Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mobile Learning Webinar: Insight 2013

JISC RSC East Midlands Summer Conference

We have been invited by the JISC RSC East Midlands team to participate in their summer conference called Insight 2013. The JISC conference will be delivering staff development using ‘Flipped Learning’ techniques.

As for our part, we will be providing a 45 minute webinar on our recent JISC sponsored mobile learning project using Near Field Communications (NFC) in contextual learning. Our webinar should be of interest to teachers and education managers interested in Mobile Learning and current BYOD initiatives. Insight 2013 is primarily aimed at those working in the Further Education & Skills and Higher Education sectors.

Our webinar is free to attend for JISC supported providers. We will be online with the Blackboard collaboration platform on Friday, 21 June from 10:00 to 10:45
Book Here

We will also be hosting a follow up, face-to-face workshop on the 25th and 26th of June 2013, providing hands-on activities using Mobile Technologies.


John McWhorter recently gave a Ted Talk on text speak. I’m not usually a fan of the TED presentation format yet I thought John pulled off an informative talk without resorting to the usual hyperbole. What really grabbed me was the notion that language snobs have existed for almost as long as language itself. Overly anal Grammarians take note, text-speak is just a recent change in a long history of changes to the English language. LOL indeed.

Creating Video using Mobile Technology

This week we started a video project with our EFL Business English Students. We are planning to run our project in our 1.5 hr session on Thursday over 5 weeks.

 the storyboard

The ‘flipped’ classroom has been increasing in pace across the further and higher education sector. The idea behind the flipped classroom is that most of the input of a lesson can be delivered using video to save time so more practical work can be done in class. One challenge with the approach is to engage learners in the delivery of the video input. One objective of our project is to involve our learners in the video creation process and create a video to inform teachers of new educational technology. The idea of the learners creating instructional resources would certainly add another dimension to the concept of ‘flipped’ learning.

Our video project will give our language learners the opportunity to:
1. Define the aims and objectives of the video clip
2. Create storyboards and construct collaborative scripts
3. Rehearse and film (2 sessions)
4. Edit and publish the final product

The fifth post will discuss the teacher training opportunities available across Europe. Let us know how you are integrating video creation into your language courses!

NFC at the Universidad Católica

The Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia has some great ideas in implementing NFC technology across its campus. I love the idea about using NFC tags embedded into students cards to simplify registration at the start of class or reduce queues at the canteen. My idea would be to use this system to print off attendance certificates. I waste so much time creating students certificates and marking registers!

Let us know if you are using NFC systems to help your students and teachers.

English Next

English Next (2006) was commissioned by the British Council and written by researcher David Graddol – a British applied linguist, well known as a writer, broadcaster, researcher and consultant on issues relating to global English.

The report draws attention to the extraordinary speed of change to issues affecting English identified in the 1997 publication: The Future of English?

Available from the British Council or Local Mirror

Apple is cool and Android is not

There I said it. Now, I’m not going to define up front what exactly it is I mean by cool, especially considering that my notion of cool is probably way out of alignment with yours but I think we all have some fundamental understanding of what cool is, right? Simon and I work with students from an array of different cultural backgrounds yet until quite recently all students would agree that Apple is cool and Android is not. This presents us with a real challenge in evaluating our software -which has been developed exclusively for the Android platform- as most of our students tend to own Apple hardware. When we asked the students about their preference for Apple technology they simply responded that “Apple was best”. While this simple statement would have been true just two years ago the landscape has shifted in Androids favour. With recent offerings from the Android camp such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the LG Nexus 4 Apple is no longer the clear winner in the mobile market. Yet, many of our students still prefer Apple devices. We could of course argue that this is merely a matter of personal preference. However, we have noticed that many of our students tend to use their mobile devices as simple telephones. No apps, no email, no internet browsing, just good old telephone conversations and maybe the odd text message here and there. In fact, while many of our students have the latest iPhones many of them have no idea how to access the App store let alone download Apps. This has led us to investigate the hows and why’s of our students mobile technology choices and habits.