Mobile & Open Education
Mobile and Open Education (ETEC 565M) was an experimental course that plunged into the deep end of emerging mobile culture and open learning technologies. Primarily completed through the use of various mobile devices, the course brought to bare issues that readily affect mobile learning on-the-go. In response to rapid movement in mobile trends my cohort was charged with the task of continually collecting, curating, rating, reviewing, and co-authoring new entries that highlighted emergent issues.
Linking EdTech + Design Through Ideation
ETEC 565M links up very closely with the design process of ideation (brainstorming and generation of multiple ideas). In fact, this was referred to as “resource mining,” or the generation of new themes or ideas based on diverse online exploration. This mining performed as a group is much like the process designers engage in when gathering groups of peers in the studio to sketch, pitch, describe, write down, or just toss-out new concepts.
Ideation brings new concepts to the fore without the social constraints of feasibility and practicality, as peers are first encouraged to “defer judgment, encourage wild ideas, [and] build on the ideas of others” before reviewing them formally (Moggridge & Atkinson, p.731, 2007). Ideation also fosters divergent thinking and pattern-formation, exercises I embrace and implement in my practice.
Following this explore-inquire-ideate-teach methodology proved to be quite fruitful as it helped build skills toward the analysis and design of mobile tools and curriculum. One of the strongest takeaways was that this exploratory methodology can and perhaps should be a part of any education technologist’s (or designer’s) ongoing practice because it yields insights necessary to stay current.
While ETEC 565M consisted primarily of the creation of short trend posts, students also completed a rapid mobile-learning resource design to demonstrate mobile and DIY on-demand teaching skills. In posing questions to friends and peers regarding daily-use mobile sites and applications, it was not surprising that Google Search (GS) was a top contender. This is nothing new, but in examining the different types of activities GS was used for on mobile as compared to non-mobile devices, there emerged a theme: a need for velocity, efficiency, and exactness in result findings to meet time-constrained, context-specific goals. Internet searching evidently complexifies in the mobile sphere and many struggle to obtain or refine the skills needed for this shift. This inquiry coupled with the exploration of open-source platforms/media lead to the development of a DIY Google Search Skills micro-resource (seen in the next tab).
Created using open-source MediaWiki and condensed for mobile, the resultant resource is quick, direct and can be embedded into other open-source, responsive, and mobile-capable sites. It provides the users with basic and advanced search operators that may be entered straight into the search field, without bringing up full search pages or filling out advanced search forms. Similar to having command line operators at your fingertips, this benefits everyday use as well as complex research or academic use. Sometimes less is more and a quick-reference is what we need rather than exhaustive lessons. Browse the full resource in a new window.