A recent email from Alexander Hayes referred to a paper about U-learning, or ubiquitous learning. I shot back some thoughts which ended up on the NSW Learnscope blog, which I wasn’t expecting and should of realized could happen!. I also hear there is a podcast on the topic coming up on Talking VTE with Alex and Stephan Ridgeway – a friend of mine got a phone call at 10.30 last night to participate!.
Alex is everywhere, talk about ubiquitous!
I like this presentation of ulearning from Janet Fraser of Monash University which is titled U learning = elearning + mlearning.
Another take on this is that ulearning is a broader concept that sits outside technology and has always been with us in the form of informal learning that occurs everywhere in the community. Now with the internet and mobile devices the ubiquity of the learning has further reach and is more powerful.
I was talking to Sean Fitzgerald about this on the ubiquitous telephone who directed me to early discussions on the TALO chat group
This is what Sean was saying a year ago (Mar 16 2006 to be exact!:
“As technology becomes ubiquitous and gets integrated into learning, the
concept of "technology in education" will start to be less relevant.
Indeed the word "elearning" will probably become redundant, as all
learning will have an networked, online or technology component in the
Pens, paper and books have been integrated into learning for a long
time. We don't call it "Pens, paper and books learning". These
technologies have become an invisible part of the process.”
Sean was quite urgent in his declaration that “Educators seem to be the only people that talk as though learning isn’t happening all the time, and, we are returning to the way we used to learn anyway
So in simple terms, for people like me:
U learning is about a conceptual shift that includes informal learning
Elearning is about online learning and conjures up vision of learner at computer
Mlearning is about learning using mobile devices
I was also put on to this quote from Sean:
The Computer for the 21st Century
Weiser, where he states:
The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave
themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are
indistinguishable from it.
Perhaps the quote from the signature file at the bottom of Seans email post says it all
“Technology is anything that wasn't around when you were born.”
-– Alan Kay