Wondering how to start introducing elements of mLearning (mobile learning) into your language classes? Here are five ways to do so, starting from simple recognition type activities to more complex project work.
1 Show and tell
Let students talk about their mobile phones, and what they use them for. Many of us develop serious emotional attachments to our phones, and love showing or telling others about them. See this lesson planintroducing the topic of mobile phones from Jo Budden.
Carry out a short focused classroom activities in which students use their mobile phones. For example, give students a short dictation to take on their phones. Watch Lindsay Clandfield
talking about this and other simple one-off activities with mobile devices.
Engage reluctant readers by sending them simple serialised stories or questions via daily sms messages. See Carol Rainbow’s account of this project
Get students to audio and/or video record themselves in pairs while carrying out a speaking task. Let students use this to monitor and feedback on their own speaking performances. Watch Claire Chapman and her students
try this out in class.
5 Creating a treasure hunt
Get students creating treasure hunts/ quizzes for each other using quiz apps on smart phones. Read about Anne Fox’s local history treasure hunt project
for groups of students on mobile devices in Denmark, and download her lesson plan
See more suggestions on getting started with mobile learning from David Read’s blog post
What about you? What ways could you start using mobile devices with your learners? What ways have you already tried?
Video conferencing technology allows enterprises and individuals to connect and interact in face-to-face dialogues while being located remotely. The services can reduce travel costs, increase productivity and encourage collaboration between employees, partners and customers. But video conferencing technology, like other advanced technology services, could be vulnerable to cyber attacks if users don’t take the appropriate measures.
A recent article in The New York Times discussed the different ways users may be leaving their video conferencing services unprotected from external threats. Chief security officer at Rapid 7, HD Moore, was able to penetrate major businesses’ boardrooms including law firms, pharmaceutical companies and even Goldman Sachs. As video conferencing technology advanced over time to provide clearer images and crisper audio, many security aspects were left up to the user.
Therefore, companies should understand what security options are available to best safeguard against hackers. Business Insider reported the first step should be to change the video conference system settings so the equipment does not automatically accept incoming video conference calls. Next, companies should work with their IT department heads to make sure all default settings on the network and equipment are as secure as possible, the source reported.
The New Dehli government recently deployed video conferencing technology in all district courts in the city, allowing rape victims and children to give their testimonies without having to come to the courtroom. This is important because many victims and children are afraid to confront their attackers and feel more comfortable sharing their stories from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Law and Justice Minister Ramakant Goswami said the video conferencing services were implemented after government officials witnessed certain victims not being able to fully disclose their sufferings to the courts because they feared the repercussions of coming forward, particularly rape victims and children. Dehli is the first city in India to leverage technology to better serve victims of violent crimes, IBN Live reported.
“The move will provide an opportunity to victims of rape, or exploited children to express themselves freely while being present at some other place,” Goswami told Tehelka. “It will result in a decision according to the principle of natural justice.”
Rajat Mitra, a clinical psychologist who primarily works with rape victims, said using video conferencing will greatly alleviate the anxiety associated with recalling a traumatic event in court. However, the use of the technology will only be effective if judges and lawyers are trained to be more sympathetic during legal proceedings of such sensitive cases. The video conferencing services should empower these victims, not make them feel interrogated, she told the source.
Many companies today are now focused on tightening their budgets to combat the tough economy. One area they are looking to cut costs is travel expenses. Reducing travel not only saves companies money, but it also reduces carbon emissions.
Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, said the introduction of new video conferencing applications and collaborative tools is allowing companies to reduce travel expenditures significantly, Travel Agent Central reported.
“Video conferencing, and in more recent years telepresencing, has become better, cheaper and ubiquitous, tremendously increasing its network value,” Mitchell said.
Video conferencing is even beneficial to companies that continue to send workers on business trips. Certain Shell gas stations across Europe recently deployed business lounges connected to their facilities. These lounges feature video conferencing services, printers, fax machines and scanning devices so employees on the road can remain connected and in communication with their company and clients. The first lounge has already opened at a Shell station southwest of Paris, and numerous other lounges are expected to be launched in 2012.
“We know that many of our customers are working on the move and are excited to explore offering them accessible and innovative working options as part of our existing network,” said Istvan Kapitany, vice president, Shell Retail Europe.
Students throughout the United States are using video conferencing technology to take classes remotely, connect with students all over the world and learn from teachers and resources virtually. Educators and schools are embracing the technology because it improves coursework in current events, historic milestones, economic trends and cultural norms. Students can interact in discussions, collaborate on projects and investigate further on a variety of topics.
In an interview with Education Week, Lisa Nielsen, author of Teaching Generation Text, said video conferencing bridges cultural gaps for students and brings many subjects to life.
“In the future, I think there are going to be big changes in the way countries are defined, because people around the world are going to be connecting and bonding with each other in a way that doesn’t involve places, but their ideas and passions,” Nielsen said.
For example, more than 100 culinary arts students in Western New York high schools are going to be taking lessons from some of the nation’s top chefs using video conferencing. In collaboration with the Culinary Institute of America, ProStart and the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, the high schools will connect students to culinary experts who will lead teams in preparing their specialty dishes, Durkin, New York, news source Observe Today reported.
Bank customers in rural areas of Nova Scotia are able to connect with financial experts without traveling to a bank branch thanks to video conferencing services. The Bank of Montreal recently launched the high-definition video technology to connect its financial resources to residents of Canso, Port Hawkesbury and Sydney.
Customers can have face-to-face conversations with financial experts, small business bankers, and commercial account managers from their local branch virtually. The project was first introduced in 2009, and has since been launched across all of Nova Scotia. With the new video conferencing technology, 51 remote and rural areas of Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec will have access to secure dialogue with experts, Telepresence Options reported.
If a company is considering implementing video conferencing services to connect its employees, customers and clients, there are many factors to keep in mind. Companies should consider whether they want to enable video conferencing on desktops and mobile phones, how many people can be accommodated in a meeting and how much infrastructure to purchase to enhance the technology. Some video conferencing services provide mobile applications that can connect workers from their mobile devices and can also connect tens to hundreds of individual users into a single meeting.
Judges in Missouri’s 4th Judicial Circuit no longer have to drive all over to attend hearings and other legal proceedings. Rather, the court system has deployed video conferencing technology to allow hearings to take place virtually.
The courts in the circuit are spread out across five counties in northwest Missouri, forcing judges to make long trips to each court site. Now that the video conferencing technology has been installed at each location, the court system can streamline schedules and reduce travel expenses, Government Technology reported.
Elaine Wilson, Nodaway County Circuit Court Clerk, told the source that the video conferencing services are particularly helpful for juvenile cases, which often require court employees to make numerous trips to various courthouses. But Wilson also foresees the technology improving the efficiency of legal proceedings for other matters as well, such as criminal proceedings.
Two jails in Victoria and Prince George, Canada, are also using video conferencing services to enhance the criminal justice system. The Ministry of Children and Family Development has allocated funding for a video conferencing program designed to allow young offenders to stay in contact with their friends and family members while in jail. It will save time and money normally dedicated to transporting individuals throughout the area, the Victoria Times Colonist reported.
The Seattle area was recently hit with a heavy snowstorm, making it difficult for commuters to get to work and city officials to complete assignments. The weather-induced travel disruption made a number of city departments aware of just how useful video conference technology can be for maintaining consistent communications.
According to GeekWire, if Seattle had a better video conferencing service, the mayor and senior leaders could be more accessible to news media crews, without news organizations having to send their crews out into inclement weather. Video conferencing could also be used by local officials to create virtual meetings for the planning and coordinating of actions to be taken in response to the storm.
On a broader scale, the state governor and officials could work together via video conferencing to plan for a state-wide strategy to combat the weather conditions. Public service announcements to residents could also be created and distributed using video conferencing technology, the source reported.
The local government in Jammu and Kashmir, India, has also recognized the benefits of VC and is looking deploy a new cost-efficient communications solution. Officials are considering using video conferencing services to connect all courts in the area. Judges will be able to meet with lawyers and inmates for legal hearings and proceedings, without having to meet in the courthouse. The technology could help reduce the risks and costs associated with transporting prisoners to and from the court, as well as reduce travel time, Greater Kashmir reported.
When it comes to political campaigns, candidates do a lot oftalking, but do not always make meaningful connections with voters. While weare still gearing up for the 2012 US Presidential and Congressional elections,many state and local voters will be electing local public officials. Just likethe candidates for President and Congress, state and local leaders are undersignificant pressure to communicate that they understand and appreciate voterconcerns, and that they have solutions for the problems voters really careabout. This level of voter connection cannot be achieved without meaningful,face-to-face contact with as many constituents as possible. VIA3 video conferencinghelps bring people together and makes important connections and conversationspossible.
Candidates for public office know that elections are wonlocally. While candidates are not always able to meet with voters in person,today they are using VIA3 to create the local, personal connections that arenecessary to be elected to public office. The use of social media by politicos has grown exponentially since thenand in today’s political environment face-to-face connections really make adifference.
Candidates are making greater use of VIA3 video conferencingto power their campaigns, allowing candidates to reach voters where the votersare – whether gathered in school auditoriums, city hall, or the living room ofthe local precinct captain. For instance, while participating in aninternational voting summit in Germany, West Virginia’s Secretary of State,Natalie Tennant, used video conferencing for media interviews about what theconference meant for voters in West Virginia. And just this week, Kalamazoo,Michigan Mayor, Bobby Hopewell, who is seeking reelection, used video toparticipate in a candidate forum in Kalamazoo, while he was meeting withcompanies in Silicon Valley.
VIA3 interactions are highly personal and allow the sharingof experiences to mimic the feeling of being together. In today’s 24/7 newscycle, where use of social media must be strategic and meaningful to have animpact, candidates are using VIA3 video conferencing to make the personalconnection necessary to attract supporters. VIA3 should be part of the victoryplan for any political campaign.
The North East Local Health Integration Network in Ontario, Canada, is encouraging healthcare providers to adopt video conferencing technology to improve patient care and reduce overall costs. The network expects video conferencing to enable 30,000 virtual doctor visits in the region this year.
According to Laura Boston, senior project manager with the LHIN, telemedicine is more than a simple video link, and can save lives while improving efficiency.
“There’s an electronic stethoscope for listening to live heart and breath sounds and an ENT light source for examining the ear, nose and mouth areas,” Boston told CBC.
Telemedicine is also growing in the United States. The Institute for Health Technology Transformation recently announced it will host the iHT2 Health IT Summit in San Francisco this coming March.
The summit aims to connect physicians and IT decision makers to discuss new technologies, solutions and tools available for healthcare providers deploying mobile patient care and electronic medical records. Using video conferencing and unified communications, healthcare providers can stay connected with patients, share patient information for enhanced care and reduce costs associated with redundant testing or travel.