today I wanted to address something hardware related. You may have heard that Apple has replaced its former mid tear iPad Air 2 with a new iPad, simply called “iPad”. Usually, we are used to new products becoming thinner, lighter and faster. This time, Apple opted for a new strategy. Sure, the new iPad got an A9 SoC that is already working in the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE. Many have already noticed that the new iPad has not reduced its overall size and weight. Instead it has become 1,5mm thicker and round about 40 grams heavier, which makes it more comparable to the 2013 released iPad Air 1. Generation. Furthermore, the tablet’s touchscreen is not glued to the display anymore which makes for a noticeable air gap between the glass and display.
So why has Apple made this stepdown in quality? The answer is quick and pragmatic: to reduce costs. At release date the price of the new iPad has dropped from the 489 € of the Air 2 to 399 € for the new entry model “iPad”. Otherwise all the other specs stay the same: the camera, the great 10-hour battery life, iOS 10, entry models with 32 GB and so on.
Many are wondering what Apple is aiming for with this new strategy. Firstly, I think what we are seeing is Apple trying to push iPads into the almost saturated tablet market to make people move away from their iPad 2,3 or 4. Secondly, they are aiming for the education market, where costs have always played a huge role. I think in this case Apple has made a smart move. The pricing for iPads has always been very steep at around 400 € for the base models. Effectively, the prices in Apple’s stores have always been the highest but retailers have lowered those by 10-20% after a while. Not to mention the prices of the education store.
My point is: this is going to reduce barriers when it comes to adopting iPads or tablets in general for school or university. Other manufacturers will follow Apple’s lead and consequently reduce prices as well. This will contribute to tablets being a normal thing in schools, universities and society in general due to the increased availability. I think this is a huge win, despite the admittedly small decrease in quality in comparison to the iPad Air 2. Nevertheless, I hope this will help reduce barriers and eventually accelerate the use of tablets for mobile learning etc.
Hello everyone, or “Hellau” as we say during the carnival season in Mainz. In todays post I want to share three interviews with you, which were conducted at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz. We simply want to provide some impressions of the opinions students have about learning with mobile applications, cloud based tools etc.
Here is the set of questions we asked the students:
1) Which online tools/apps did you use?
2) What was their purpose?
3) How did you use the tool in your group?
4) How did the rolls of the students change through the use of the tool?
How did the rolls of the teachers change?
5) Has your learning process been more individualized/personalized through using the tool? How?
6) What did you learn from using this tool?
7) Did you have any problems with the tool or working in group?
8) Which skills do students need to use …
9) How could we improve our lectures in order to encourage students to use these tools more often?
Enjoy, and tell us what you think in the comments down below.
Over the course of the winter term our students (at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, Germany) have to complete different practical projects in groups. They also have to document the progress and insights of their projects. They are allowed to use different digital tools, which can help them to organize and improve their projects. These tools can be also used for mobile learning and working together.
During our first meeting on Friday we brainstormed about the digital tools they know and the purpose or learning scenario for which they could be used. The picture above shows the output of the group.
Imagine you are sitting in a lecture and you participate in a great lesson. Wouldn´t it be nice to have that audio recorded? But what to do with an 2 or 3 hours long audio file? It will be hard to find somebody who is willing to listen to it from the begining to the end. Did you know that you can make audio-files “read-able”? Maybe you have seen already chapters and other markers in podcasts on soundcloud or other places. Yes, there are standards out to do that. But those markers can be not only just text, they can be also links to websites or images. So out of an simple audio file you can do right now much more then just listen to it. Isn´t that a big chance for higher education? Today i recorded first time the lesson I had, of course i don´t expect my students to listen to those 3 hours again, (I guess it was already hard to stand once those 3 hours with me! 😉 ) but maybe some parts of it might be interesting for them. So i will add markers, links i used, additional content and share that with my students. But I want my students to get active and again, the web offers various possibilities for that. So they will be asked to give feedback to the audio file, to write comments and so on. At the end of this process I hope they got more familiar with the content of my lesson today, let´s see if it will work like this. – Stay tuned! 😉
To start is often one of the most difficult steps in a project. But imagine you are together with some open and creative colleagues, having the same goal in mind and being able to talk about all your ideas. That was exactly the impression I had at the first MINE project meeting in mainz. Thanks to all colleagues, i think we had a great and very fruitful time and also a great start into our project. You know, sometimes you sit in a meeting and you feel that it´s just perfect, that everything somehow works very well, one topics smoothly comes to the next one and at the end of the day you look at your preparations and you see, that all topics you wanted to talk about were discussed.
But let´s talk a little about the project. The topic is about mobile learning in higher education. As we all know, mobile technologies are a part of our life, a part of our society. Those tools are already widely used in in various learning settings, but not much used in higher education. When i talk about mobile learning, i don´t mean special apps, certain OS or devices. I have a more general approach about mobile learning, i mean that the learner can access the content whenever and wherever he wants. Mobile learning is also based on open learning resources, so for that we also need various OER which is accessible via mobile devices. People are much more mobile these days and as we are connected to the internet most of the time, we are also connected into our social network, to our learning network and also to our personal learning environment. Mobile technologies opens also the possibility for the learner, to take more control of the own learning process. That means that the role of the learning and also of the teacher will change. The learner must be much more self aware of his own learning process, being able to organize himself and the role of the teacher will change that he will be more a guide, a facilitator. To make this possible, the “learner” and the “teacher” needs certain competences which are rather seldom in traditional formal education institutions. But they are the important base to enable self organized learning with mobile technologies. That´s the reason why this project will collect those basic competences for mobile learning in a first step and then we will develop together a small curriculum for a students and a teacher course. To see if those courses are practical and useful the way we thought, we will put them in practice in an Intensive Programm in spring 2018. After the evaluation of this first course, we will also try to improve our curriculum based on the feedback and the evaluation of the IP. At the end we wonna run those courses in all participating instutions, mainly as an online course with the intensive use of mobile learning.
You got interested? You wonna know more about it or you wonna join the team? We would be very happy to hear from you, check out the contact details and we will get in touch.
From october 12th to 13th, the team met for the first time to discuss the outlines of the project and to define our goals more clearly. It was a very friendly, constructive and effective meeting in Mainz.
Currently, we’re still looking for new partners to join us on our path.