That title is actually two differnet topics just bunched together under one blog post. They aren’t related. Heading out to Beijing on Monday for mLearn 2011 conference (#mlearn2011) where I and several colleagues from around the world will be presenting on a recent MobiMOOC course and its applicability as a pedagogical vehicle for connectivism. Basically, it investigates the intersection of the MOOC format and mLearning and its pedagogical foundation, connectivism. I will post the presentation here as soon as we have given it, but I suspect we will be tinkering right until the very end. A related paper will appear this month we all co-authored in the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) on the applicability of chaos theory to the MOOC format (as told through MobiMOOC), the brainchild of the MobiMOOC creator, Inge de Waard. A third paper is forthcoming involving some textual analysis of the MobiMOOC discussion boards, Twitter streams, etc. in an attempt to spot disengagement or increased engagement with the course. Verbal cues, that sort of thing, that might affect retention. Either way, slow going but forthcoming. 

So, off to Beijing on Monday and I will share with you my Google Map of what constitutes my orbit for the event (when I am not at the conference hall). Think a lot of restaurants, palaces, and bizarre novelty shops (North Korean bizarre pseudo-realism paintings). Either way, in the interest of full disclosure:,116.417445&spn=0.128841,0.22769&output=embed
View Beijing: mLearn2011 in a larger map

What had me originally start to write this post, however, was a cursory glance at the usage statistics for the JSTOR Plant Science Vimeo page and the surprising levels of viewership for what are, essentially, home movies of herbaria. We range anywhere from 4000-10000 views a week (500,000 since we started), which is modest in comparison for some sites, but certainly respectable for this specialized field. It is my belief that they humanize this discipline, which could, perhaps, be viewed as rather staid by some. I find these people incredible and I am happy to coordinate this video activity. The ones from Nepal in particular are engaging and I am so happy so many herbaria have decided to contribute. So, if you want, take a look at what I think is the power of low-tech storytelling. It is real and at times clumsy and altogether endearingly human. Passionate and intelligent people doing their bit to help the world help itself. This one, I think, is my favorite:

[vimeo w=500&h=350]


By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

2 thoughts on “JSTOR Plant Science videos and #mLearn2011”
  1. Thanks, Inge! Presentation went very well and many many questions and some interest in applying this format to other ares as well. So that was good to see. I will write up a detailed report on my return as there will be some further opportunities for collaboration in the future. We missed you, though!

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