Professor John Traxler



Professor John Traxler was Professor of Mobile Learning, the world’s first, since September 2009, and now Research Professor of Digital Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Wolverhampton UK. He is one of the pioneers of mobile learning and has been associated with mobile learning projects since 2001 when he was evaluator for m-learning, the first major EU project. He is a Founding Director and current Vice-President of the International Association for Mobile Learning, responsible for the annual international mLearn research conference running since 2002. He is co-editor of the definitive book, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, and Mobile Learning: the Next Generation with Professor Agnes Kukulska-Hulme. He is also co-author of Mobilizing Mathematics: Case Studies of Mobile Learning being used in Mathematics Education and Mobile Learning and STEM: Case Studies in Practice, and has written many papers and chapters on all aspects of mobile learning. He sits on various editorial boards. He has been responsible for large-scale mobile learning implementations small-scale mobile learning research interventions, major evaluations and landscape reviews. He currently works on a large EU project exploring digital learning for CPD in rural areas, and on Erasmus projects building HE capacity. He has a grant to research digital literacy for the Palestinian refugee community and extensive experience in MENA.


New Insights into Mobile Digital Technology

Our societies are all now variously characterised by massive, pervasive, ubiquitous and intrusive mobility and connectedness, giving all of us opportunities to create, share, discuss, transform, store and distribute our ideas, images, information, identities and opinions. This has enormous implications for our economic activities, in the assets, resources and commodities that we create and transact, at a personal, corporate and international level, and the ways in which economic and employment activities are organised and managed; for our ethical, aesthetic, expressive, creative,  spiritual and political activities, creating new genres, communities, formats and meanings and transforming old ones, and for our languages and the social context in which they work, likewise creating new forms and transforming old ones, as mobile cyberspace, sometimes called phonespace penetrates and merges with real space, combining, fertilising and fragmenting. These phenomena have been studied and investigated, at both the level of acute empirical details and philosophical speculation. The term Society 2.0 might represent an apt description.

We now live in a world where universal mobile technology makes us more connected and more mobile, enabling us to become people who write and talk as well as read and listen, who express their ideas as well as absorbing those of other people, who can produce as well as consume, and who move in to new formats as the old one fade away.

The language learning community has imaginatively embraced the ideas and techniques of the established mobile learning research community, using the technology to make language learning more widely available, to more people, communities and countries, make language learning richer, more varied, more situated, contextual, personalised and contingent.

The language learning community has imaginatively embraced the apps and websites, the tools and techniques of the wider mobile learning research community, using the technology to make language learning more widely available, to more people, communities and countries, make language learning richer, more varied, more situated, contextual, personalised and contingent, basically more meaningful.

What is less clear is any attempt to respond and react to the challenges and opportunities of Web 2.0. Webinars, podcasts, downloads, websites, videos, wikis, apps and blogs are now available, content and communities are available where learners are learning from each other but where teachers are struggling to develop the skills to orchestrate this abundance and help learners tell the good from the bad.

What has not happened is much reaction from the language learning community to embrace and exploit the challenges and opportunities of Web 2.0. Language teacher should be helping learners learn from the abundance of digital resources, and to distinguish good from bad.

Furthermore, mobile digital technology is no longer the dumb container and passive conduit of language. Language is embedded in changing social practices driven by universal mobile technology, instantaneous translation now supports language workers, technology produces new genres, new vocabulary and new dialects, distorted by interface and interaction design and disturbing the balance between different languages.

Furthermore, mobile digital technology not merely stores and contains language and transmits and transfer it amongst people: language is a component of changing behaviour, relationships and interactions between people. Instantaneous translation using digital technology now supports workers across language barriers, and new vocabulary and dialects are a consequence of digital communication.

The language ecosystem is moreover populated by powerful languages and vulnerable languages, the technology ecosystem is dominated by US technologies, the commercial ecosystem is dominated by global corporates, the university ecosystem by elite universities in the global North.

Meine Forschungsinteressen sind die Analyse und Förderung der Generierung, Konstruktion und dem Teilen von Wissen in kleinen Lerngruppen, Arbeitsteams und größeren Gemeinschaften. Ich entwickelte mehrere computerunterstützte Kooperationsskripts, die Rollen und Aktivitäten Lernender orchestrieren. Skripts fördern spezifische Interaktionsmuster sowie individuellen Lernzuwachs und Wissenskonvergenz in Gruppen. Lerner können mit diesen Skripts darin unterstützt werden, aktiv und gleichberechtigt an Wissensaustausch und kooperativem Lernen teilzunehmen sowie dabei besser zu argumentieren. Den Skript-Ansatz habe ich in verschiedenen Online-Szenarien, z. B. in Diskussionsforen, angewendet und weiter entwickelt, um verschiedene Sozialformen des Lernens sowie unterschiedliche bildungstechnologische Szenarien innerhalb und außerhalb des Klassenzimmers zu orchestrieren.

Redaktionelle Arbeiten:
  • Journal of Computers in Human Behavior: Gastherausgeber, Sonderheft Emerging and scripted roles in computer-supported collaborative learning (2010)
  • redaktioneller Beirat des International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (seit 2012)
  • Gutachter für nationale Wissenschaftsförderstellen, wie etwa DFG, ISF, FWO, und SNF; Gutachter für wissenschaftliche Zeitschriften wie etwa International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Computers & Education, Journal of Computers in Human Behavior, Instructional Science, Journal of Learning and Instruction, Research in Comparative & International Education, Journal for Educational Research Online, IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, und Gutachter für Konferenzen wie etwa CSCL, ICLS, EC-TEL, CTS, etc.

  • Auszeichnung für Demo Backstage auf der EC-TEL 2012
  • Auszeichnung für Demo Proportions auf der EC-TEL 2012
  • Preis für Outstanding Journal Article in the Field of Instructional Design Division of Design and Development of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2005
  • Preis für gute Lehre des Bayerischen Wissenschafts- und Kultusministeriums für die Entwicklung und Umsetzung computerunterstützter Lernumgebungen an der LMU München / der Virtuellen Hochschule Bayern 2000

Armin Weinberger is founding professor and head of the Department of Educational Technology and Knowledge Management. His main research interests lie in analyzing and facilitating the generation, construction and sharing  of knowledge in small groups of learners, working teams, and larger communities. Armin Weinberger has a 20-year experience in designing, implementing, and investigating computer-supported collaboration scripts that orchestrate roles and activities of learners in technology-enhanced environments.

Armin Weinberger is on the editorial board of ijCSCL (International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) and associate editor of the JLS (Journal of the Learning Sciences), the two premier journals of the Learning Sciences  field. Of the top ten most cited articles in ijCSCL, Armin is an author of four of them and the most published author in said journal 2006-2014. Recent publications concern the design and investigation of mass collaboration platforms for learning, such as social networking sites like Facebook, to leverage argumentation for learning online.


Orchestration of Technology-Enhanced Learning

The concept of orchestration has recently emerged as a useful metaphor in technology-enhanced learning research, because of its explanatory power and  appeal in describing how different learning activities, tools, and  arrangements could be combined to promote learning in an ecology of devices. More than a buffet of tools offering possibilities to the teachers,  orchestration refers to the purposeful mixture of different aspects of the learning experience, serving a particular set of learning goals. In this  presentation, current potentials and open issues in orchestrating  technology-enhanced learning arrangements will be discussed and exemplified  with current scenarios of technology-enhanced learning such as MOOCs  (Massive Open Online Courses), learning with social media, e.g., Facebook,  and learning with mobile and multi-touch devices.