Dec 062012
 

Here are two interesting trends:
1.    Many countries in Europe and beyond expect much public sector activity to happen digitally within a very short time. Eg 2014 in Denmark and 2016 in the UK. This means that even mundane activities such as registering a change of address, registering your child for school, paying your taxes and reporting a hole in the road will happen online.
2.    There are huge efforts going on to integrate digital technologies in schools and universities as well as in the workplace. Increasingly these efforts are concentrated on mobile devices such as iPads and Smartphones mainly because they are easier to use as an entry device.
If you put these two trends together, you get a picture of those who have left education and the labour market becoming increasingly isolated and unable to carry out their civic duties unaided. I’m referring here of course to the retired who, statistics show, tend to be the least computer savvy sector of the population. If we add to this a growing recognition of the benefits of keeping both physically and mentally active as one grows older then it seems like a good idea to combine mobile supported language learning with travel.
Here in Denmark we find a steady demand from the retired for language courses especially to learn English so that they can be more independent when travelling beyond Danish borders. The idea is to develop a mobile app which will support language learning, first of all in the classroom and then later on, when the course participants are actually at their holiday destination when it will become a performance support.
Having earlier made an extensive review of different types of mobile content tools, my current favourite is Papertrell which will allow a great deal of interactivity as well as multimedia content and different pathways through the material.
I am currently investigating this idea in the Venture Lab New Learning Environments MOOC.
The main challenge as I see it is how to combine course materials with timely, easily accessible performance support.


  2 Responses to “Mobile English”

  1. I found your blog in general and this post in particular really interesting. Your idea of creating a Learning Environment for retired people here in Denmark related to travel made me think about doing a similar thing for the students that are not following the pace here in St. Joan de Vilatorrada, Spain.
    Next year, I’ll be monitoring a group of 2nd batxillerat students, that is the last year before university, who want to carry out their final project in English. Do you think creating this kind PLE for the weaker students is worth considering?, How about using Papertrell?. Thank you very much! I really enjoyed visiting your site!

  2. The problem with mobile apps and most self-publishing options is that you have to pay a fee so it’s not for the casual user. I’d like to try and we are waiting for the results of a project application to implement this from October. But as an individual I would be much more wary of publishing just to see if there was a demand.

    This is a fast changing area at the moment and I keep finding new tools which will do the job!