Open Mobile Learning Badges: Scenarios
MobileEd.org’s proposal for Mobile Learning Badges was selected for the next stage of the Mozilla/MacArthur/HASTAC DML Competition. Here are some of the mobile learning scenarios I described in the application.
Mobile Environmental & Citizen Science
As a member of the local river and watershed organization, the Hoosic River Watershed Association (HooRWA), Tony participates in the annual flora and fauna census, collecting data and documenting the health of the local river ecosystem. Tony uses his mobile phone to geolocate, record, and contribute vital data sets to the larger study. Tony has earned two badges for his work with HooRWA—a Mobile Environmental Badge and a Mobile Citizen Science Badge.
Tony’s badges appear on his website, social media pages, and in Tony’s Learning Tree, an online dossier documenting his lifelong accomplishments in any number of activities and fields of study—both formal or informal.
Mobile Local History
Catherine, a college History major, uses her mobile phone to create several key bodies of content that the community now uses for educational and historic purposes.
For The Architectural Record, a work that documents noteworthy architectural structures and stories in her small city, Catherine uses an online map (Google, FourSquare, Layar, etc.) to geolocate and photo-document houses and buildings of historic merit. Community members use their mobile phones to tour the city, learn from the tags and audio recordings, contribute details and narratives, and view historic layers over their city.
She uses her phone to photo-document and record veteran’s narratives which become living documents on the community Veteran’s Center website. Further, students from the local elementary and high schools contribute fresh narratives each year, thereby perpetuating the growth and relevance of the veterans’ stories to community history.
Catherine received several badges for her work in this field: a Mobile Local History Badge, a Mobile Veterans’ Services Badge, and a Mobile Civic Engagement Badge.
Ben is a digital and performance artist living in Pittsburgh, PA. His work concerns massive open participatory media events where disparate participants briefly form mobile art communities. Recently, Ben received a grant to implement his latest project: a mobile symphony. Ben set up seven telephone numbers, each with a different note, and another five lines that play found percussion sounds. Using trunking lines from a mobile VoIP (Voice over IP) provider, each number can be concurrently dialed and played by multiple callers. On July 14, over 85 participants gathered at Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning to create a “mobile sound wave” with their phone speakers, and with the local experimental dance collective, create a spontaneous collaborative performance. Part of the artist’s interest lay in if and how a group of strangers could gather and then self-organize to make “art.” The event was a success.
Ben earned a Mobile Art Badge and a Mobile Music Badge. Participants also earned Mobile Community Art Badges for their involvement.
Mobile Fundraising and Civics
Margaret, the first of her family to graduate college, knows from personal experience that early intervention plays a powerful role in helping reverse failing trajectories. To help her Early Childhood Literacy Center raise money for their new initiative in underserved neighborhoods, Margaret collaborated with a local friend who had expertise in advertising and graphic design. Together, the two created a simple yet successful QR and Text For Literacy campaign in the city. They postered and distributed flyers, and they placed PSA ads with various media outlets. Community members, by texting “literacy” to 54454, could contribute $10, $20, or $50. The two women also persuaded a local business to host a coffee hour, where they shared success stories of the literacy program. Attendees could text in their support immediately.
Margaret earned two important badges through her work: a Mobile Volunteer Badge and a Mobile Educator Badge.