Sunday, 31 January 2010

Laying the groundwork for a mobile ESL group

In a previous post I mentioned that I'd been given the go-ahead to form an experimental mobile ESL group among students at the university's English language centre where I work.

Well, I've been a bit lax about getting it going, but this week I'm resolved to get it started. I spent a large part of today getting a poster ready to stick up in all the classrooms next week. It basically just advertises the existence of the group and asks students to contact me if they are interested. I made it very clear that this is not a course and there is no face to face aspect to the group. It will be interesting to see the take up for it.

On the poster I did put some info about what the group would do and I suppose this is committing me a little to do some of the things I've promised. I said that they would join a private Twitter group, would have a weekly SMS sent to them with personal advice, suggestions, links etc and there would be the opportunity once a week to have a live chat with me via an IM client.

How plausible this all is I don't know and one of the reasons for starting this group is to identify what exactly is and isn't possible with mobile learning. I anticipate a certain amount of initial confusion as I try to sort out exactly how to connect the members to the twitter group, make sure they are signed up to a compatible IM client for their phone, and indded identify just how technically proficient they are with phones.

These are all things to work out, I'm genuinely fascinated as to how it will all turn out, but I suppose the first thing is to get the posters up and see what the initial interest in the group is.

As I asked before, if anyone has any decent suggestions for things to do with this group, I'd be delighted to hear them.


  1. Hi David,

    If you add tags to your post then all the posts related to the formation of a mobile phone ESL group will be easily readable and much easier to send readers on to!

    Interesting blog, though, I've used mobile phones in class but not in the same concentrated experiment format.


  2. hey Karenne,

    yes, I am a bit lazy about tags, I do it for most of my posts but then forget for others ;-). Thanks for the comments, still working on how to implement mobile learning in the classroom, not an easy proposition when there's such a diversity of devices, data plans etc.