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Facilitating students to create their own content (Thom Cochrane, Moodle Moot 2010)

TOKYO - JUNE 03: An employee of KDDI holds a ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Thom started the session by grabbing everyone's attention with a movie short. He then want on to suggest that students should be creating their own content rather than teachers pushing out content to them - as such, the push technologies in Moodle are only used minimally.

The audience was then encouraged to sign into Thom's Moodle course (Unitec NZ), and to get out their mobile phones for the session.

The notion of mobile sharing multimedia via smartphones, was suggested as a way of bridging learning contexts and to promote social collaboration. Vox blog was used as an ePortfolio platform partly because it did not have the games, gifts and other gizmos that take up space and have little educational purpose.

The buzz in the room went up as people used Twitter, mobile phones, and laptops to vote via Poll Everywhere about the type of phones they have. Most people (24%) have a camera phone, and 24% had a smart phone. It was certainly an effective way of engaging the audience! The next tool that Thom looked at was Prezi, and he illustrated its use by showing a student's work, which she had created via her mobile phone.

Main costs for using this type of mobile learning is when students start uploading large amounts of data. So a 3.2 MP photo will cost about 5 cents, and 1 minute of streaming video about 60 cents. Students can be encouraged to upload larger files via a laptop or desktop computer to help keep the costs down.

Mobile learning certainly seems to be the way of the future as it empowers students, provides authentic audiences, encourages engagement and ownership, and allows for any time, any place learning. The focus, however, needs to be on what can be achieved with this alternative learning experience, rather than the tools themselves.

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