Ubiquitous learning (uLearning) and iPads

imgresThe use of mobile devices (like smart phones and old school PDA’s) allow for students to learn within the context of what they are studying. For example, a student learning about plants can be out in the forest with their device. A student learning about social sciences can be in a museum. The devices can be equipped with RFID readers so when a student gets close to an item, it triggers information to be presented about that item. For example, when a student nears a particular plant, the smart phone would show information about that plant. Of course modern equipment can use GPS data to trigger content instead of RFID chips.

This has been studied in Taiwan with children. Can we use this with iPads and medical students. What the iPad can do is free the student from the classroom to go learn in context. Perhaps with an iPad, a student can go to a clinic and talk with patients about preventative care. They can first view a lesson, then review material on site. They can use the device to help them through the discussion, maybe even sharing the material with the patient.

Or maybe a student can walk around the hospital and click on links when they reach various locations. At each location, there is some material (maybe an EKG, or x-ray, etc) that they need to review. The link takes them to a site which reviews that material before they assess it. Being in the hospital (vs doing this at home while on line) may give some immediacy to it. Would be worth studying this difference.

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