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The dawn of uLearning: Jonathan Nalder Masters thesis

The dawn of uLearning: Jonathan Nalder Masters thesis

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Published by Jonathan Nalder
Abstract:
The 21st century is different to the 20th, in part because of the effects of the Digital
Revolution and subsequent developments in mobile, wireless and networked technologies.
Mobile phones and more advanced Smartphones now outsell desktop PCs and have become
essential communication devices, especially for young people, many of whom use them as
their primary way of accessing the Internet. When combined with current and near-future
directions in technology such as the miniaturisation of computing processors, the spread of
wireless technology, and the beginnings of computing delivered as a service over the Internet,
these developments can be seen as leading to an era of Ubiquitous Computing. Education,
which normally would be expected to be preparing students to thrive in this period, has been
slow to adapt to these changes. When integrated into learning however, the opportunities
which connected, always-on technologies present for facilitating rich learning experiences can
be described as providing a uLearning, or ubiquitous learning environment. Guided by the
principles of the new learning paradigm of Connectivism, this combination of advancing
computing capabilities and new theoretical thinking present numerous ways that Education
can adapt. Educators can become designers of learning, and allow students to become active,
collaborative participants in knowledge making. Administrators can implement mobile,
wireless and Cloud Computing-based options to potentially replace todays classrooms. In
these and other ways, 21st century education can begin to more fully represent 21st century
reality.
Abstract:
The 21st century is different to the 20th, in part because of the effects of the Digital
Revolution and subsequent developments in mobile, wireless and networked technologies.
Mobile phones and more advanced Smartphones now outsell desktop PCs and have become
essential communication devices, especially for young people, many of whom use them as
their primary way of accessing the Internet. When combined with current and near-future
directions in technology such as the miniaturisation of computing processors, the spread of
wireless technology, and the beginnings of computing delivered as a service over the Internet,
these developments can be seen as leading to an era of Ubiquitous Computing. Education,
which normally would be expected to be preparing students to thrive in this period, has been
slow to adapt to these changes. When integrated into learning however, the opportunities
which connected, always-on technologies present for facilitating rich learning experiences can
be described as providing a uLearning, or ubiquitous learning environment. Guided by the
principles of the new learning paradigm of Connectivism, this combination of advancing
computing capabilities and new theoretical thinking present numerous ways that Education
can adapt. Educators can become designers of learning, and allow students to become active,
collaborative participants in knowledge making. Administrators can implement mobile,
wireless and Cloud Computing-based options to potentially replace todays classrooms. In
these and other ways, 21st century education can begin to more fully represent 21st century
reality.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Jonathan Nalder on Feb 15, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/21/2013

 
The dawn of uLearning:
Near-future directions for 21st century Educators.- Jonathan Nalder 
Abstract:
The 21st century is different to the 20th, in part because of the effects of the DigitalRevolution and subsequent developments in mobile, wireless and networked technologies.Mobile phones and more advanced Smartphones now outsell desktop PCs and have becomeessential communication devices, especially for young people, many of whom use them astheir primary way of accessing the Internet. When combined with current and near-futuredirections in technology such as the miniaturisation of computing processors, the spread of wireless technology, and the beginnings of computing delivered as a service over the Internet,these developments can be seen as leading to an era of Ubiquitous Computing. Education,which normally would be expected to be preparing students to thrive in this period, has beenslow to adapt to these changes. When integrated into learning however, the opportunitieswhich connected, always-on technologies present for facilitating rich learning experiences can be described as providing a uLearning, or ubiquitous learning environment. Guided by the principles of the new learning paradigm of Connectivism, this combination of advancingcomputing capabilities and new theoretical thinking present numerous ways that Educationcan adapt. Educators can become designers of learning, and allow students to become active,collaborative participants in knowledge making. Administrators can implement mobile,wireless and Cloud Computing-based options to potentially replace todays classrooms. Inthese and other ways, 21st century education
can
begin to more fully represent 21st centuryreality.
Keywords:
21st century, Mobile Learning, mLearning, wireless connectivity, always-on, CloudComputing, Networked Learning, Ubiquitous Computing, uLearning, Connectivism,Education, Information and Communication Technologies.
1
 
Contents:Chapter: Page:
1. Introduction 3.PCs to mobile phones. 4.Smartphones and converged devices. 6.Computing without computers. 8.2. 21st century skills? 10.Education has been slow to adapt. 10.We can no longer be ‘the sage’. 12.3. Specific current and near-future directions. 14.A. Miniaturisation leading to more powerful mobile devices. 15.Implications of mobile technology for learning. 16.Summary of these developments as practical suggestions. 18.B. Wireless communications delivering anywhere connectivity. 19.Implications of wireless communications for learning. 22.Summary of these developments as practical suggestions. 24.C. Cloud Computing - web-based software and services. 24.Examples of Cloud Computing as used in Education 27.Summary of these developments as practical suggestions. 29.4. Ulearning: Universal, ubiquitous, utility, user, über, you, us. 29.Conclusion. 31.References. 35.
Figures:
1. Overview: Mind map of the paper’s discussion points. 4.2. Comparative timeline of developments in information technology. 5.3. Primary student’s use of technology. 7.4. Evolution of digital skills. 11.5. Convergence and the 21st-Century Classroom. 13.6. OneSchool benefits leading to enhanced learning. 28.
2
 
Chapter 1.Introduction
“We all know life will be much different by 2100. Will school?” (Prensky, 2008)In this, only the eighth year of the 21st Century, the rapid pace of the ‘DigitalRevolution’ already means that the near-future is now. Beyond this, climate change, the biggest economic crisis since the beginning of the modern era, and the beginning of the‘Asian century’ also mark life in this century as being different. One thing however has notchanged: Educators are still called to foster the 21st Century skills necessary for students andtheir societies to thrive. So how will school in 2100 be different? The Digital Revolutioncurrently seems to be taking us in a series of pervasive, always-connected directions. It is predicted that in the next few years, hardware will become ‘everyware’ (Greenfield, 2006),walls and buildings will join the ‘Internet of things’ (Biddlecombe, 2008), and computingitself will be considered a utility in the same way as always-on electricity and water. Whilethis ubiquitous world lies still in the middle-future, several current and near-futuredevelopments such as the miniaturization and mobilization of computing, wireless networkingtechnologies, and Cloud Computing (remote online supply of computing services), are alreadydriving significant change in the way 21st century societies operate. These developments present amazing opportunities for educators and learners tomobilize and connect their practice as never before. This could well be “the death of education, but the dawn of learning”(Heppell, 2008), however reluctant some educators have been to acknowledge it. In this new era, the universal, ‘one-size’ fits all, factory-influencedmodel of Education appears to be giving way to ‘Ubiquitous Learning’, or ‘uLearning’, aslearners collaborate and create personal learning environments, and Educators design pedagogy that can be experienced anywhere. The 21st century then, differs from the 20th,driven as it is by improvements in digital technology. If we really do have “a 21st centuryeconomy with a 19th century education system”, as CEO of News Corporation, RupertMurdoch (2008) believes, then what are the ways in which educators can begin to effectneeded change?
3

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Interesting thesis by Johnathan Nalder: The Dawn of uLearning
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