Community
Mobile Learning Community Landscaping
June 30, 2010
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Beside relevant conferences on mobile learning, the topic is increasingly discussed in a much wider community on internationally occurring BarCamps. These participant-driven ‘unconferences’ are usually centered around a specific topic and try to avoid some negative aspects of traditional conferences (Wikipedia, 2010). So far there has not been a BarCamp focusing solely on mobile learning, but there are EduCamps dealing with education and MobileCamps dealing with mobile technologies.

The events in the immediate vicinity are the EduCamps in France and Germany/Austria (http://educamp.mixxt.de/) as well as the MobileCamps in Brussels and Dresden (http://barcampdresden.mixxt.de/). Although mobile learning is not in the main focus, both events offer at least the opportunity to discuss the topic in self organized sessions mainly with non-expert participants. Last year I attended the MobileCamp trying to track the trends within the community towards mobile learning. As anticipated most sessions either focused on mobile technology or on its commercial exploitation. Although this might change when the technical premises are mature and the focus shifts towards the application area, for the moment it seems to make more sense to incorporate the topic from an educational perspective. Therefore our group plans to participate at the upcoming EduCamp hold 5th – 7th November at the RWTH in Aachen.

The official entry point (including a list of past and upcoming events) to the international network of BarCamp events is http://barcamp.org/. If you plan to attend one of these events, get used to the unofficial rules listed under http://barcamp.org/TheRulesOfBarCamp. Also bear in mind that the majority of events are targeted at an national audience and therefore the sessions most probably will be held in the respective national language. To overcome these barriers and put on an international event addressing specifically mobile learning could be a nice opportunity to meet and involve a larger majority of the community landscape.