Unit 5: Mobile devices in schools

With the huge growth in web-based tools over the last 5 years, and with many of them quite useful to education, a big shift is occurring in how we use technology to enable student and teacher learning. There is of course the amazing equipment we can now use with students, such as smartphones and tablet computers, but within 5 years, even these will seem as commonplace as video cameras.

It’s not a matter of how many you have, but what you do with them that counts, as well as the kinds of web tools and cloud-computing systems that support them.

In 2010 a US initiative called Project Tomorrow conducted one of the largest studies ever of students, parents and teachers on the use of mobile devices and technology called ‘Speak Up’.  Published in two parts (one about students, the other about teachers), the reports were called the ‘The new 3 E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged and Empowered’, and is well worth a scan, even for the statistical data only.

So for this task, we’d like you to have a chat to one or some of your students about how they use mobile devices and web tools to help themselves remember, learn, manage, and organise their lives. Possible questions you might discuss with them could include –

  • Have you ever used your phone to record something for school work?
  • What’s the school’s policy on mobile phones?
  • Would you like to use your own mobile device in class?
  • What are some of your favourite apps that you use on your phone?
  • Do you have a younger brother or sister? Do they ‘use’ as much technology as you?
  • If you had an iPad or similar device, what would you use it for at school?
  • Do you think teachers are good with technology?

We’d love for you to report back and reflect on your discussions with students in a blog post. If you are comfortable with sharing, then please also put a link to your post in the VicPLN Facebook group, so the discussion can continue there.

Proceed to the next task-Apps

Go back to the Unit 5 overview






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