LEARNMIX project team is currently looking for potential schools as project partners, which are already active users of technology and mobile devices for learning and teaching. As the purpose of the first phase of the project is to understand current artifact ecologies and use patterns of technology in classrooms, we are planning to carry out an ethnographic study in autumn 2013 in 5-6 schools. Our ethnographic study comprises of observing lessons, making photos and notes, interviewing learners, teachers and educational technologists. For designing and developing the next generation e-textbook, it is crucial to understand what technology, how and why is currently used in classrooms, what learning and teaching strategies are implemented. Our first impression is very positive and it seems that teachers are interested in being part of designing and developing e-textbooks.
The Centre for Educational Technology at Tallinn University started with a new project called LEARNMIX. It is financed by Archimedes Foundation under sub-measure ” Supporting the development of R&D of info and communication technology”. Prof. David Lamas and his research group is going to focus on developing the next generation e-textbooks.
Every day we witness how people use various personal devices, such as mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, etc. So do learners. Learners choose their devices, applications and web-based services according to their needs and possibilities. These devices, applications and services are under continuous development. This situation makes it very hard for schools to keep up with modern technology, various applications and services. Under these conditions learning environments can’t focus only on one concrete, universal device and application. We have to consider the fact that one day learners come to the classroom with their own devices to use them for learning. Therefore, the general purpose of the LEARNMIX project is
to find economically sustainable and pedagogically innovative solutions for the next generation e-textbooks, which can be used with various operation systems and devices.
In comparison to other e-textbook development initiatives, the LEARNMIX project is interdisciplinary. We are going to combine and integrate human computer interaction design and innovative pedagogical approaches to develop and test e-textbooks. We understand the next generation e-textbooks as a mash-up solution, which consists of three different types of content:
(1) professionally developed content,
(2) teacher developed content,
(3) learner developed content.
This challenging, but very interesting project is going to last 2.5 years. So, more information about the project progress will follow.