mLearn 2006

My second conference in 2 weeks was in beautiful Banff, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

A very different climate and a very different conference than E-Learn in Hawaii, but interestingly some of the same themes were developing – views of mobile learning as part of an overall connected ecology, social software, cultural concerns. Gratifyingly (as it was the subject of our talk) one of the really big themes was the nature of the m-generation learner, including keynote and paper presentations.

The conference was smaller and more intimate than E-Learn, but again some great people there: a brilliant team from Athabasca: Kinshuk, Terry Anderson, Rory McGreal. Old friends such as John Cook, Laura Naismith, and new friends such as Terry Anderson, Anoma Malalasekera, Steve Tanimoto. It was very interesting to observe that many of the delegates were engaged in other communities at the same time as attending the conference – one of the few that I’ve been to where interruptions by mobile phones ringing were quite acceptable and indeed perhaps the norm.

I ate a lot of elk. No wonder the elk wandering everywhere were so menacing.

Looking back, the main thing that sticks in my mind (apart from the stunningly spectacular scenery and threatening but tasty wildlife) is the way that mobile technologies have become embedded in everything. I was walking on a mountain having not seen a human being for an hour when my phone rang: a strange and almost surreal disjunction of isolation and intimacy.

By: Jon Dron
Posted: November 2, 2006, 8:31 am

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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