Mobile Learning Strategies: Homeless University and iPad Students

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Mobile learning is also such a trendy buzzword - but one that is quite broad, if you take a closer look: While a mobile homeless university was initiated in Berlin, a university in Bonn is giving its students an iPad. The contrasts couldn't be greater. And what does real “mobile learning” look like now? Mobile Learning Strategies: Homeless University and iPad Students

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


A university for the homeless

In Berlin, a homeless university was launched this year. It wants to offer people without housing not the usual seminars for reintegration into society, but creative teaching and learning opportunities in all areas - from the cultural studies of Egypt to theater to philosophy.

Even if homeless people could take advantage of public education programs, such as adult education centers, they often lack the courage and the money to do so. Therefore, people are taught to be mobile in homeless shelters or other places where people without permanent residence meet or stay.

Homeless as lecturers

What is special about this is that the homeless are not only students, but also teachers. In this way, a new perspective is to be given to them by learning that their abilities are appreciated and used. On the website of the homeless university:

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The homeless should learn that his knowledge and skills have a high relevance and that his experiences are needed and appreciated by others. By preparing a lecture / presentation, in addition to increasing self-esteem, there will also be a deepening in the respective subject area, as the lecturer will deal thoroughly with the topic in advance.

A survey shows a wide range of subjects

What kind of skills the homeless people can and want to convey, was surveyed from May to November 2011 in a survey. It came as a surprise to find out how Germany's radio knowledge, where there is also an Audiobject on the topic, can be read:

“A survey of homeless people showed that they can offer a wide range of subjects. From history lectures to social media seminars. ”

Wanted potential

What is the potential of this country, which in the Pisa study is notoriously in the back seat and in the capital is spending more money for an airport than for the educational institutions, since actually?

This is a good catchword, as the International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef / Bonn (IUBH) wanted to do something for mobile learning and gave its newly enrolled students a free iPad 1.10.2012 from the 3.

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An iPad for students willing to pay

Fairly, one has to say that the students there pay depending on the study course between 4.000 and 5.000 Euro per semester, since the costs for the iPad are probably already included. Update: These are the prices for the attendanceCourses. The distance learning courses cost between 1.800 Euro and in the Master almost 2.500 Euro.

However, the Bachelor and Master students have access to the entire teaching and learning offer of the IUBH Fernstudium at any time and at any time. The iPad certainly offers a wide range of applications:

Extensive application possibilities of the iPad

Learning materials can be accessed and used from anywhere on iTunes University (iTunes U), online scripts, solutions and video lectures can be downloaded and viewed directly on the iPad.

The contact with fellow students and supervisors can directly out of the learning environment out as per eMail or forum, automatic reminders eg for online tutorials can be activated.

Great that the IUHB would like to expand mobile learning in this way, that could be the way for a university of the way in the right direction. It is a pity that the measure addresses only new students who are still enrolled in 31.12.2012.

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New customer acquisition with compulsory obligation

In addition, in the event of premature termination of the distance learning agreement, the iPad must be returned in working order within one week after termination - the student will, of course, pay for any damage or return.

A sustainable mobile learning strategy looks different for me. The mobile learning action has an impact on me as the new customer acquisition attempt of the savings bank next door with compulsory obligation to stay at the bar. Which strategy do you like better?

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  1. Philipp Höllermann

    Sorry, was meant, of course, Mrs. Janson :).

    • Simone Janson

      Thank you, that's nice, many are not so accurate.

  2. Philipp Höllermann

    Hello Mrs. Jansen,

    nice that also this action from us input into your blog finds. Only a small correction: The semester in the distance study costs just 1.800 Euro in the Bachelor and 2.500 Euro in the Master. Still a whole lot but far from the 4.000 - 5.000 Euro that you mention.

    By the way, under <a href = "" iubh / 32203-iubh-fernstudium-31-12-2012-einschreiben.html discussed the meaning and nonsense of our action intensively and once again explained our reasons for the limited time.

    Otherwise, the return of the iPad is necessary for the following reason: The device as we deliver it currently costs 699 euros in retail. In distance learning courses, students can withdraw from a distance learning contract for the first 14 days without reason (mandatory regulated by the ZFU), with us even in the entire first month. It is true that all teaching materials have to be returned, but of course the provider remains at the cost (e.g. due to wear and tear, for shipping, etc.). Immediately after the 14 days, students are allowed to keep all the materials supplied without the provider having to invoice them separately. For us, if we "gave away" the iPad as a start to our studies, it would simply not be financially viable ... and that would also be a mere lure.

    What we do is the following: We offer our students a mobile device for distance learning without additional costs. With this you can use our media and mobile learning offers. And as a bonus they can keep the device at the end. In the center is not that we give an iPad, but that we support mobile learning, And the strategy I find personally, of course, good.

    The homeless university I find incidentally extremely exciting, great what is there on the legs.

    Best Regards,
    Philipp Höllermann
    IUBH distance learning

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Höllermann,
      I am pleased about your dedicated contributions to the discussion. Thanks for the comments on the return modalities - then makes the scheme a bit more sense. As for the prices, I had accidentally landed at the attendance events - I'll correct that in the post:
      Thank you, but especially for the reference to the critical discussion, in which exactly the points are addressed, which I would also have to criticize:
      No iPads for attendance students, Is an iPad at all a meaningful working device (yes, many companies advertise with iPads because they are so hip) and above all - as they say - the fact that I'm the price of the iPad just on the tuition charges and das was also calculated accordingly.
      So the offer is just not a free offer but is allocated to the tuition - so your statement - and that gives the thing but unfortunately a little negative touch.

      However, I naturally find the intention to support mobile forms of work in principle good and correct. Only the “how” may need a little discussion.

      In the homeless, I personally would be nice, if the educators once thought about how they could support such a project.
      Simone Janson

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