Saturday, 2 April 2011

mLearning History - setting the scene 1

Hand-held Learning and Game-based Learning

Our first Venture 2008

For a couple of years at Oxfordshire County Council  the ICT Curriculum Team’s has had an interest in mLearning or Handheld learning. After a wonderful conference presentation made for us by David Wiley from the Wolverhampton mLearning project we bought a class set of EDAs and a county loans scheme started.

The team bought a class set, a colleague set them up, installed software, he spent loads of time and work, it was not particularly easy. We, as a team, had a training day booked.  The software we were intending to use was Wild Key a really inspired program with various data bases that could be used to identify minibeasts, plants, seaside wildlife and vegetation, butterflies and more.

Our training day arrived. The router or something similar that was supposed to give us all wireless access out in the field arrived and we started out. I never did get connection, I kept breaking my EDA, it had to be re-streamed so many times it was unreal – eventually mine was used as a reserve machine for others that went wrong :-(

Four machines only connected to the wireless, but even then once those users identified a minibeast the GPS to feed back the information to the master database failed… we did not have a lot of luck.

However – the team all blamed me for breaking them ;-) and the trial went on! For some things the EDAs were very good - where they have a fixed wireless link they were fine, and where I was happy to use my iPac some people kept hold of, and used their EDA. A few schools has some success (one at least left them in the cupboard I found out recently!).

Eventually the EDAs got pensioned off to where they could be set up permanently at one of our outdoor education centres for which they are ideally suited.

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