15th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2016), was held at the University of Technology in Sydney, 24 to 26 October. There were five parallel sessions in the MLearn2016 Program. The mLearn 2016 Proceedings are available as a PDF file. Here is a summary of my notes from the event:
Kevinwâsakâyâsiw Lewis, then talked about the teaching of teachers of indigenous languages in the University of Saskatchewan's Certificate in Indigenous Languages. Asked about the relevance of song in language learning, Kevin pointed out that chant and song enables the learner to stop worrying about how they pronounce. Also the repetition in the song helps learning, as well as being culturally significant. This reminded me of Dr McComas Taylor, at ANU's Teaching Sanskrit online with chanting.
The AGM of the International Association for Mobile Learning (IamLearn), was held in conjunction with the conference. Because I registered for the conference I received a year's membership. One initiative is that a new website will allow members to add content directly, rather than emailed to an officeholder who then puts it up. This is something other organizations might like to try
Professor John Traxler, University of Wolverhampton gave the last keynote on "The Role of Education in Identity Transformation and Acculturation". Professor Traxler challenged the assumption that m-learning (and education in general) was a culturally neutral boon for developing nations. Rather than telling us a canned answer, this was a presentation asking questions, which was refreshing.
Professor Traxler is concerned about a Western European view of education and technology being culturally imposed on others. However, this might also be a product of that culture.
Some of what USQ has done would be useful, more generally for students. For example, a problem with webinars is where students have inadvertent left their microphones turned on. I suggest that the off-line features could be built into Moodle and the Linux operating system, allowing the approach taken by USQ to be made available world-wide at no cost.
I suggest that university educators should follow the approach used by nurses and computer professionals in Australia to enhance their recognition of their profession. This could include draft policy for universities and government to require and recognize teaching qualifications of university academics. Also they could suggest changes to university ranking schemes to give teaching quality the same weighting as research output.
ReferencesKoole, M., & Ally, M. (2006, April). Framework for the rational analysis of mobile education (FRAME) model: Revising the ABCs of educational practices. In International Conference on Networking, International Conference on Systems and International Conference on Mobile Communications and Learning Technologies (ICNICONSMCL'06) (pp. 216-216). IEEE. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICNICONSMCL.2006.103
Townsend, P., Halsey, J. R., & Guenther, J. (2016). Mobile Learning Congruencies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Philosophies. In Publishing Higher Degree Research (pp. 25-32). SensePublishers. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-6300-672-9_3