3 Ways Glass Could Transform Mobile Learning

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Earlier this month, Corning released A Day Made of Glass 2. The opening of the video begins with a tagline that states, “Enabling a future of communication, collaboration, and connectivity.”

These “three Cs,” so to speak, are the foundation of mobile learning. A mobile device is nothing more than a tool that allows people or things to communicate with each other. Mobile devices also allow for collaboration. Look no further than our collaborative Web browser for the iPad, RabbleBrowser, which allows people on the same wireless network to connect to a shared browsing session. Finally, connectivity is integral to mobile. No data, no money, no service.

What’s more, this video shows us three crucial lessons about mobile learning and how it can be utilized in the future.

1. Increased Collaboration Inside (and Outside) the Classroom

I love the way this video takes a peek at the possibilities of how technologies may be used in the classroom. It shows us how mobile will be a strong part of learning. At 1:32, the girls happily wave goodbye to their father as they rush into their school. And why shouldn’t they be excited? Look at all the cool stuff they have to play with. Their desks are made of glass, for crying out loud.

The learning doesn’t have to stop inside the classroom, either. At 4:17, the students go on a field trip to a forest. Instead of viewing information on a static display, viewers are treated to loads of interaction and augmented reality.

2. Augmented Reality Comes Alive

Chances are when you were in grade school, your teachers took you to a forest. You either had to remember what you saw and look it up later, or you had to use your imagination. That’s not the case in this video.

At 4:45, the girls learn the footprint they’ve spotted on the ground belongs to an elk. Immediately afterward, they are able to envision what it might be like for dinosaurs to roam the environment. They even have a Jurassic Park moment when they turn around to see an angry (virtual) T-Rex rear its ferocious head.

3. Access to Information at the Point of Need

Here at Float, we’ve written extensively on mobile health with regard to environmental scans. I’ve even interviewed two people at Swedish Medical Center to learn more about what they’re doing. If our team has learned anything, it’s that learning in context at the point of need is crucial.

Just after 3 minutes, Corning shows what it will be like inside hospitals. Doctors swipe medical information from one mobile device to a second device or a wall, entire walls are available to display X-rays and scan results, and professionals are able to see 3-D results.

At first glance, you may think that the video is a total fantasy. But if you read some of the popups, you see Corning is drawing lines to real tech that is being worked on today. The key is that you can look at the tech side and say it is attainable and functionally scalable. When you think about it, the actions the people in the video are performing really aren’t all that different from what we do with smartphones. For a bonus read, check out how Apple re-invented the Gorilla Glass.

You can also quote Moore’s Law and see how close we really are to having some of this tech. If the Wikipedia page is too high-tech, the Mythbusters explain Moore’s Law differently. If that’s not enough for you, then-Cadence CTO Ted Vucurevich explained Moore’s Law might end in 2020 (Geek rating: 5 stars).

Technology is really just a vehicle and this video demonstrates how we can leverage tech as applied to learning. The learning principles here are real, and they’re only available because of the affordances provided by mobile technology. We are leveraging the power of technology to attain fundamental, effective approaches to learning – specifically, mobile learning.

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Jeff Tillett

Jeff Tillett has been working with computers and Internet technologies for nearly twenty years starting as a Graphic Designer and Web Developer. A survivor of the Internet boom, Jeff assisted many startups to successfully build business and ecommerce ventures. His first involvement in instructional design was as a developer for a distance learning Internet start-up. There Jeff and his team crafted a custom LMS as well as all of the content that went in it. Discovering he had a passion and knack for learning design, Jeff has worked for a number of companies as an Interactive Learning Developer and Instructional Designer including T-Mobile USA and Microsoft. At T-Mobile, Jeff lead a group known as the Innovation Team that advocated and piloted emerging learning technologies for the organization. There he built expertise in mobile delivery and design and bring that knowledge to Float as a Mobile Learning Strategist.

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On February 21, 2012
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