Open University of the Netherlands (09/07/09)
In a speech entitled “Learning in a Technology Enhanced World,” Open University of the Netherlands professor Marcus Specht will argue that mobile phones are one of the most important learning tools today. Specht’s speech is part of the university’s upcoming Mobile Learning in Context Symposium. More than 50 percent of the world’s population uses mobile phones, and almost all 15-year-olds have a mobile phone in the Netherlands. Digital natives–people that grew up with the Internet, computers, and mobile phones–consider mobile technology essential for day-to-day living. Specht believes that education must advance as rapidly, and become as universal, as mobile media. He urges instructors to work with technological developers to create new teaching practices. He also says universities should find ways to make learning accessible not just in the classroom, but in any environment. “The students of the future will demand the learning support that is appropriate for their situation or context,” Specht says. “And they want it at the moment the need arises. Not sooner. Not later. Mobiles will be a key technology to provide that learning support.” He adds that a partnership between teachers and innovators could make the educational technology that seems so innovative today obsolete in 20 years’ time.