Saturday, August 04, 2007

mLearning with PDA survey's

For my first cross-post from the mLearnxyz blog, I'd like to zoom right back to my frontline: Tullawong State School, Caboolture. This is the second year in a row we have run a unit using the free Ninepoll survey program on our Palm Z22's.

Year 7 students with learning difficulties are required to brainstorm different survey ideas before writing them out with A,B,C and D answer options. They then enter these into Ninepoll and check their spelling and punctuation. Next up students rehearse approaching other kids and teachers to ask politely if they have some time, then read out their questions and answers before using the software to record the responses. Ninepoll adds up all the responses in different categories and displays the data as bar and pie graphs.

There are of course several reasons why we use this unit with our students. Obvious ones include exposure to the survey genre, practice at editing, and learning PDA skills. But their are two others also which I have observed that are just as important. The first relates to confidence, and it is truly remarkable to watch kids who are used to struggling when it comes to literacy task gain the confidence to approach even the Principal and clearly state their questions. The other area is about bridging the digital divide. Its no secret that many students with learning difficulties come from disadvantaged backgrounds. For these kids, the chance to learn how to use a PDA in primary school is just the sort of headstart they need to expose them to a wider world of digital possibilities than they may otherwise be exposed to.

So yeah, we're proud of these students, as are their classroom teachers. So do you think that there should be a skatepark at school? There are screenshots of this and other survey's the students created available at flickr group 'mobile tech'

- Jonathan Nalder

Everyone Welcome our Newest Author- Jonathan Nalder

I've decided that is not just about my opinions and experience, but should be more of an open forum.  With this said, I've invited several new authors to share their experience.  
Our newest author is Jonathan Nadler

Jonathan Nalder is a 32 year old Learning Support Teacher currently studying a Masters with a focus on integrating technology into education. Having first opted for a PDA instead of a desktop back in 2003, he has since set out to explore the rich world of mobile learning - where the advantages brought by technology can be accessed anywhere, not just in one lab, or on an old PC at the back of a classroom. First writing about mLearning in early 2006, Jonathan has now published over 60 articles and posts at, authored video podcasts (over 16,000 views at youtube and teachertube), and continued to explore the improved engagement and outcomes his students experience through being able to access digital devices such as Palm PDA's, digital camera's, voice recorders and even pedometers!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

mLearning is not just Mobile- m(y)Learning now means YOU.

I've received a lot of emails asking where I have been the past several months. Yes, I'm still alive. As other designers can attest, there are times when the you have so many large enterprise projects hitting that you just want to set your computer aside when you get home.

During this time I have been thinking about what mLearning really is and what should be the goal of

I've come to realize that the m in mLearning is far more than being mobile.
mLearning is the new paradigm of education. One could look at the m in mLearning as MY.

Being mobile is one part of mLearning, but the most important part is that education is
written and delivered to the learner in the way that is best suited for their specific function
and need at the time they receive the training.

With this said, I will be expanding mLearning world beyond Mobile Learning and look more at how learning can be personalized for all learners.

Mobile Learning will still be a large part of this site, first because it is a large part of my job and second,
because it is a crucial part of personalized learning.

In addition to expanding my scope, I have also decided to share mLearning-World. If you would like to take part in posting articles, please drop me an email at
I am looking for one or two people who would like to share your educational technology experience on this site.

Thanks for your patience, look for a lot more articles soon.