Online and on the Move

18th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning

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Pre-Conference Workshop  |  Oct. 10, 2012  |  9:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Oceanic 5
Even before the iPhone and iPad, the move to mobile learning was on the fast track. Now, there are a flood of applications that can enrich and enable our online learning efforts. Coupled with cloud distribution and enhanced 4G bandwidth, these applications promise an exciting expansion of networks and tools. Mobile 3-D apps will enable exciting new approaches to teaching in engineering and the sciences. FaceTime and other live streaming applications enable students to carry a mentor in their pocket or purse. The learning management systems – monoliths of the past – are soon to be replaced by custom choices of relevant apps that provide just the right tools for each class. Adding an app in the middle of the course can be a breeze. And cloud support provides economical, robust options to support learners. We will examine the current and emerging technologies and trends.

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Interrupt us. Comments, questions, and indignant remarks welcome!


A parable from Clayton Christensen
Market Disruptions & Online Learning

The future
A Magazine is an iPad that Does Not Work

Orangutans at Miami Zoo use iPads to Communicate

In Just a Minute...

60 Seconds - Things That Happen On Internet Every Sixty Seconds
Infographic by Shanghai Web Designers

Mobile Technologies ... from cassette to cloud

Osborne I - Mobile!

Maximum User Convenience?
Samsung Chromebook - Thin Client

Smaller devices and thinner clients improve
  • Accessibility
  • Share-ability
  • Boot-up speeds
  • Back-up processes

The multifunctional nature of mobile devices increases the likelihood we will carry them with us wherever we go (Ahonen 2008).
  • Video, Voice & Text-based Communications (FaceTimeSkype)
  • Content / Internet Access (stocks, news, etc.)
  • Audio & Video Player & Recorder (
  • Voice Control, Search and Transcription (Dragon DictationSiri
  • Content Creation (ShowMeExplainEverything)
  • Geographic Positioning Systems
  • Computing & Gaming
  • Cloud Storage (DropBox, iCloud, Amazon Cloud,, Google Drive)
  • Learning Management Systems (CanvasBlackboard)

  • Various methods of input
    • Keypad
    • Touch screen
    • Still/Video Camera
    • Barcode scanner
    • Microphone

    Approximately 30% of all handsets sold in 2011 were smartphones (Ericsson 2012).

    Smartphones Shipments by Manufacturer & by Operating System -
    • Android OS
    • Apple iOS
    • Mobile Broadband & 4G (10x faster than 3G)

    Use of Mobile Technologies

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    Mobile Users

    In early 2012, there were 4.1 billion mobile subscribers who account for over 6 billion connections globally (Ericsson 2012Economic Times and GSM Association).
    • By 2015, there will be 4.6 billion mobile subscribers accounting for over 9.1 billion connections

    Infographic: The Rise of Mobile

    Mobile Data Traffic

    Global Traffic in Mobile Networks (Figure 3) -

    Mobile data traffic surpassed voice traffic in Q4 2009.  It doubled voice traffic in Q1 2011  (Ericsson 2012)

    The volume of mobile data traffic almost doubled from Q1 2011 to Q1 2012 (Akamai).

    The global average of traffic generated by mobile users is estimated to be around 2 GB per month (Ericsson 2012).

    And we know that...

    Mobile Technologies in the Classroom

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    "Mobile Learning is the acquisition or modification of any knowledge or skill through the use of mobile technology, anywhere, anytime and which results in the modification of behavior." (

    What makes mobile learning different? (Leppanen)
    • Location is context -- and location no longer limits learning
    • Screen size (though pico projectors and tablets are changing that)
    • Networked, "An expert in my pocket" 
    • More personal, interactive, fun
    • More spontaneous, for instant use
    • Shorter in duration, to the point
    • Engages users to contribute and share

    Mobile Learning Considerations (; Boles 2012
    • Will mobile learning enhance students' experiences?  
    • Can mobile learning be effective?
    • What capabilities of the devices will interest students?
    • What capabilities will enhance learning?
    • What content could be more easily accessed via mobile devices?
    • How will learning activities be administered and tracked?
    • How will user support be handled?
    • Where will students consume content & will they be distracted?
    • What platforms will students use to access content & will they have adequate bandwidth?

    Apps & Education

    Connecting Apps & Education - Provided By: <a href=""></a>
    Provided By:

    Teaching with Tablets

    Opportunity to capture and consume examples. Gather feedback.
    Field studies. Just-in-time learning. In context.

    "Imagine the student who signs up for art history in 2013. Instead of sitting in a dark classroom on a given day, she might walk over to the Art Institute of Chicago and listen to a podcast of her instructor speaking about the exhibits. Meanwhile, she tweets her classmates about her own observations. On her way out, she submits her answers to a quiz through her mobile device, and on the train home, she reviews mobile flashcards to prepare for her upcoming exam." The Hottest Thing in Higher Ed is in Your Pocket (Daniels, 2012)

    Mobile Technology Examples in the Classroom

    The Twitter Experiment - UT Dallas

    How Text Messaging Can Be Used in Large Classroom

    Blackboard Mobile

    Mobile Tips & Resources
    Mobile Phones in the Classroom: Teachers Share Their Tips -
    What Students Think of Mobile Learning & What Makes a Great App  -
    Pinterest: The Mobile Classroom -
    Mobile Learning: Resource Roundup -

    Text Messaging in Teaching: -

    Teaching Online in the Mobile Age -
    Mobile MOOCs
    Courera MOOC on Developing Android Apps -

    Pedagogical Perspectives for the Mobile Learner 

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    EDUCAUSE:  ECAR M-Learning Emergent Pedagogical and Campus Issues in the Mobile Learning Environment, Bryan Alexander -
    Towards a Theory of Mobile Learning, Sharples, Taylor, Vavula:  UK -
    A Pedagogical Framework for Mobile Learning  Yeonjoung Park, IRRODL -

    Trends and News

    Augmented Reality 

    Mobile 3-D (camera and display)
    Transformational for science and math, perhaps all STEM, courses.

    Sony's Personal HD & 3D Video Viewer


    Envisioning the Future of Education Technology

    BYO Device in the 21st Century


    Contact information:

    Ray Schroeder and Michele Gribbins
    Center for Online Learning, Research and Service
    University of Illinois Springfield
    One University Plaza
    Springfield, IL 62703