In "M2 Learning: Mindful Mobile Learning," Dr. Palalas will describe how mindfulness in mobile learning design and practice can help us recognize not only that the learner is a whole person, but also enables us to address the well-being of the human brain, mind, and body. There is a growing body of scientific evidence pointing to the benefits of mindfulness and, at the same time, the hazards of mind-less educational practice and usage of smart technologies. Workplace mindfulness has been spreading from Google, Apple, Intel and many other tech giants in Silicon Valley to old-school corporate America, with Fortune 500 companies such as Target, Nike, and General Mills, offering mindful training and practices for employees. Professional athletes and sports teams have been applying mindful techniques in their training. The Mindfulness Initiative, a policy institute in the UK Parliament, works with politicians around the world "to make capacities of heart and mind serious considerations of public policy"; the Initiative has also published "The Mindful UK Report" (see http://www.themindfulnessinitiative.org.uk).
While there are mindfulness groups on Capitol Hill and in our schools, there are also strong critiques of the mindfulness movement whose voices we cannot ignore. Is mindfulness in education the latest fad or is it something we should be embracing? How strong is the science behind it? How can we take the findings of Dr. Palalas' research and apply them within the everyday work context, which is often exacerbated by limited budgets and resources, competing schedules, policy issues, and socio-economic circumstances?
This keynote is your invitation to join the dialogue.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas, is the President of the International Association for Mobile Learning and strong advocate of m-learning as a means to human-centred educational innovation that can result in social change. An internationally recognized expert with more than 25 years of experience in adult learning, e-learning, instructional design, software development, and innovative technologies, she is also the President of the International Association for Blended Learning. Dr. Palalas is the Assistant Professor at the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University, Canada, where she teaches and researches, among other topics, a range of notions and strategies pertaining to mobile learning theory, practice, and design. As an academic and teacher at heart, Dr. Palalas has participated in multiple local and international interdisciplinary projects that aim to innovate mobile learning and make learning accessible to all. She has published widely on the topic, including recently co-edited book "The Intentional Handbook for Mobile-Assisted Language Learning" and numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on mobile learning. A popular keynote speaker, Dr. Palalas principally discusses issues pertaining to Mobile-Assisted Language Learning, m-learning design and research, and recently, mindfulness in education.
Being a "whole person" believer and a systems thinker, Dr. Palalas has dedicated over a decade to exploring ways in which mobile learning can empower learning in ways that promote the unbroken wholeness of the learner, even in this era of civilization that often emphasizes the separation into parts and competition. Her personal practice and study of mindfulness inspired Dr. Palalas to explore the science behind the practice and the outcomes she observed. After taking courses in neuroscience, quantum physics, and applied mindfulness, Dr. Palalas embarked on interdisciplinary research exploring the role of mindfulness in online and mobile learning. It is the findings of this research that she is going to share with the mLearn 2017 participants in her keynote presentation entitled "M2 Learning: Mindful Mobile Learning".
Back in 1997 while working at Media Lab Helsinki, Finland my colleagues and I started a research project called Future Learning Environments. Our main partners were educational psychologists at the University of Helsinki. Soon after this we organized ourselves as the Learning Environments research group (LeGroup). The mission of the research group was (and still is) to explore ways to improve the quality of teaching and learning with smart technological solutions. From the very beginning our research focused on the use of mobile devices, with the idea of bringing learning to meaningful contexts, and to support learners' knowledge building and reflective activities. The tools designed and developed, as part of our research, have helped students to develop their self-regulation, a skill closely related to students' well-being, to forms of deep learning and to autonomy. With our research we have not been driven by the common attempt to save time and money, instead we have aimed to abilities to innovate and to create social change.
During my talk I will make a retrospective journey through some of our work, starting with some early experiments in computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) with school children using Nokia Communicators (1997) and Nokia Internet Tablets (2005). I will also introduce some of our research on educational challenges in the Global South that made use of the affordances of basic mobile phones for knowledge sharing (2003-2005). Furthermore I will discuss our more recent work on mobile learning research dealing with the role of mobile devices in reflective and self-regulated learning, an augmented-reality application for workplace learning and on the challenges and possibilities of using biometric measures along wearable computers for collecting data for learning analytics. Through this journey, I aim thus to outline a few signposts of the past and present of mobile learning research, design and development. My hope is to help us discuss the future of education and the future tools to be designed when most things and activities in our life are digitally enhanced and networked.
Dr. Teemu Leinonen is an Associate Professor of New Media Design and Learning at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki, Finland. Leinonen has been a visiting researcher at the SRI International in California and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa. Furthermore he has been a visiting professor at the National University of Colombia in Bogota. Leinonen has been the principle investigator in three EU FP research projects and in five other major research project funded by Tekes, UNESCO, Nordic Council of Ministers and Nokia.
Professor Leinonen's area of expertise is technology enhanced learning and new media design; especially related to applications, solutions and services of (and for) e-learning, collaborative learning, collaborative group work, creative work and art and design practices. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed scientific articles, over 40 non-refereed articles, 2 books and over 20 published software prototypes, web services and applications.
In 1997 Leinonen was the recipient of the Innovative Education Application Award of the TeleCom Finland and 1999 he and his team, together with a researcher team from the University of Helsinki, were awarded the Education Technology Award of the University of Helsinki. In 2012 his research group was awarded the Apps4Learnig Award of the Interactive Technology in Education Conference for the best educational application.