Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mobile Technology

Recent research and observation of trends indicate that mobile technology, such as smartphones, will increasingly be used in schools to enhance the curriculum and invigorate learning. Already, a movement is afoot to lift cellphone bans in schools to allow students to use this convenient communication tool to interact with programs found on websites and through other technology sources. For now, the problem resides with teacher training; teachers need to grasp how mobile technologies can be used effectively in the classroom.

Project K-Nect, implemented in four North Carolina high school, uses smartphones to teach 9th graders algebra lessons. As noted in a Digital Dimensions article, “Teachers, from their laptop computers, send specially designed activities related to curriculum topics to students’ smartphones.”

To learn more about the national call for increased use of mobile technology to re-shape learning, consult the Digital Dimensions article. Also, take the time to skim this 52-report: Pockets of Potential: Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children’s Learning Carly Shuler, Ed.M.January 2009

Please post your comments after reviewing the article and/or report. How do you envision mobile technology affecting your teaching and students' learning?


gretchen said...

I found this article very interesting. I think it will be hard to get administrators- with all the liabilities these days to allow cells to be used no matter how useful There are simply too many other things that a student can access from a high tech phone. I do believe that more portable devices will enter the schools though.
Small individual computers of some sort?

Michelle said...

I agree with Gretchen that with all the liabilities these days in school I think using smart phones is going to be difficult to convince people to use. I am all for technology in school but I am skeptical about this one. This initiative would be better if used in college classes. I think students in school will need more training in how to use them appropriately and their purpose. whose to say that if someone abuses it..what are the consequences? Does this initiative take away from person to person contact? Is it a healthy option when we as a society already spend a good chunk of time on the computer, video game, cell phone, laptop etc?
I agree with Gretchen that there are other ways to bring technology into school and support learning. Using smart phones in school for learning, in my opinion, is not a smart idea.

travis said...

This is the way of the future. In many ways it is the same as laptops (which we have now) just smaller. Forget the liabilities, if schools can save money and jump into the technology wave, they will. Training would be an issue though and a pilot for this program would be best left to a school that has had laptops. I found that my whole attitude and style of teaching changed with the laptops. That experience taught me to change with the times. It was not an easy transition; there were and are many bugs to work out. With that said, technology does enhance learning, it is an exciting challenge everyday and I think smart phones would be an extension of that.

Kathryn said...

Ugh! I am vehemently against this! Why is it that we must always cater to our youth's addiction to stimuli? How could schools/teachers manage the use of the smartphone? What about texting, cheating, or innapropriate internet use? There are other ways and other forms of software that teachers can use to 'keep the attention' of our youth. I do not believe that incorporating cell phones (or lifting the ban) is the way to go.

Dave D said...

This is a mixed bag of thought. But is more and more that you can do with technology. I particularly like the rise of the use of interactive clickers so students can be "polled" in class and the results of the poll displayed on the board. There are applications for iPhone and I wouldn't be surprised if they are available for more smartphones. Student responses can be tracked too, so you have a record to review of who said/clicked what.
Despite the annoyance of phones in the classroom, at least you can tell a kid to put the phone up with out him/her generally telling you to go do impossible things to yourself. Adults on the other hand--generally haven't been taught anything approaching cell phone etiquette.