Mobile Learning Experience 2012: The Future of Education

Posted by Andrew Gardner on

Last week, BrainPOP had the pleasure to attend the Mobile Learning Experience a small 3 day conference sponsored by Arizona K12 Center at Arizona State University. The 350 attendees were treated to inspiring and enlightening keynote talks about the future of education, the promises and shortcomings of mobile devices and some deep thoughts about disruption of the current system.   At the breakout sessions we were particularly excited to meet some of our BrainPOP Educators friends, specifically @bettyannf, who presented on using iPads in her PE and Science integrated lessons. You can read more about her experiences and see her kids in action a blog entry we published last week.  We also met college student Travis Allen and the fascinating and inspiring leadership team of the ischool initiative. ischool is quite literally taking learning mobile, as they prepare to tour cross country this summer and spread the word about the power of mobility from the ischool bus!

Tech integrator Lisa Johnson shared her free app aggregator, Techchef4u a must have (and free) app sorter designed for educators by educators.   Check out her pinterest page too, with lots of great visual ideas for mobile learning activities. Conference planner Tony Vincent and professor Jackie Gerstein shared amazing examples of true collaborative learning that put the mobile devices at the core of the student experience. At one point in her session, Jackie put 3 identical bags of tinker toys on 3 separate tables in different parts of the room.  We were then instructed to make the exact same structures using only our mobile device to communicate.  Of course we were in the room together so it felt a bit contrived, but it begged the question: what if we had to do the same activity with 3 bags at different parts of the world? What if we had to do something more meaningful than simply put together a structure with tinker toys.  Clearly an experience like this exercises the communication and collaboration muscles – in a truly 21st century way.

Though the conference ended last Friday, the information and ideas persist online though social media outlets and the conference website. Also, if you’re curious to hear our presentation entitled Digital Storytelling in a BYOT setting, be sure to join us for next month’s webinar.

Were you at the Mobile Learning Experience conference?  If so, let us know what you thought!