Friday, 3 April 2015

Mobile Learning Boot Camp

Twitter provides me with many benefits, one of which is a forecast of events that are taking place that I might be be interested in. Several days ago I picked up Tweet from @James Clay, who was conducting a Mobile Learning Boot Camp. One email later and I was buying my train ticket to Gloucester. I was a little reticent over attending the event as I work in neither HE, FE nor a work-based learning provider; I do however work for an organisation that delivers an incredible amount of training due to compliance and regulatory driven needs. Upon arrival at the College my rather tenuous attendance was greatly reinforced by seeing a National Skills Academy Nuclear plaque on the wall in the foyer…

what better justification behind attending (at least that’s what I convinced myself).

The day kicked off with James explaining that we would be looking at some current and emerging mobile technologies, before creating some content for ourselves. He even offered a tour of the college to view the approach that they had taken to implementing learning technologies. We then went on to review a whole host of mobile technologies. Of particular interest to me was an application called audioBoo and Posterous. I hope to introduce these free tools to my organisation as a small step towards implementing podcasting and blog. My first attempt at an audioBoo can be heard here.

I hadn’t expected to be asked to create my own content during the day, so I hurriedly decided to put together a short movie using my Flip HD camera that I would then push out to my colleagues via YouTube in the hope that it might spark their interest in using mobile technologies to enhance the learning events they deliver. The whole movie took approx 10 minutes to film and put together and probably the same time again to upload and publish. All from a network and Flip camera – very mobile!

Whilst the ‘technical’ side of the day was extremely useful, for me the overall impression  that the day left me with was one of concern over how disconnected my organisation is in terms of utilising technology (let alone mobile technology) for learning activities. This concern has led me to commit to the following when I return to work next week:

Provide feedback to relevant personnel as to the ‘disconnect’ that people would experience when leaving a college such as Gloucester and entering our workplace, in specific relation to the learning tools/materials/environment that are (un)available.Liaise with our IT Department as my organisation will shortly be purchasing new phone handsets for all employees and I hope to be able to convince them to consider additional functionality beyond just ‘making calls’.Push the YouTube video (above) out to our internal Learning Facilitators in the hope that they will consider a greater use of technology (mobile or otherwise) within their learning events.Investigate and promote the use of QR codes around my organisation.

All in all, another great learning experience which will undoubtedly add to my effectiveness within my new role as a Learning Technologist and once again… Cheers James!

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