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Monday, May 2, 2016

IAmLearn Newsletter - 2016 - 2


Special Edition - Meet the Team!

As part of the International Association for Mobile Learning (IAmLearn)'s efforts to increase engagement and keep members up-to-date on what's happening in the world of mobile learning research and practice, the IAmLearn Communications Committee engages a team of student contributors. We've just finalized arrangements with three team members from different regions to act as content contributors for the next year. They'll be collecting information and preparing pieces to post in our quarterly newsletters, and via our social media channels.

This supplementary edition of the IAmLearn Newsletter is being published to introduce the team members, and to let you know how you can contribute, as well. Also in this special edition, we have two reports for IAmLearn Secretary Dr. Jocelyn Wishart on mobile learning events that she has recently participated in.

Contents

Meet the Team Members
  • Executive Committee Members
  • Nicole (Nikki) Berezin
  • Song Yulin
  • Maria Aristeidou
In the News
  • IAmLearn at UNESCO MLW 2016
  • IADIS 2016
Getting Involved


Meet the Team Members


 Executive Committee Members

Aga Palalas: agaizabella@rogers.com
Rob Power: robpower@hotmail.com
IAmLearn's communications efforts are being spearheaded by Association President Dr. Aga Palalas and Communications Officer / Member-at-Large Dr. Rob Power. You can always reach out to either of us with questions, comments, or newsletter story ideas.

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Nicole (Nikki) Berezin

Nicole Berezin brings unquenchable curiosity and tenacity to collaborative teams in her work as an Instructional Designer. She spent the first 14 years of her career as a Job Coach and Training and Development Manager in companies supporting people with disabilities.  After facilitating far too many classes as a transmission focused talking head, she returned to school and dove into the digital ocean and is learning something new everyday.  Her experiences as a trainee, trainer and information consumer drive her to join teams that create innovative and interactive learning solutions.  She is currently working with Mathematics Faculty to build design skills and capacity into their subject expertise at Santa Fe Community College.  Nicole can be found anytime, anywhere on just about any device, exploring learning and evaluation within blended learning systems.  She is tapping skills she built during an amazing opportunity to work on a transnational team , Ghana, Canada, US to assist a Ghanaian University in creating a blended Physician Assistant Program. Her current goal involves collaborating on and creating an innovative, culturally responsive assessment tool to capture “ a snapshot”  and measurement of the learning that occurs in the systems we build.

You can reach Nicole at nberezin71@gmail.com.

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Song Yulin

Mrs. Song Yulin is an associate professor, head of English Department of International Law in College of Foreign Studies, Liaoning University, China, giving English courses to undergraduate English majors. Her research interests are mobile learning, especially mobile assisted language learning, mobile learning and intercultural communication. She has great interests of exploring mobile learning via social media in foreign language learning and intercultural communication. From September 2014 to September 2015, she was an academic visitor in University of Wolverhampton, UK, hosted by Professor John Traxler, doing research on mobile learning and intercultural communication. She is happy to work for the International Association for Mobile Learning and glad to help to link mobile learning in China to the world.

You can reach Song at lindersong@126.com.

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Maria Aristeidou

Maria Aristeidou is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Educational Technology of The Open University in the UK. Her main research interest focuses on the design and evaluation of engaging web-based and mobile learning technologies. In her doctoral research Maria concentrated on the engagement of citizens in online communities of scientific inquiries. She explored how to design, create and maintain online communities, how to monitor and enhance the participation within the community, and how to support informal science learning through web-based platforms and mobile applications.  Prior to joining The Open University, Maria obtained an MSc in Technology Education and Digital Systems and a BA in Education Science and Primary Education. Maria has been active in European and International associations and conferences for Technology-Enhanced Learning and she is excited to be able to contribute her expertise to the International Association for Mobile Learning.

You can reach Maria at maria.aristeidou@open.ac.uk.

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In the News

Dr. Jocelyn Wishart
IAmLearn's Executive Committee Secretary, Dr. Jocelyn Wishart, recently participated in the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week and the IADIS 2016 mobile learning, and shares her reflections on these events. 











IAmLearn at UNESCO MLW 2016

UNESCO World Headquarters in Paris, France
I was invited to represent IAmLearn at a plenary debate on ‘improving pedagogy and the relevance of mobile learning’ at UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2016 in Paris. The week itself opened with an international  webinar set up to debate the extent to which mobile technology can facilitate learning & strengthen the quality of education. Kicked off by IAmLearn founder Mike Sharples with examples of large scale mobile learning projects such as English in Action; the debate included presentations from over 20 other experts presenting from across the globe and including IAmLearn member Shawn Gross. You can watch the debate at www.effdebate.org/eff17 and read the associated conversations on Twitter under #EFF17. Following the webinar I travelled to Paris where the UNESCO building is sited almost next to the Eiffel tower.  Details of mobile learning week itself are at http://www.unesco.org/new/en/mlw and the Twitter contributions are tagged under #mlw2016.

The week was set out under three thematic tracks: making quality education a reality for all learners, improving pedagogy and the relevance of learning and enhancing management, planning and evaluation.  There were usually four sessions running in parallel so I was only able to capture a small part of the rich variety amongst the sessions however, the range of international contributions in this variety clearly emphasized the global potential for mobile learning opportunities.  At times I was concerned that too many people were including classroom based e-learning delivered via tablets however, at others, I had my breath taken away by the sheer scale of some of the out of class literacy and language learning initiatives or the way in which colleagues are using mobile technologies to enhance context relevant creative and authentic learning opportunities.

Interest in, and sustainability for, mobile learning was evident throughout. UNESCO support is steered by last year’s Qingdao Declaration on ICT and Post-2015 Education. The declaration includes the statement that to achieve UNESCO’s goal of inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning by 2030, ICT – including mobile learning – must be harnessed to strengthen education systems, knowledge dissemination, information access, quality and effective learning, and more efficient service provision. Clearly the future is mobile and whilst I was able to meet up with IAmlearn members including Trish Andrews, Eliot Soloway, Cathie Norris and Nilgun Keskin as well as Shawn Gross, IAmLearn itself could have done with a more central presence. The fact that there is no registration charge for MLW means it attracts an excellent range of presenters and delegates.

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IADIS 2016

Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal
The IADIS 2016 mobile learning conference took place on 9-11 April in a well appointed hotel in the outskirts of Vilamoura in the Algarve on the South coast of Portugal. This is a small international conference, 12th in the series, run by the International Association for the Development of the Information Society (IADIS) and co-located with the 14th edition of the International Conference on e-Society and the 9th IADIS International Conference on Information Systems.

The conference addresses society on the move as well as mobile learning via handheld devices and opened with a keynote on virtual, creative intelligent agents or 'cyber-companions' and their potential use to supporting knowledge sharing and learning in cyber-social setting from Andreas Dengel of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Highlights of the other presentations on Day One included Bente Meyer's focus on observing classroom spaces and finding that children using handheld tablets work in more flexible, personalized and diverse ways, Matthias Teine explaining how bite-sized learning units can be structured in a thoughtful way for the elderly new to using iPads and smartphones, Michele Notari showing how students wearing wristbands that monitor health and fitness developed their eHealth literacy and, last but not least a lively tutorial workshop on ethical considerations in mobile learning. More details at http://mlearning-conf.org/ or by looking up the Twitter hashtag #ML2016.

On Day Two highlights included two presentations by IAmLearn members with Willy Fahlman calling on leaders in the Canadian healthcare system to get involved to ensure the successes seen in work-based mobile learning for nurses and to address the organizational contextual factors including policy and support systems necessary to make this mode of learning sustainable and Dave Parsons reporting that, while teachers in New Zealand and their students using mobile devices in schools are frequently engaged in activities that utilize a range of mobile learning affordances, they tend to focus on simple, supplementary activities such as taking photographs and making videos. Oh... and a memorable boat trip in the setting sun to a local fish restaurant.

Day Three concluded the conference with more reflections on and ways forward for new tools and devices to support mobile learning including smart watches, augmented reality (Jose Miguel Mota and colleagues from the University of Cadiz won best paper for their report on their new app VEDILS that allows engineering students to see 2D technical drawings in 3 dimensions) and pedagogical strategies for using mobile devices inside and outside the classroom.

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Getting Involved

Contributing to the IAmLearn Newsletter

Do you have an upcoming event, research study, posting, or a story about something happening in the mobile learning world that you would like to share through our newsletter? Have you participated in a recent podcast or vodcast that might interest our members? Share your ideas and resources by getting in touch with Rob Power (robpower@hotmail.com) or with any of the team members.

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