The Carnival host Jamie Wells who posts at mobilestance.com, does a clever take on the GoldenSwamp “How to cheat” bit. Wells writes: Judy at the GoldenSwamp uses an instructional video to make an interesting case against banning mobiles in schools. File this under “Another Reason Why Carbonated Beverages and Education Don’t Mix.”
This video is the best argument I have ever seen against the schools that forbid students to have digital devices with them in class, because the school thinks the kids will cheat. Hey, a Coke bottle works too. Yes, I know the other argument against letting students have mobile phones and other handhelds in class is that they will create distraction and disturbances. Just like cheating, unless students are convinced it is wrong to disrupt class they are going to find a way to do it. Disciplining kids is an age-old problem. The mobile in their pockets today is a brand new and awesome opportunity to put them in touch with knowledge.
If you run through this slide show by my friend Rudy de Waele, you will realize when you are done that you are generally updated on one of the most important subjects for the future of communication. Education simply MUST focus on what is happening in mobile for the sake of the new generation worldwide. Rudy’s slides provide key facts and touch points for action. Each of these is something builders of future learning should both know and act upon.
Rudy is a leader in the “mobilist” community, which are people who are active in devices, networks, sales, and content for what have been called cellphones, but are now generally and globally known as mobiles. A writer, speaker, and thought leader in mobile, Rudy de Waele is based in Barcelona, Spain and blogs at m-Trends.org. When it comes to where mobile is and where it is headed Rudy knows what he is talking about and presents what he knows with clarity and authority.
Today I have added a new posting category in GoldenSwamp because I have realized that a new phase is underway in the emergence of open resources (OER) for learning: once educational resources are online they must be optimized for search engine. The reason this is necessary is simple: nobody is going to use the open resources to learn if they can’t find them.
For the past decade, as the Internet has emerged and various sectors such as commerce, media, arts, and government have shaped the connecting world to their purposes. The education sector has essentially failed to do that. Educators have complained that the Internet is bad for learning because it is hard to find the best stuff. But education has not focused on making its best stuff findable!
This week I am attending Search Engine Strategies 2008 Conference & Expo in New York City. On Friday, after the close of program, I am taking a full day of search engine optimization (SEO) training, led by some of the conference speakers. I will be posting about SEO for OER in coming weeks and months. These are some of the SES2008 session topics. As you read them, I think you will realized that educators can use what these sessions describe to optimize education resources so they are found and used:
Tips for Delivering Great Results with Live Search
Landing Page Testing & Tuning
Successful Tactics for Social Media Optimization (SMO)
Searcher Behavior Research Update
Beyond Linkbait: Getting Authoritative Online Mentions
Although I hesitated on a very busy day to commit to 15-minutes to listen to George Siemens’ new presentation “A world without courses,” I am thrilled that I did so. Although I am not sure he completely realizes it, I think he has answered the puzzle of how accreditation will occur in the new education that is emerging.
Putting it in the metaphor of the GoldenSwamp – - the swamp of the Internet that if full of the gold of knowledge for learning — how would accreditation for learning emerge from the perplexing messiness of the open Internet? Siemens mentions that the answer might be in what happens at eBay. Of course! Quality of merchandise, sellers and buyers emerges to gain respect and reputation. That, exactly, is accreditation, which Webster’s defines as: 1 : to put (as by common consent) into a reputable or outstanding category : consider, recognize, or acclaim as rightfully.
My guess is that it will not be online testing that will create what future applicants present to prospective employers as proof they are reputable or outstanding. Instead the facility of network platforms to accredit — as has been very powerful in eBay — will be harnessed to report grades of qualification for advanced study, employment, and professional competence.
This insight into molelecular evolution, from the text in the above illustration, may explain the core obstacle that has kept estalished education from embracing the connective world of the Internet:
[we have been] using the tree to model reality. However, the actual evolutionary history may not be particularly tree-like, in which case analyses that assume a tree may be seriously misleading. Molecular Evolution
Hierarchies, which are trees, have dominated curricula, standards and grade levels for decades. Subject matter students should be learning is seldom if ever tree-like. The true structure of cognitive knowledge, like the reality it conveys, is a network. Education is overdue in using the network structure of the open Internet to interface knowledge, continuing to risk misleading learning by attaching pedagogical trees to the new connective world of information.
When I read the vision excerpted below I was reminded of the day in 2001 that I first heard of the MIT vision to open their courseware online. These are BIG IDEAS and predict real change. I recommend to you the several pages at ACU in which they set out their rationale and sketch their plans. This is their introduction:
As a university, ACU has invested much energy considering emerging trends in education. We’ve done this because our ongoing goal to help prepare our students to be critical thinkers, knowledgeable professionals, and responsible citizens calls for continual reevaluation of almost everything that happens in and out of the classroom – even a reevaluation of what constitutes the classroom itself.
In the spring of 2007, a group of educators, technologists, and administrators at ACU crystallized these ongoing discussions, producing a case for a new emphasis on mobile learning based on ubiquitous information access through powerful, portable, converged devices. Made possible by the broad capabilities offered by a new generation of these devices, we see the future of the university coalescing around the new opportunities that mLearning is bringing.