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University of Wolverhampton Lecture by Professor John Traxler

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Chancellors Hall

University of Wolverhampton

Wulfruna Street

Wolverhampton

WV1 1LY

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Mobiles and Modernity – how digital technology changes everything

by Professor John Traxler

Since the turn of the century, we have seen mobile technologies evolve from being expensive, fragile, scarce, puny and difficult to being powerful, ubiquitous, pervasive, easy, cheap and robust. In this time and in every part of the world, they have changed the nature of the commodities, assets, transactions and organisation that constitute our economic lives; have challenged the certainties of political issues, affiliations and processes.

In languages, we have seen the emergence of new vocabularies, genres and dialects and the transformation of marginal and nomadic languages and their cultures, often in the face in the face of the dominance of global Anglophone corporations; they have fuelled moral panics and catalysed new forms of harm, affront and misdemeanour; they have transformed though not removed digital divides around the world.

Furthermore, they have given individuals and communities the means and opportunities to generate, share, transform, discuss and access ideas, images, identities and information and in doing so have the potential to threaten the established professions, institutions and forms of education.

There are clearly different interpretations of their impact from merely a technical aspect of the otherwise unchanged realities of the modern world to a symptom of a slide into the fragmented, subjective, suspicious and transient world of post-modernity. We hope to explore these perspectives.


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John Traxler is Professor of Digital Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Wolverhampton. He is one of the pioneers of mobile learning, associated with projects since m-learning in 2001, the first major EU project. He is Founding Director 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 four others, plus papers, articles and chapters on all aspects of learning with mobiles and their wider impact on society. He has supported and advised UNESCO, UNRWA, USAID and ITU, and worked on projects funded by LSC, JISC, British Council, EU, IDRC and DFID in Europe, the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

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Chancellors Hall

University of Wolverhampton

Wulfruna Street

Wolverhampton

WV1 1LY

United Kingdom

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