The Hashimi article (2011), although slightly dated, still provides a solid definition for mobile learning (ML). ML is the use of portable devices and wireless networks to "enhance and extend teaching and learning." ML can take place anytime, anywhere. In this presentation, I will focus on using mobile technology within my school building.
Mobile Learning: Main Aspect #1:
The primary component of mobile learning has to be the (mobile) devices themselves. Computers, laptops, chromebooks, Ipads & tablets, cell phones....the list is getting more comprehensive every year! Students must have access to a device provided by the school district or bring their own (BYOD). Dreamworld: we get to the point where every student gets a device for their entire time spent in school.
Main Aspect #2:
The Technology. They system. The internet. Wi-fi. If you can't access the internet, you can't get much done. A consistent, steady, functioning internet system is an absolute must. Dreamworld: the internet never "crashes", the wi-fi is strong and global, and the network can handle the workload.
Main Aspect #3:
The teacher-learner connection. Learners still need guidance, if not direct teaching. Required for a successful learning experience is an outline/content, preparation, organization, an environment, and assessment (Ozdamli, 2011). Therefore, the learner still needs a teacher or mentor in order to learn.
Dreamworld: Some of the teachers could be online, in a school, in a neighbouring town, and therefore each area of learning would have an "expert" teaching . Students would benefit from many different people.
Pros of Mobile
choose what to study/learn
relevant & engaging content can be chosen
most people now own a device
Cons of Mobile Learning:
devices may not all be the same
not all students may have a device
device shortage within schools
impersonal /doesn't foster "people skills"
managing internet safety is a big job
Specific Challenge #1:
Lack of Devices in my school!
Wood School has 7 Ipads, a 30 computer lab housed in our library, and one mobile laptop cart with 30 laptops. In a school with 10 divisions of kids, this doesn't allow for a lot of time per class each week. The lab schedule is relatively set for the year, and the laptop cart has both a schedule and some times that can be booked each week or even at the last minute. Most, but not all, classes have 1 or 2 desktops as well.
The only computer lab, laptop cart and Ipads in my school.! Thirty 9+ year old computers in the library/lab, seven Ipads, (Apple is not district supported, so these have been accrued in a variety of ways, and five of which are being used for IEP students in ONE classroom this year), and one five year old laptop cart...215 students (10 classes) have to share these!
solicit the PAC for Ipads (in progress)
pressure the district for tech funding
find tech grants
ask for donations
explore BYOD options
wifi sytem directly in each class
Specific Challenge #2:
System crashes, updates, outdated software/hardware/apps/operating systems, printing/printers...there seem to be daily or weekly disruptions that frustrate staff and students!
Specific Challenge #3: Programs available to us:
For example, our district currently uses Microsoft Office. We are discouraged from using Google sites, supposedly due to US storage issues and such....but other districts are making this work???
Some district sanctioned programs and sites we use:
blocking some sites, monitoring use of streaming, youtube, etc.
tech person available for each school. investigate need to update so regularly, vs. just "leaving" things alone for awhile.
obtain policy and consent forms and send home for parents; can use other sites with permission.
meet with tech department to discuss options.
talk to other districts and find out what works and why.
Looking Ahead: What's the Future of Mobile Learning?
Change, change, change! Schools are having a hard time keeping up with the speed of change in the world! First and foremost we need a huge increase in government funding to keep our schools current. Without the technology to work with, we simply cannot keep up. Ally & Preito-Blazquez (2014) talk about the need for research on how to "design and deliver learning to reach the masses." They further remind us that we must "take advantage of the abundance of mobile technology," which is now commonplace amongst our "digital native" generation of learners. The tricky part? Most of our teachers are a generation or more older than these kids, so the learning curve is steep!
Ally, M. & Prieto-Blázquez, J. (2014). What is the future of mobile learning in education? Mobile LearningApplications in Higher Education [Special Section]. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento(RUSC). Vol. 11, No 1. pp. 142-151.
Hashemi .(2011). What is Mobile Learning? Challenges and Capabilities. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. pp. 2477 – 2481
McQuiggan, S., Kosturko, L., McQuiggan, J., & Sabourin, J. (2015). Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners.
Ozdamli, F. & Cavus, N. (2011). Basic Elements and Characteristics of Mobile Learning. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. vol.28, pp. 937 – 942. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235912545_Basic_elements_and_characteristics_of_mobile_learning
Richards, R. (2013, June 24). Theory of Mobile Learning. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://oltd508lewis.weebly.com/uploads/8/2/7/9/8279059/theory_of_mobile_learning_dr._reshan_richards.pdf/
Shuler, C., Winters, N. & West, M. (2013). The Future of Mobile Learning: Implications for Policy Makers and Planners - "Enablers/Barriers". UNESCO, Paris, France: pp.27-31
CREATED BY Kristine Clark 2018
508 What is Mobile Learning?
My infographic on mobile learning and challenges presented in my school.