Abstract: Ubiquitous computing stopped being hype and became a reality in 2010. With the convergence of small mobile devices (the iPad and iPhone in particular), integration with cloud computing, and cheap wireless and/or 3G connectivity, this convergence of technologies has finally come of age. However, the issues for higher education remain the same: design of resources for learning, the activities that drive the learning process, and assessment.
This paper will focus on research that has been undertaken in a small liberal arts university in Hong Kong where multi-language proficiency by students (English and Putonghua) is a key goal for the University. The research focuses on three components that were key to the learning design: iPhones for teaching and learning, using the ‘cloud’ for feedback and sharing (YouTube), and ePortfolios (Mahara) for assessment.
Modern ePortfolios allow students to provide evidence of a variety of learning outcomes using a wide range of media including text, audio, images and video. Multimedia provided students with the opportunity to more completely demonstrate language skills and proficiency. Student learning was monitored by examining media produced using iPhones, stored on YouTube and presented on Mahara. The learning design enabled more immediate and relevant feedback (particularly peer feedback) on critical language abilities.
However, at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, creating this convergence of pedagogy and technology proved to be a non-trivial task and involved technical issues, re-thinking curriculum design and professional development for staff and students. The presentation will use the insights gained from this research to highlight the opportunities and risks associated with what is still seen in Hong Kong (and no doubt elsewhere) as radical approaches to curriculum design.