Dr. Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas
President of the International Association for Mobile Learning
M2 Learning: Mindful Mobile Learning
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".