Collaboration via Smart-phone

Collaboration via Smart-phones (Original Audio Script): Modified to suit Video Presentation.
References included.

Module 6 Course (EDUC – 7102 – 2) Cecil Mittoo Date Created: 11/13/2011

Introduction: Smart-phone Technology for Students
Cognitive learning is fast being adopted for our K-12 population. The currency of this thought is being backed by the availability of technology inside the class room and technology coming inside the classroom. When I say technology coming inside the classroom I am not referring to the internet and the World Wide Web. The Internet and the World Wide Web is like the I-95, they are a given. The Smart-phone is the technology that is quietly slipping through the classroom doors and sometimes they do surface to interrupt our lessons. But why are students bringing their technology inside the classroom? That’s because parents are buying their kids small technologies so they can communicate and keep in touch. Can we disagree? Maybe, but that does not change the pragmatic situation. According to McGrath (2011) with reference to “Strategic Trends,” “Today’s parents want quick and reliable access to their children and they are not concerned with spending hundreds of dollars to purchase the latest Smart-phones and ensure this is possible.” McGrath further postulates that “So rather than banning Smart-phones from classrooms, we need to harness the power of the Smart- phones and engage students in learning using technology they have. He believes “the youth of this generation want to access the latest knowledge and there’s no better means than the Smart-phone.”

Smart-phones Description and Software Technology
Smart-phones are flooding the consumers market with all makes and brands. A Smart-phone is a high-end mobile phone that provides almost the same features as a computer. They carry 3G, 4G, and higher broad band technology. Smart-phone combines the functions of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and a mobile phone. Today’s models typically also serve as portable media player and camera phones with high-resolution touch-screens, web browsers that can access, and properly display standard web pages rather than just mobile-optimized sites, GPS navigation and WI-Fi. talking on the phone and text messaging has become crucial since the phone has begun to exist and that’s because it’s easier with a mobile phone to communicate.

Some Smart-phones are equipped with miniature keyboards that can be used for typing. They have large enough screens that allow clear and crisp pictures of photos and videos.

How can students use the Smart-phones in Education?
With the help of Internet feature and the World Wide Web, the Smart-phone provides students with permanent access to some virtual textbooks. So, instead of using a handout with lots of writing, they can use videos and photos from online sources to share and discuss to make understanding better. Apart from accessing pictures and videos the smart phone can be used to take pictures and videos of lab work such as in Science and work shop procedures. Because there is connection to the Internet the Smart-phone can be used for net working in synchronous and asynchronous learning to include the accessing of Wikes and Blogs. Some smart phones have clear audio sound that can be privatized with an ear-phone. This becomes useful for listening Pod-cast or watch Video-cast. Smart-phones can be used to extend learning from the classroom to the home. Using the computer or lap top provided by the school means that students leave their work in school technology until the next day; but being able to travel with personal technology helps students to have their work for continued learning at home right at their finger tips.

Smart-phones Facilitating Learning Theories and Learning Technology
Students are able to collaborate for defining problems. According to Dr. Dede’s (vodcast) “NeoMillennial” learning is futuristic learning styles for the next generation. One major advantage of NeoMillennial Learning is that it allows learners to collaborate and “find the problem as a team.” Saettler (2004) reminded us that “Knowledge is mediated by the cognitive process produced by technologies.” Dr. Thornburg in his Vodcast on “Miniaturization of Technology” told us of the wide spread use of technology tools to include cell phones. “How this might be used to facilitate learning?” Dr. Thornburg said, “It isn’t obvious how to do that.” Saettler (2004) elicited “Educational Technology is concerned with the total process of Instructional Design and Learning. Active learning is preferred for cognitive development. But with the complex nature of problems are much clearly defined by collaborative interaction. Anderson (2010) postulates that “Constructivists see learners as active rather than passive. Siemens (2004) in Anderson (2010) tells us that “Connectivists theory is for the digital age. Mobile learning is a fairly new concept. According to Hutchinson et al., in Anderson (2010) “Mobile learning is rapidly increasing knowledge building via Smart-phones.”


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (Dr. Chris Dede, 2008). Millennial and NeoMillennial Learning Style. Baltimore: Author. Available from:

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2008). Educational technology: A historic perspective [Video program]. Available from

Saettler, P. (2004). The evolution of American educational technology. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

McGrath, T. (2011).Strategic Trends. Get Smart: Let Students Use Smart-phones in Class. Retrieved from:

Anderson, T. (2010). The theory and Practice of Online Learning. (2nd ed.). Athabasca University, Edmonton

Webopedia. (2011). The Difference Between a Cell phone, Smart phone and a PDA. Retrieved from:

Cecil Mittoo Module 3 Blog: Section 2

Assessing Collaborative Learning     

Collaborative learning is the fundamental structure of online learning community. This asynchronous learning method brings together learners from diverse global community to share their knowledge and experiences. Tran et al. (2007) and Hawkrigg (2007) according to Moisey et al., in Anderson (2010) sees wide spread team building and online projects because of “Virtual teaming with members dispersed over geography, time zone, and functional roles has become common place as result of proliferating communication technology” ( p.441). The wide spread use of communication technology via public use of the internet has been around for more than twenty years. This is a lengthy period for the public to test and try various kinds of technology which today have established a comfort zone. Dr. George Siemens believes that this acquired comfort of the use of communication technology is now a positive impact on online learning. Collaborative interaction among the digital community has transformed the quality of learning that can be achieved.

  Moisey et al., in Anderson (2010) sees people gravitation towards collaborative learning but also believes the distance education institution must provide support for prospective students. This is important as online learning main “promotion” was study conveniences of anytime and anyplace and to some extent affordability. But this is a “myth,” my experience has taught me as an online student that study time has to be planned, both mentally and physically with timing that is not convenience but a demand. One has to be in proper intellectual frame of mind and energized for effective collaborative learning to take place, whether it be in the chat room or responses to blogs, wikis or other digital communication online.  Moisey et al. suggests for prospective students “Making an informed decision to pursue online learning is the first step to successful educational experience” (p.421).

 Collaborative learning for online learners requires a new set of social skills. This is a forum where for the most part ones reading ability, comprehension and reasoning skills are required to be “geared” for a rugged intellectual driving mode for co-knowledge construct and building. There is no gesture, emotions, facial expression to see and one has to be careful that chosen vocabulary and language semantics is not brought into play, and brings the learning topic out of context. While collaborative learning is not strictly to take an agreeable position one has to be careful about how he or she states disagreement. And, therefore each community member must follow the guide lines set forth by the distance learning institution (if this was given) to stay on track to avoid conflicts and demise of the quality for collaborative learning to maintain construct and meaning.  Palloff et al. (2007) thinks “One of the concerns about conflict online is that with the absence of face to face contact and cues, many people feels less socially constrained. In a face to face situation, people tend to choose a number of options for dealing with conflict. I believe community members should use credible researched arguments to make a point but not to get personal in defense or support.

 I find that the learning theory that allows for strong co-construct of knowledge resonates with constructivism learning.  My belief is that cognitive development accelerates when there is clearly defined problems and solution path resonating with constructivist views. And, this co-construct of knowledge development is acted upon by cognitive refinement for accuracy and application to a particular situation, and then brought back to the “constructivist table” for redefining within the context of dynamic changes of society.  Again “lonely boy” takes up the clarity and pursue cognitive development. And the learning cycle of knowledge and co-construct of knowledge continues with a spiral which engulfs evolutionary changes in society.  Collaborative learning is a vital link in that learning cycle and spiral. This acceleration and momentum to exponential goggle values is possible with communication technology, learning theories and learning technology. This collaborative learning experience of distance education compliments face to face learning. Palloff et al. (2005) tells us “Collaboration has often been defined as the ‘heart and soul’ of an online course or, for that matter, any course that basses its theoretical foundation in constructivism” (p.6).  With the onset of digital learning and the proliferating of the constructivist learning style; collaborative linking has fond its proxy with the connectivists learning theory. Mohamed Ally in Anderson (2010) says “According to Siemens (2004), connectivist theory is for the digital age, where individuals learn and work in a network environment” (p.34). For people from the “old school” like me, it must be an overwhelming ecstasy to see how predominant learning theories that have built face to face learning are drafted into digital learning with 21st century learning theory; that is holding its place with communication technology.  I understand the evolution of technology which introduces distance learning as a viable option for learners, but the rapid construct of learning theories to blend with the reality of digital learning, surely the field of learning is dynamic in all aspects.


 Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2008a). Future of Distance Education. [Dr. George Siemens’ Video Presentation]. Available from:

 Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies for the Virtual Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating Online: Learning Together in Community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 Anderson, T. (Ed.). (2008). The Theory and Practice of Online learning. (2nd ed.). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press. Chapter 17, “Supporting the Online Learner.” Susan D. Moisey & Judith A. Hughes.

 Anderson, T. (Ed.). (2008). The Theory and Practice of Online learning. (2nd ed.). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press. Chapter 18, “Developing team skills and Accomplishing Team Projects Online.” Susan D. Moisey & Judith A. Hughes

 Anderson, T. (Ed.). (2008). The Theory and Practice of Online learning. (2nd ed.). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press. Chapter 1, “Foundations of Educational Theory for Online Learning Developing.”  Mohamed Ally.

Diffusion of Distance Education – Collaborative Interaction

Posted By: Cecil Mittoo(EDUC-7102-2)

Global collaboration/ Distant Education

Dr. George Siemens on the future of distant education looked at the practical dimensions of communication technology, and how it has evolved with people comfort, and acceptance for use. The technological age has transformed how we appreciate diverse communication tools. As people use new technology that enables not only sound quality but include pictures and videos they become experienced with the tool that they can rely on and depend on its use at any moment and time. Everyone is becoming more aware of potential technology for instant interaction and sharing of information. Time and space comes together with hand held communication devices with digital format. The new innovations of technology enable meaningful first time discussion even though individuals may be separated by geographical boundaries. Once the communicating language of people is understood the cultural diverse gap can be bridged without even recognizing differences in social factors.

Dr. Siemens has identified three main areas relevant for distant education. These include global diversity, communication and collaborative interaction. The educational model will be shaped around the tools that we build our communication experience around. This allows for greater appreciation and acceptance of distant education. I do agree with Dr. Siemens on these three areas that distant education will utilize to create an identity of its own; away from face to face interaction that is unique to traditional education.

Dr. Siemens believes technology makes global diversity, “global default,” which   breaks boundaries to link global communities.  Learners in small groups or individuals at his or her home can feel undeterred by social boundaries, belief, and cultural norms.

I believe new communication technology is transforming the society for accepting the merits of online education.  Distant education is an acceptable way for furthering education and knowledge building for people who are unable to attend the traditional college.

Collaborative interaction in business and the corporate world accomplishes better understanding with audio and pictures. The use of video (web-cam) gives a feeling of being in the same place sharing and defining meaning through observation of one another in shared understanding. Dr. Siemens points to a to growing shift of distant education known as the “triple helix model”  which involves university, businesses and government coming together in a strand of interaction to prepare online education scholars. Dr. Siemens elicits that with people gaining more experience with online tools, there will be greater acceptance of distant education. He thinks that interacting which is undeterred by geographical boundary is another feature of accepting the global dimension of distant education.

I support collaborative interaction as a significant principle of learning and co knowledge building for online education. Jacob Morgan (Blog, 2011) thinks that collaborating is at the core of human dynamics that is not just surfacing with new technology. Morgan said that Mattesich et al. identified in their book twenty success features of collaborating.

The environment should hold favorable social and political climate, with a history of quality support for its members.

The members must demonstrate characteristic to show respect and flexibility for compromise.

Process and structured enables guidelines that members will have for outcome and responsibility for success.

Communication must be linked with relationship, transparency and frequency.

A purpose that is shared understanding by all which is attainable and sees success.

Resources established as financial, people, time and material.

What makes these factors intriguing to Morgan was that these variables for collaboration were identified before the onset of modern technology. Hence he sees collaboration as foundation for interacting, and also to be used for further process development and interaction.

Collaborative interaction suggests digital communication that is also applied in traditional learning. Traditional learning is expanding its horizon with technology to reduce the load that books cause for students in K-12, and also the use of technology in the classroom is a means of having information at your fingertips.

Carolyn Foote (Blog, 2010) said “Students and teachers both are exploring ways to interact paperlessly.”  Carolyn saw the i-pad as an appropriate technology that both teachers and students can take with them anywhere and have an abundance of technology. I believe Carolyn has made very important observation of the convenience and educational value offered by the i-pad

Carolyn identified four paperless advantages to include assignments in and out, projects and documents paper free, and electronic reporting of performance to students. E-books accessing for reading skills development is readily available. Communication was a major achievement for use of the i-pad. The i-pad was seen as a communication link and tool for other schools and learning institutions. It was used to bring together staff and students in problem sharing and solving and also as an empowering tool for building a learning community at school. The thought of “out of the box” learning surfaced as the i-pad brings in “external learning” that could redefine the curriculum and learning technology.

I believe the learning technology with the i-pad in the traditional educational setting will also help to shape distant education. Collaborative interaction holds no boundary for traditional education and distant education. This is an example of how technology transcends system boundaries to facilitate instructional and learning needs.  The elements of collaborative interaction and facilitation for learning have evolved inside and out from the classroom where cooperative learning was the learning technology for Constructivist learning to build co knowledge that later transfers to cognitive development. Collaborative interaction has been enhanced with not only clear audio but also to include pictures and live video via web cam and portable video attachment. Gaming technology that is created with user friendly software facilitates multiple players and higher order thinking skills. Broad band technology enables collaborative interaction is possible anywhere at any time with sophisticated small technology. The diverse social networking has allowed learning technology to be available on Wiki which can be setup through security web features. The internet and web browsers has enabled social network such as Skype, Facebook, YouTube, School tube, My-space and others to both set a model for distant education collaborative interaction and lead to greater acceptance of distant learning.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2008). The Future of Distant Education                        [Dr. George Siemens’ Video Presentation]. Available from:

Morgan, J. (2011). The Twenty Success Factors of Collaboration. Posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2011. Retrieved from:

Foote, C. (2010). Not So Distant Future. Collaborating with i-Pads in the classroom October 27th, 2010 • 3 Comments • Web 2.0 Retrieved from: