Sunday, December 18, 2005

The relevance of moblogging

A while ago, people in the TALO eGroup were discussing how moblogging seems to carry little evidence to being a powerful teaching and learning tool, simply because at the moment it is mostly being used as a social tool...

It just occurred to me, while I was trying out moblogging to Flickr that perhaps proponents of the 'moblogging doesn't have much to offer in education' thinking are mistaken when trying to find examples of 'moblogs for specific educational contexts and outcomes'. If only because it is a clear example of trying to make the new paradigm fit the old...

You know all those ideas of life long learning, learning in life, life is learning, holistic learning and otherwise age old fights to get education to recognise that learning happens everywhere - well moblogging is part of that everywhere. So if you truly can't see the educational contexts and outcomes in moblogging, then you're understanding of and educational context is too narrow and old school.

Even if all a student uses moblogging for is little more than documenting social aspects of their lives, such as a photo of self sitting in class, photo of friends at the canteen, photo of teacher picking nose, then they are all examples of that person building an identity and personal affiliation around their learning context. If a teacher can inspire moblogging's use in assignment work and research - then great!

But sticking with the personal social use for a moment, if educational organisations, individuals, teachers aren't willing to accept the whole student (and their everyday moblogging) into their teaching contexts, then they are restricting how much 'real life' a student can bring into the classroom, therefore taking away motivation, relevance, and the importance of social settings in the school, not to mention opportunities to understand more about the people they spend so much time with.

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anne said...

I am only a couple of months late catching up on this post! Right now moblogging has come up again as part of a series of workshops that will be held. In my opinion mobloggging is one strategy, the most important aspect of moblogging is that it might be one of the first connections to the read/write web that a teacher or learner might make - mainly because the mobile phone is so ubiquitous, especially around young people. Once they begin moblogging they are exposed to tagging, feeds, and all the connections made possible by social software. I agree this is educational enough, but I do believe there are some engaging teaching strategies to be gained as well.

Leigh Blackall said...

Thanks forthe comment Anne. I guess the only barrier to its fair use in the classroom, is the cost of posting, and the different multi media capabilities of student owned phones. But with the amount of maney we both see getting wasted in NSW, I think it is quite reasonable to issue every student and teacher with a multi media phone, and credit on the savings we might find, once we address the wastage.