Almost all of my high school classroom walls were decorated with posters forbidding cellphones. The posters were plastered on the doors, walls, hallways, and library windows. Are cellphones really so bad that they should be forbidden in schools? Can their powers be harnessed for good? I think they can. Many teachers don’t allow cell phones in class because they often cause distractions, but we all know students will use them anyway. Why not focus on ways to use mobile devices for our students’ benefit?
I hope to be a Third grade teacher, so one obstacle I may end up facing while trying to integrate mobile learning is that not all students will have a mobile device. Although it is becoming more and more common that younger children have cell-phones, there are still bound to be a few that do not. A way to solve this problem is by making sure that all apps or sites that I have my students use are compatible on both mobile phones, and computers or Ipads.
In my classroom, I think I will end up adopting a BYOT (Bring your own technology) system. This system seems to be the best of both worlds because there shouldn’t be students left without access to a device (either their own, or a classroom computer/Ipad), and if they bring their own device, they will already be comfortable with navigating the web on their device.
In “Mobile Devices for Learning What you Need to Know” Edutopia writes numerous helpful tips, examples of web tools, and things to consider when incorporating mobile learning in to the classroom. Many of the Websites and Apps suggested seem to be interesting and fun. I am confident that my Third Graders would find them fun, while also productive. One tip that I found extremely important was to allow students to give suggestions for ways to learn through using their devices. This is a great idea because it gives students a chance to be more involved in the process of learning by having input on the teaching strategies used.
Review games can be very helpful in solidifying concepts learned, especially with younger elementary school age students. Another way to solidify knowledge is by making a podcast. Students can create a podcast as a sort of evaluation of learning in which they explain what parts of a lesson they understand, and which parts they feel like they could use a little help with. In doing this, students need to evaluate what they learned, and organize the information in a way that is easy to convey and understand. Students can also use podcasts to “publish” a story that they’ve written so that they can listen to each other’s stories.
Students can also benefit when teachers create the podcast. For my Third Grade class, I think it would be helpful, especially when doing math, to have example problems posted online (maybe on a class blog) and post podcasts in which I walk through the example problem. This could be very helpful for my students because they will be able to access it away from school as well as in.
The concept of mobilizing learning is a sea of opportunities, and students could really benefit from teaching styles in which technology is used to their advantage. Incorporating technology provides variety in lesson plans as well, which will increase student engagement and participation. As teachers, we need to be open-minded and willing to try out new teaching strategies for the sake of our students and a chance to enhance their learning.