I recently viewed an Ustream production and the topic of the Red Balloon project came up. I admit I never heard of it and, if I had been in the room, I would have my iPhone out and I would be googling and listening to the speaker. Instead I googled on my laptop!
“ The Red Balloon contest serves as a metaphor for the newly-networked world. This new way of generating, aggregating and disseminating information has profound implications for higher education. It challenges long-held practices of teaching and learning, institutional organization and structure, and the very notion of expertise. The Red Balloon contest also serves as an analogy for how a community of higher education institutions and their national association can work together to promote and support change in higher education.” http://www.aascu.org/programs/redballoon/
As part of my course on mLearning for the University of Manitoba certification in Emerging Technologies, our class designed a survey with Survey Monkey on the future of mobile learning and we received 153 responses. It was distributed through a range of networks representing our own personal educational networks (mine was via a group of 12 graduate students in education via a local university and via a Ning site, Learning Town). We were then asked as part of the course to create a blog entry on results. You can view the PDF of the survey and results on my Slideshare site.
As I reviewed the survey results below, I could not but help thinking that those adapting to the technology of the 21st century are launching more weather balloons and will challenge in the fortress of the status quo. But the results also show that much work needs to be done in creating awareness o f the potential of the mobile device. For more on the Red Balloon Project see We Have a Winner and Introduction to the Red Balloon Project. You can view the PDF of the major project study (The Red Balloon Project: Re-Imagining Undergraduate Education) at the same Slideshare site.
1. When asked “Do you currently use mobile learning device(s) in your formal education or institutional training setting?” 152 answered the question and 55% said yes. However, when we drilled down into that issue, the majority, 81 respondents, skipped the questions. They skipped over telling us the type of device, utilization rate, type of content, current use. When asked about usage of apps2/3 skipped the question. And when asked what type of device they personally used, a third skipped the question.
My conclusion- Too many respondents did not take this seriously. How can the majority say use mobile devices but are unable to provide detail into the device? And at the same time, respondents listed the standards reasons for successful application to learning: multiple features in one device, better engagement with learners, immediate ability to connect to a server.
2. Nearly 87% believe they will play an important role in the future of learning in K-12. However, the top suitable uses cited were all transactional, not classroom instruction: accessing lecture note, conducting polls, completing forms . With the exception of conducting polls, the bulk of the activity cited can be done with a laptop. And 41 percent will utilize email or texting in their formal learning
-Respondents appear to be thinking as a sage on the stage, as a teacher in the traditional sense. In today tech savvy word, traditional ways of the data dump may no longer satisfy a generation of digital natives has rendered traditional learning obsolete.
- A significant amount of change management must be brought to the table, especially an awareness campaign to educate instructions in the classroom applications of mlearning. Please se my earlier blog entries, Three Significant Challenges to Introducing Mobile Learning to a University Campus
3. Significant percentages see the future in college classroom, high schools, online training. But only 32% see a significant growth in elementary schools. I don’t agree. Young kids today play games on their parent’s smart phone and the like. We as educators have to get as smart as our kids!