Some new definitions of "m-learning"


Chris Dede of the Harvard Graduate School of Education explores some new definitions of “m-learning” in his paper presented at the mLearn 2012 conference in Helsinki, October 14 2012:

…m-Learning = multimedia learning

Multimedia for teaching and learning is also not a new concept, nor does it apply exclusively to mobile learning.  The use of video for microteaching and broad instructional delivery has been common practice for many years in teacher training programs in developed and developing countries. Now, mobile, digital recording devices and portable projectors have made this method more accessible to teachers and teacher trainers in developing countries. Short video and audio can be transferred via mobile data networks, or transferred manually between feature phones further increasing the possibilities for effectively using video for individual and peer learning…

Read the full article in Educational Technology Debate >>

Image by | Educational Technology Debate under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license


Criticisms of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

Via | EdTechDev

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have become a recent trend in open online education. Some people could be tempted to start talking of them as a new hype. Instead of that, we present a more constructive approach, a EdTechDev post that shows us a sampling of some of the criticisms of MOOCs.

What’s the “problem” with MOOCs? In case the quotes didn’t clue you in, this post doesn’t argue against massive open online courses (MOOCs) such as the ones offered by Udacity, Coursera, and edX.  I think they are very worthy ventures and will serve to progress our system of higher education. I do however agree with some criticisms of these courses, and that there is room for much more progress.  I propose an alternative model for such massive open online learning experiences, or MOOLEs, that focuses on solving “problems,” but first, here’s a sampling of some of the criticisms of MOOCs.

Read the full Article at EdTechDev >>

Evaluation of the OLPC Program in Perú (Una Laptop por niño)

Information via Inter-American Development Bank


The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is conducting a multi-year randomized evaluation of the impact of the OLPC project in Peru – the first rigorous attempt to examine the impact of the largest “1-to-1 computing” initiative in a developing country. Building on their initial report in 2010, they built a second report (in December 2011), that examined the academic achievement and impacts on cognitive skills that XO laptops facilitated in a 15-month randomized control trial with 21,000 students in 319 schools.


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Flipping Corporate Learning (By Jay Cross)

This article was published by Jay Cross in the Internet Time Blog under a CreativeCommons BY-NC-SA 2.5 License

Learning with Khan Academy

Flipping learning is big in education. It will be big in corporate learning. Let’s not blow it.


Flipping makes a ton a sense. The learner can watch the mini-lectures when it’s convenient to do so. The learner controls the pace by pausing, replaying, or fast-forwarding. In all likelihood, the presentation by the enthusiastic Salmaan Khan or a popular Stanford prof is going to be more engaging than your local school teacher or grad student teaching assistant. The video can provide content in small, digestible pieces. Once it’s in the can, the video can be replayed again and again. And of course, video delivered online scales without an increase in cost.

More important for learning outcomes, the time spent in class can be put to more productive use. Learners convene to get answers to questions, discuss examples, put what they’ve learned in context, debate, explore, and extend their knowledge. Instead of passively listening to an instructor, they actively engage the material. Instructors, freed of the need to mouth the words of lessons, focus on helping learners understand things and coaching individuals. These activities can take place online, and people can learn from one another in virtual communities and support groups.


When times were tough, training departments slashed budgets by replacing face-to-face instruction with online reading. They failed to follow through with the discussions, practice, social processing, and reinforcement that makes lessons stick. It didn’t work. Most eLearning is ineffective drudgery.

That’s my nightmare about flipping learning in the corporation, that organizations will once again confuse exposure to content with learning. It’s great to replace lectures with video clips — IF you retain the opportunity for people to ask questions, interact with the material, practice what they’ve learned, collaborate with others, and periodically refresh their memories. This takes a sound learning ecosystem, a workscape.


Read the full article >>


Photo by | mark242 under a CreativeCommons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 License

A process that may fundamentally redefine the credentials that validate higher learning

Original article by Kevin carey in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Image © Chronicle of Higher Education

[…] Mozilla, a nonprofit organization built around the ethos of the open Internet, created the popular Firefox Web browser, which anyone can download, free. Along with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla is sponsoring a competition for the development of digital “open badges.” The first winners were announced last month, and one of them was the UC-Davis sustainable-agriculture program.

What is a digital badge, exactly? The MacArthur foundation says it’s “a validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, quality or interest,” which calls to mind the colorful pieces of cloth that Girl Scouts sew onto their sashes. But that’s a simplification that borders on meaninglessness. The winning Davis entry describes something far more sophisticated and important.

[…] The badge system, moreover, isn’t just a transcript, CV, and work portfolio rolled together into a cool digital package. It’s also a way to structure the process of education itself. Students will be able to customize learning goals within the larger curricular framework, integrate continuing peer and faculty feedback about their progress toward achieving those goals, and tailor the way badges and the metadata within them are displayed to the outside world. Students won’t just earn badges—they’ll build them, in an act of continuous learning.

Read the full article >>

The Teacher's Guide to Project-based Learning

Recently we came across an interesting publication on the design of projects for students to ehance their learning experiences.

The work is described by the authors as:

“A guide on how to design and run projects for students that begin with an enquiry and end with a tangible, publicly exhibited product. This guide has grown out of the partnership between High Tech High, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Innovation Unit!”



Document authors: Learning Futures & High Tech High. Published by Paul Hamlyn Foundation under a CreativeCommons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported  License

Horizon Report 2012: Higher Ed. Edition – List of Technologies

Horizon Report 2012

Reading NMC’s (The New Media Consortium) information, we find out that the Horizon Report 2012: Higher Education Edition advisory board identified and narrowed to six the technologies to be in the final publication of the report. The original list included 12 technologies:

Cloud Computing, Mobile Apps,  Social Reading,  Tablet Computing, Adaptive Learning Environments, Augmented Reality, Game-Based Learning, Learning Analytics, Digital Identity, Gesture-Based Computing, Haptic Interfaces and Internet of Things.

Now, mobile apps and tablet computing are considered as technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. Game-based learning and learning analytics are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; gesture-based computing and the “Internet of Things” are seen to be emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.

For detailed information on the state-of-the-art of the report, you can visit the Horizon Report 2012 Higher Education Edition Wiki

Documents (Horizon Report Wiki)


Image by The New Media Consortiun (NMC) under a CreativeCommons License CC-BY 3.0

IXL – Increasing children's motivation in learning maths

Mayh Learning
Image © 2012 IXL Learning

This tool: IXL is used in more than 150 countries to motivate students and turn maths learning into an engaging experience. The tool gamificates the whole math learning process by introducing videogame-like dynamics, and  allowing students to earn prizes and badges when mastering certain skills.

The tool also gives the teachers options to monitorize  and record the performance of the stundents and receive their feedback.

The service is not free, but it offers a 30-day free trial. So if you are interested You can try it!

Website |


MIT’s Free Courses: a Threat (and Improvement) for the Traditional Model

In The Chronicle of Higher Education

The recent announcement that Massachusetts Institute of Technology would give certificates around free online course materials has fueled further debate about whether employers may soon welcome new kinds of low-cost credentials. Questions remain about how MIT’s new service will work, and what it means for traditional college programs.

[…] The Chronicle posed some of those questions to two leaders of the new project: L. Rafael Reif, MIT’s provost, and Anant Agarwal, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. They stressed that the new project, called MITx, will be run separately from the institute’s longstanding effort to put materials from its traditional courses online. That project, called OpenCourseWare, will continue just as before, while MITx will focus on creating new courses designed to be delivered entirely online. All MITx materials will be free, but those who want a certificate after passing a series of online tests will have to pay a “modest fee.”

Read the full article >>


Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities

The London School of Economics and Political Sciences‘ Public Policy Group and their school’s  Impact of Social Sciences blog have posted a complete guide that explains the basics on how to use Twitter as an academic/teaching/research tool:

Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities:
A guide for academics and researchers

They give us in this guide an overview of  the terminology used  in this tool and the different styles of tweeting, along with many other hints and tips. Worth reading indeed!

Link to the Guide (PDF, 1,3 MB) >>


Information via | The Chronicle of Higher Education