Mobile-Literacy: Training Faculty to Use Mobile Devices for Online Learning
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Mobile-Literacy: training faculty to use mobile devices for online learning Online learning is a well established pedagogical practice in Canada. Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University, with its reputation in innovative strategies in education, is taking it one step further in incorporating mobile learning – using portable devices to access interactive course materials and library resources. We define mobile-literacy as a set of skills required to recognize when the employment of mobile devices to access information is needed and how to retrieve, utilize, manipulate and process information effectively with mobile technology. Currently, there is a knowledge gap between the “net generation” and the faculty who support their learning activities online. All in all, faculty are lagging behind in terms of understanding and using mobile technologies: how they work, the capabilities and limitations, how to incorporate these devices in e-learning, and to understand how students use mobile devices as part of their everyday life. This presentation aims to describe the mobile-literacy faculty training developed in partnership with the University library and the steps we took to ensure faculty are competent in deploying mobile technology for online teaching and learning. The range of activities we developed include training sessions with simulation, hands-on exercises, technology integration with curriculum, integration with the University’s LMS (i.e. Moodle), and the application of custom-built mobile resources. In addition, the speakers will discuss some of the challenges associated with such initiatives. Issues such as costs, interface design on Small screen, lack of mobile standard, accessibility and usability problems, and technical support. The speakers also will share some of their insights on evaluating the impacts of mobile and ubiquitous computing on library service development.