MLCB conference – retrospection II

Graham Attwell posted his reflections about the Mobile Learning: Crossing Boundaries Conference on the vernally greenish Pontydysgu website. The blog post can be accessed here.

Graham commented on organisational aspects such as

  • theme
  • venue
  • costs
  • formats
  • online-tools
  • organising committee.

Especially good to see that Graham picked up the idea we discussed last week about having another conference, maybe next year, which could be covered under the “crossing boundaries” theme. Now that he announced it …

MLCB conference – retrospection

After a busy week – it started on Saturday 19th with the two-days EduCamp (#echb11)  and ended with the Medien Kongress in Berlin (#kbom11) on March 25 – it is time to close the chapter MLCB 2011 (#MLCB). This post is simply to reflect on lessons learnt and issues emerging, and to provide URLs to resources that we collected and compiled in order to allow for something like sustainability.

But to start with, our sincerest thanks goes to all those who contributed to the conference – participants, reviewers, media people, assistants, organisers … We think that the conference was a success – which is a result of the engagement of the participants who made the conference to what it turned out to be. We have seen ourselves as providers of spaces and places only and hoped that people would accept our offer ;-) However, from our point of view the atmosphere was very constructive, friendly and relaxed, and it was great to see so many dear friends and colleagues attending one of the first mobile learning conferences in Germany.

So, as for the reflection part, the following might assist for the moment:

 

Stats
After two conference days not only the stats tell the organisers that they dealt with lots of input and output: We had about 100 participants from 19 countries (Austria, Botswana, Canada, Catalonia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Nigeria, Sweden, Sitzerland, Turkey, England/UK, USA). They contributed with 50 papers, workshops and video presentations to about 40 hours programme.
Our team of 7 organising committee members of which 4 did the executive organisation was supported by 7 assistants, 1 videographer, 1 radio producer, 1 photographer and 1 designer. 30 reviewers supported us in selecting proposals, and 5 members of the organising committee edited the book of abstracts.
Finally, we have several hundrets of GB of data – video, audio, photo – which gives impressions only of what people quantitatively gained from the conference.

Resources for subsequent use
During the 2 conference days we collected so much data that we are not able any longer to host them on our own servers. The videos and photos that were made during the conference are/will be available on Vimeo, Youtube, Flickr and the Pontydysgu website accordingly. Some are abvailable yet, others will be available soon.

  • Podacsts from the Sounds of the Bazaar live radio shows can be streamed from the Pontydysgu website. Day 1 and Day 2.
  • MirandaMod Mindmeister Map.
  • Book of abstracts from the LMLG website is available here for download.
  • Photos are collected on the LMLG flickr page.
  • Videos from the presentations and Interveiws are available via the LMLG website.
  • Presentations are collected on the MLCB Cloudworks cloudscape. If you haven’t done so yet, please share your presentation via Cloudworks, too.

Bring people together in advance
The ‘Mobile Learning: Crossing Boundaries in Convergent Environments’ (#MLCB) Conference was opened by the get-together on the event ship Treue on Sunday evening. Meeting people before the conference begins turned out to be a quite smooth start into scientific exchange. And it provided additional time to get familiar with interesting people, projects and ideas which is often missing during the conferences – at last for the organisers.

Provide spaces and places
In order to allow for discussions and self-organised activites during the conference, it is helpful to have rooms available – such as lobby, café, terrace – which people can use to meet, talk and exchange their ideas. Such spaces are framed by the “formality” of the conference and conference activies, but helps networking in an informal ambience.

Keep the setting open for people from different fields and disciplines
Even if organisers and participants agreed on mobile learning as topic of the MLCB conference people bring different discussions and discourses to a conference. Especially appreciated is interdisciplinarity – we learnt this from feedback that we received during and after the conference. Interdisciplinarity was perceived as being a fruitful basis to widen the own perspective and to gain insights into disciplines that are dealing with the same topic but that refer to different theories, models, aims and goals.

Be open for different contents to track trending topics
Also at this conference practice seemed to be basis for considerations about implementation of mobile technologies and usability in different settings. Theoretical approaches were presented, too, but related to the ratio theory : practice, theory was underrepresented. However, the MLCB conference was thematically dominated by Higher Education and Health Care / Medical Education – two issues that seem to be trending topics in the near future. Learning in schools by using mobile devices seems to be the basis of the mobile learning research that is taken for granted; now it could be time to discover new areas and places to explore mobile learning opportunities and constraints.

Low-budget event moves attendees from being audience only to being engaged participants in discussions
As highlighted by Graham Attwell several times already the MLCB conference run low-budget. We decided to keep fees low in order to allow also people with no or low refund opportunities to attend (undergraduate students and unemployed were free). To run such cost-saving event was possible only because the Bremen Youth Hostel provided first class service for small budgets: with the conference fees we did not only rent 5 rooms in the premises of the YH but it also included 2 coffee breaks and lunch at each of the two days. One side effect was that people seemed to expect to entertain themselves instead being entertained. Not sure if there is any relation, but the atmosphere was very constructive and full of discussion.

Lessons learnt and issues emerging
On our latest post-conference meeting we made a small and very informal review of the conference and discussed about what we consider as being necessary to be improved and what was resolved successfully. A more detailed version of our lessons learnt will be available soon on the Pontydysgu weblog and here, on Media Education Culture. To start with, here are some issues that came to my mind during the last couple of days.

  • poster sessions are under-valued but great opportunity to demonstrate work-in-progress
  • keep conference small and allow for a good number of breaks and rooms in order to provide space for exchange and networking
  • refer to web 2.0 tools that people are using also outside conferences instead of introducing new tools
  • for small organising teams: avoid to organise hotels but provide lists instead

Sounds of the Bazaar live internet radio at the MLCB conference

Graham Attwell, Jenny Hughes and Dirk Stieglitz did a great job with the live radio show from our MLCB conference which took place in Bremen on March 21 and 22, 2011.
The podcast is available from the Pontydysgu weblog. Below is the description of the two shows as well as the URL to the podcasts. Each show runs about 30 minutes and is really worth to be listened to.

 

Day 1
URL day 1: http://www.pontydysgu.org/2011/03/sounds-of-the-bazaar-at-the-mlcb-in-bremen/

The live internet radio programmes from The Mobile Learning Conference Bremen this week were a real gas. We are pretty confident with our sound set up these days which leaves us free to focus on content. And I think we did a pretty good job in catching the debates and ideas of the conference. If you are interested in the theory and practice of mobile learning, then I’d recommend you to listen to the two programmes. Each lasts about half an hour.

The first programme features Daniela Reimann talking about her keynote presentation on art and mobile devices. Andy Black preveiws his popular workshop on future trends in the use of mobiles for learning. Klaus Rummler, one of the conference commitee, tells us why and how the conference was organised. Julia Laxton, from Leeds University Medical School, talks about the use of mobiles in medical education and issues for institutions. Anke Königschulte from Bremen talks about using audio technologies in museums. And last but not least, John Traxler looks at the international dimension of the use of mobile devices for learning.

 

Day 2
URL to the podcast: http://www.pontydysgu.org/2011/03/second-radio-programme-from-the-mlcb-2011/

Here is the recording of the Sounds of the Bazaar live internet radio programme broadcast from the MLCB-Conference 2011 in Bremen.just as in the first day, we focused on encouraging participants to tell their own stories about the use of mobile devices for learning in different contexts.

First up on this programme was Helen Keegan who has earlier wowed the conference with her presentation on mobiles and film (more to come on this). Jenny Hughes went on to interview Ceridwen Coulby, Alice Huskinson, Prabhjoyt Kler, Catherine MacMillan and  Helen Macrorie, students at Leeds Univeristy Medical School, about their perspective on use of mobile devices in medicine and health care. Antje Breitkopf talks about the One Laptop Per Child project, based on her experience of working with the project in Peru. And in a series of vox-pops Jenny Hughes talks to John Potter and Ludger Deitmer amongst others about their impressions of the main issues arsing from the conference.

http://www.pontydysgu.org/2011/03/second-radio-programme-from-the-mlcb-2011/

MLCB conference book of abstracts

Today in the afternoon we published the book of abstracts of the ‘Mobile learning: Crossing boundaries in convergent environments’ Conference. The file is available as download from the LMLG website.

The BOA is edited by Klaus Rummler, Judith Seipold, Eileen Lübcke, Norbert Pachler and Graham Attwell and runs under the ISSN No. 1753-3385

Table of contents:
9 editorial 15 about the London Mobile Learning Group 19 section 1 – theoretical inputs on mobile learning 21 Providing scaffolding by using mobile applications in connectivist learning environment; 27 It’s not what you know but the device you know: The influence of ownership on appropriation of mobile devices for learning on field trips; 31 A critical perspective on mobile learning: Results of a heuristic analysis of the scientific process and a hermeneutic analysis of mobile learning practice; 35 Longitudinal, educational design research investigation of the temporal nature of learning: Taking a Vygotskian approach; 39 A design toolkit for next generation mobile learning; 43 “Recombinant Fiction” theoretical paper and manifesto; 51 Learning in liminal spaces; 53 Creation and curatorship in new media; 57 Using theory to drive the design and re-design of mixed reality visualisation systems 61 section 2 – practical issues to support mobile learning 63 ConEx – mobile collaborative learning environment for conferences; 69 L3T assists m-Learning; 73 Workshop: Mobile Learning in School; 77 Just because they own them, doesn’t mean they use them: Exploring the potential for mobile learning in Higher Education; 81 It’s not a netbook – it’s a lifestyle! How could mobile technologies be used didactically to bridge formal and informal learning?; 85 Lerninfrastrukturen für mobiles Lernen: Rahmenbedingungen bei der Einführung mobiler Lerntechnologien; 89 Using mobile 360 degree performance feedback tools in Health and Social Care practice placement settings: An evaluation from the students’ perspective.; 93 MoLeaP – the mobile learning project database; 97 mobileTUD – der lange Weg zum “mobilen Ruhm”; 103 Learning, mobiles & development; 107 Technology narratives and mobile spatial learning; 111 An invitation to a joint post-assignment reflection – using podcasts as media for offering reflective space within vocational teacher education; 115 Augmented reality as a tool for mobile learning and a method for scholarly dissemination; 119 How should mobile learning be evaluated?; ; 123 M-project: first Steps to applying action research in designing a mobile learning course in higher education; 133 Exploring the order of precedence when using contextual dimensions for mobile information delivery; 137 Mobile lerngemeinschaften: beispiele, erfolgsfaktoren und stolpersteine 143 section 3 – concrete pointers and examples on mobile learning 145 Towards contextualized annotations to improve learning in museum; 149 Use of mobile learning by physician trainees in Botswana; 151 The potential of smartphones to mediate intra-hospital communication and learning practices of doctors. Preliminary results from a scenario-based study.; 157 Supporting learning on building sites with mobile technologies; 161 otu.lea – potenziale einer online-testumgebung für funktionale analphabetInnen und mobile learning; 167 Mobile learning in der lehrveranstaltung “industrielles projektmanagement” – Unterstützung selbstorganisierter und kollaborativer lernprozesse durch iPods; 171 Personalized mobile learning for people with special needs; 175 The use of iPhones in medical education; 179 Near and far contemplating (NFC) the future trends in mobile and what’s happening right here right now; 183 Offline mobile learning with Copyleft hardware; 187 The case for audio in mobile learning; 191 Providing training handouts for corporate learning as ePUB files for mobile devices and e-reader; 195 Mobile learning isn’t one flavour or one approach it’s a whole grocery store; 199 Using mobile devices to support careers advice, information and guidance

And thanks a lot to Manos Agianniotakis for doing a great design work ;-)

Un-conferencing formats at MLCB conference

We now compiled a list with descriptions of the un-conferncing formats that we do at the MLCB conference in Bremen on Monday and Tuesday. They are available on the conference website at www.londonmobilelearning.net/bremen, and – for your convenience – here as well:

 

Radio Workshop
Graham Attwell will introduce in radio making and streaming. This small workshop is followed by a live radio session during lunch time.

Paper jam
Participants get together in small groups and choose a topic on which they are then going to work during the following hour. Aim is to produce a 1 to 2 pages paper that has to me made public on the internet by the single groups.

Poster session
Poster are exhibited on walls or displayed through video projectors positioned in the foyer of the venue. A guide guides the audience from poster to poster. At each of the stations, the poster’s author gives a short presentation. The audience is invited to ask questions and to step into a dialogue with the presenter. The group will afterwards rotate to another poster. Poster session will be held in English and German. Duration of the individual presentations is chaired by the guide and depends on the number of posters.

Speed debate (Monday’s closing session by using speed debate format, enhanced by wiffiti)
Participants post provocative statements on wiffiti (http://wiffiti.com/). Participants then choose issues by voting which will be discussed within 5-10 minutes by this day’s session chairs. Audience will vote the winning side.

Speed dating & shared experience session
Participants will line up in pairs. Each pair gets 5 minutes to present themselves to each other. After 5 minutes, the participants will look for another unknown person. After 30 minutes, you will have met 6 new people from the field. Aim is to learn about people around you which might be helpful to address specific issues in the second half of this un-conferencing session.
In ther second half-hour-slot, after this speed dating session and when people are familiar with each other and learned a bit about peoples’ research focus, participants get together – either in small groups or as plenum – and present their own work by making short statements (1 minute). By doing so, they point on areas that worked well and that can be adopted by others. Also, they point on specific issues that caused problems during the work and which need to be resolved. Participants answer and provide support by giving input in form of their experiences. This should not take more than 4 minutes so that, by the end of the un-conferencing session, 6 projects were discussed. One of the aim of this un-conerencing session is collaborative problem solving.

Media production
Participants will produce small 3-minutes how-to videos with their mobile phone cameras. To plan this video, people meet in small groups and write a story board (within 5-10 minutes). Further 5-10 minutes are dedicated to recording the video. Cutting is not allowed (one take, one shot).

Autonomous unconferencing
Slots free for un-conferencing filled and chaired by participants.

We can take it for granted: It will be about mobile learning

The Book of Abstracts of the MLCB conference is in production now and will be published the week before the conference takes place. However, just to be sure that the conference will be what we promised it to be, I made a quick wordle by using the draft of the BOA.

Registration for the conference, the MirandaMod and the get-together is still open:
http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/registration_bremen.php

The conference website can be accessed via:
http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/bremen

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