 14. https://doi.org/
- Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., & Nacke, L. (2011). From Game Design Elements to Gamefulness: Defining «Gamification». I MindTrek ’11 Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments (s. 9–15). https://doi.org/
- Futsæter, Knut-Arne (2017, 2. januar). Nå har 99 prosent av alle mellom 12 og 49 år en smarttelefon.
- Medier24. Hentet fra Nå har 99 prosent av alle mellom 12 og 49 år en smarttelefon – Medier24.noJunghare, U. S., Thakare, V. M., & Dharaskar, R. V. (2011). Review based comparative study of visualization techniques for learning on mobile devices. BIOINFO Optimization Theory and Applications, 1(1).
- Jødisk Museum Oslo (n.d.). Om snublesteiner. Snublesteiner. Hentet fra Snublesteiner.no Sharples, M. (2010). Education in the wild: contextual and location-based mobile learning in action(p.4-6). Stellar Alpine Rendez-Vous workshop. https://doi.org/ISBN 9780853582649