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Useing mobile technologies to facilitate learning across formal and informal contexts

December 20th, 2012 by Graham Attwell

I.ve been looking at literture on mobile learning as part of the :earning Layers project. Although there has been much literature published in the last couple of years, there is still very little focusing on informal learning in the workplace.

Christoph Pimmer and Norbert Pachler have published a new paper which has been submitted for review. The paper called ‘Mobile learning in the workplace. Unlocking the value of mobile technology for work-based education‘ (PDF download) is scheduled for publication in  M. Ally & A. Tsinakos (Eds.), Mobile Learning Development for Flexible Learning: Athabasca University Press.

Not only does the paper provide a very useful discussion on how to use mobile devices to support learning in different contexts in the workplace, but it also provides number of useful examples – most from the healthcare sector.

The main conclusion is the:

affordances of mobile devices allow the realisation of the following rich pedagogical strategies that can enhance work-based education: (1) creating and sharing of content such as multimedia materials and digital stories in the form of audio, text, images and video; (2) connecting learning for work and learning “just-in-time” by supporting competence development directly in the processes of work; (3) bridging individual learning and problem solving with social interaction, for example by means of social mobile networking, or tagging and locating of experienced colleagues; (4) facilitating learning across formal and informal contexts, for example by documenting on-the-job learning experiences by means of e-portfolios or reflective questions and discussing them in (more formal) classroom or mentoring settings. By applying these strategies, (5) the underlying educational paradigm is shifted from cognitive to situated, socio-cognitive, cultural and constructivist perspectives of learning, moving the learner away from a passive consumer to an active producer and distributor and co- creator of learning processes.

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