14/6 What Can You Learn from a Cell Phone?
|Category: Mobile Learning By editor at 09:55|
by Marc Prensky
Japanese students have long learned everything from business to cooking through "manga," graphic novels that are now becoming popular in the West as well. At a recent computer show, a Japanese company handed out a manga pamphlet (about its "middleware" software) that could easily be displayed one frame at a time on a cell phone—similar to the so-called "mobile manga" that has recently become a phenomenon in Japan (Karen Raugust 2004). It follows that in many cases, our mobile phones will be able to replace our textbooks, with the limited screen size of the phones being, in fact, a positive constraint that forces publishers to rethink their design and logic for maximum effectiveness, rather than just add pages.I sure love that development;)
In Japan, Masayasu Morita, working with ALC Press, evaluated the use of English language lessons formatted differently for computers and cell phones. He found that 90% of cell phone users were still accessing the lessons after 15 days, compared to only 50% of computer users (2003). Another Japanese company, Cerego, strongly supports using cell phones for learning. Outside of Asia, however, I have found that the number of people learning with cell phones or doing research on cell-phone-based learning is exceedingly small.Since I read about the Sony building site case in 2003 where they switched from PDA's back to cell phones, I can only subscribe to this. Do not use tools where people need to first understand how they work - this won't work. Use their daily tools which they already know inside out.
[...] Of course PDA-based research will be useful, but we will not be on the right track until educators begin thinking of using the computing and communication device currently in the students' pockets to support learning.
KAYWA - promo plug - has always believed in this paradigma, that's why our mobile blogging solution works on wml, xhtml, i-mode capable phones.
Despite what some may consider cell phones' limitations, our students are already inventing ways to use their phones to learn what they want to know. If educators are smart, we will figure out how to deliver our product in a way that fits into our students' digital lives—and their cell phones. Instead of wasting our energy fighting their preferred delivery system, we will be working to ensure that our students extract maximum understanding and benefit from the vast amounts of cell-phone-based learning of which they will, no doubt, soon take advantage.Educators, let's be smart;)
If any of you are reading this and you are interested to experiment with mobile learning, you could start with mobile KAYWA weblogs. Do not hesitate to contact me, if this is the case.