Archive for Life

Mobile learning – my doubts and thoughts before experiencing the kindle book

In this post, I will explain my doubts about mobile learning and introduce my kindle book 🙂

On Dec 1st, we had a guest speaker in our Web 2.0 class, Sharon Boller, President, Bottom-Line Performance. I really enjoyed her presentation and some of the information was very helpful for me to understand companies point of views regarding using Web 2.0.

For instance, what is using a social networking site like in a company? Sharon explained Sun Microsystem built their own internal social networking site and worked well. Trust employees (users of the site) and build relationships.

The most important message in the presentation for me, is about MOBILE LEARNING! I agreed her comments completely: Not sure if mobile learning devices are ready. Not sure if people are ready for mobile learning! In fact, I was kind of feel relieved after knowing the fact that someone as a president of an instructional consulting company also has doubts about mobile learning, not only me.

Issue #1 Devices and browsers: If you’re going to use cellphones for mobile learning, you have to have same type of devices at least same brand for your employees because different cellphones use different type of browsers.

Issue #2: A small screen makes the content hard to read.  Sometimes people just want to use their cellphone for having conversations with friends, families, and business. It is like function fixedness in psychology.

Issue #3: Support or learning???  It is helpful when you have support from your mobile devices such as a GPS  system or a translation feature. But can you say you are learning when use these features or they just play a role to support your needs?

Issue #4: The controversial issue about whether people want to learn at anytime and anyplace. I think this is a very important issue. I remember Dr. Bonk presented one research on mobile learning: an international comparison one time. In the study, each Taiwanese owns 2+ cellphones but they have lowest rate of using mobile devices for learning. I think it doesn’t mean that Taiwanese don’t learn or don’t know how to use mobile devices. Maybe we just don’t want to learn anytime anyplace! Cellphones for social networking, talking, and communication are perfect. Why use it for learning?

P.S. My idea  about using cellphones for communicating among a group of people, videoconferencing calls. Now we have the smallest projectors for sell in U.K. already. http://techshoestring.blogspot.com/2008/11/small-pico-lcd-projector-opens-big.html

img_03742Okay. I have talked enough about my doubts of mobile learning – I don’t really think mobile learning can have an impact soon. However, I bought a kindle book recently (because on my way to Orlando AECT 2008, the person sitting next to me, owns a kindle and he demonstrated it to me. He also said he bought about 6 kindles for his families and they all love it! On my way home, he said hi to me again, on the same flight!! So I took it as a sign…. ) I really love this device (except the unfriendly price – I had to sell my wii)! I am not a big fan of doing everything electronically but this is awesome! It doesn’t look like a laptop monitor (doesn’t have a backlight – it just like paper) and you can change font sizes. It has a built-in dictionary. Easy to read! You can highlight things, and edit notes. Plus you don’t have to carry the heavy documents or books everywhere. Just wonderful! So I am definitely looking forward to the time when mobile learning is ready and becomes popular!

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The most Web 2.0 tools this year !?

It’s close to xmas, the end of the year. It’s time to review and think about the most “web 2.0” tools of this year! I learned something new and some of the web 2.0 changed my habits!

In the past 3 years (after I came here, studying at IU), ….

(1) I have been using wikipedia when I look for some basic information or look for extended reading from their lists of sources.

(2) I have been using blogs and reading my families and friends blogs! It almost seems that… you should update your blogs and your trip photos as one of your personal obligations.

This year, I start using Delicious and Stumble Upon. I did learn a lot of applications, but I can’t live without these two! Especially delicious.

(1) Delicious. What is delicious (social bookmarking site)?

picture-3For most of the time, I can easily search what I need and what I’ve seen before. I can share with friends. It is most for my personal uses so far. But I had experience of browsing others’ tags/ websites. Very interesting! Now, I have 529 bookmarks!

This is an image of my bookmarks…

(2) Stumble upon: Dr. Bonk mentioned this tool in his presentation in class. Bob shared with me his experience of using stumble upon after that class. It IS a wonderful tool for surfing the web.

Stumble upon: never surf alone…

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Alternate Reality Learning- educational gaming!

I am not a game person. The only game I really enjoy is probably Wii because it is not about violation and some kind of weird adventure. 🙂  I tried different relatively new online games in college. I hung out with friends there when they requested me to do so. We just sat around the camp fire, and talked about what happened at school. The server/ other hardware issue was always a problem. It took time. But it also created some sort of fresh feeling. Sometimes, because I know some friends’ avetar in the game, I feel knowing them more at school. We also created a group (by using our class name.. haha) and accomplished certain goals in the game.

That is such a wonderful memory! They helped me a lot in the game. I didn’t know how to do A LOT of things. Surprisingly, they were very very patient. 🙂 In short, that was a very unusual experience. After we graduated from the teacher education program, I know some friends keep playing online games as student teachers. And I know one or two of them meet their students (elementary school kids) on the game after class. That was very strange for me and for most of my classmates. It might be very inappropriate in our professor’s viewpoint (he didn’t know).

However, it would be a perfect cool example of integrating technology in teaching to motivate kids today on SECOND LIFE! I wonder what would happen if teachers/ professors in Taiwan started to use it or something similar because a very large number of male high school/ undergraduate students play online games.

I’ve seen my classmates in Informatics at IU demonstrate their avetars on Second Life. It was amazing. I was surprised to know how much connection they can build between this “third place” and the “reality” For instance, friends can hang out on Second Life and watch TV together. They can build their office and place an latest iMac on the desk. They can hold office hours on Second Life, and so on. It was even amazing when I know some teachers teach on Second life.

I think it is very cool. In the future, if I have a chance to try, I will do it ! My questions/concerns so far – (1) how do you get one university to install software on campus computers; (2) for the cognitive psychology point, would information overload when students try to “read” lectures, and textual chat at the same time.

google_livelyP.S. I just played Google Lively. This is like second life but easier to install and walk around. The space seems not connected. http://www.lively.com/catalog/ So far it only supports Windows PCs not Macs. (I was surprised to know Google is going to close this project (link to the google blog). And I wondered why. On the news, they only said they’re going to concentrate on users searching experiences.)

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About this blog

I just changed my blog theme. Pretty enjoyed talking to myself here. I started to keep my diary since I was a fifth grader. (Our teacher forced us to do so. She asked us to keep our diaries but also gave us options – whether giving the diary for her to read or not. Sometimes I wanted her to read, and most times I didn’t want others to know what I was thinking. 🙂 )

For this blog assignment, I have the similar dilemma here. I know educational blogs can have lots of different beneficial outcomes for students. Since I did my first blog assignment of R685 in Fall 2005 as weekly reflections, I decided to do something differently for this semester, I just took random notes and collected my thoughts or readings from my daily life regarding Web 2.0, which was not hard to do and interesting to see how my thoughts flow with the in class discussions/ readings and other things in research or teaching. I don’t have a blog partner except Jessica, who was making cool videos ! So this is more like talking to myself. And I love this! Sometimes I went back to previous posts and added things I learned recently to keep the conversation (with myself) flow~

I didn’t have a lot of opportunities talking to myself in the graduate program, in fact. (compared to my elementary school life, maybe) : )

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Messages you sent out to the world everyday

This is a video I found on Daniel Pink’s blog. In this digital era, everyone sends tons of messages everyday. Just think about how many emails, posts, and edits you’ve done a day. How many of them did make an influence of the world? It seems hard to deal with a lot of messages and still be careful about choosing words (be aware of it). Great mini movie below (5 mins).

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Things to offer to the world

I’ve been keeping several blogs OR SAY I’ve abandoned several blogs already. This is my Nth blog and I am going to give it a try and see what I can offer to the world everyday as a goal.

I feel like this is a super busy semester. Don’t know why. But I BELIEVE this is exciting although the mid-term is coming and I haven’t accomplished anything yet. I thought I spent enough time in summer working on my portfolio (sort of). Seems people wanted more from me.

Crazy/ complicated world. I need to STAY peaceful. At the end of everyday.

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