"Learning in the Age of Mobilism"
by Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway (2011)
Fort September 2011 Issue on http://www.districtadministration.com In this article, Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway (2011) discussed about the age of mobilism in today's learning. Laptops outsold desktops in 2008, and smartphones outsold laptops in 2010 (Norris & Soloway, 2011). Though there are some individuals or parties who are skeptical about the idea of the transition towards mobile learning, we have to learn to accept and understand that this is a different age of teaching and learning ~ particularly with the type of learners that are enrolled in our current school system. People as learners, do not only want to be passive participants. They want to be engaged, to interact with fellow learners, and to be continuously connected not only within their own learning community, but as well as expanding collaboration and communication globally.
The evident changes, or should I say evolution, in learning have been quite a feat as I look back to the development of technology and its influence and contribution in the world of education. Last school year, I had the opportunity to teach teachers who wanted to learn about technology applications. In addition, teachers were given the challenge to take the technology applications certification after they have completed attending the required classes under my district's Tech Apps Tune Up (TATU) program (Ysleta ISD Instructional Technology Department, 2011). Many teachers passed their certification and I cannot be more proud in their accomplishment. I am sharing this because the topic that I taught during the TATU program preparation was Web Mastering. I was expecting that the required activities in Web Mastering will include more current web design and development pratices. Unfortunately, the items in the technology applications certification still resides in older approaches and practices in web design and development. This post a problem because of the inconsistencies in expectations and training that teachers undergo to be certified in technology applications. In reality, the surge of change in technology happens so quickly that the test items are not even close enough to support the current technology practices. If we are to certify teachers in technology applications, they need to be exposed and trained on relevant and current topics to provide students with the proper foundation in technology.
When the proposed Technology Application (TA) Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) were posted online, I noticed many changes in the technology courses that are expected to be made available in schools. For the high school alone, new courses have come up such as Mobile Application Development, Web Design, Web Development, Gaming, and the like. The list is very huge and I wonder how the Tech App teachers will be trained to be certified and be highly qualified to teach such courses. In this age of mobilism, teachers need to be a step ahead in learning new trends, practices, and expectations when it comes to integrating technology in content areas. Students' learning styles will continue to evolve, and we cannot dictate to them what we want them learn. Learning environments will continue to change as well. Gone are the days of lecture and rote learning. Teachers need to expand their horizons in opening their teaching practices with collaboration with students and be partners in education.
Elliot: Someone in Korea has been reading our District Administration column! via blogs.districtadministration.com
An absolute must read from Cathie and Elliot on Mobile Learning! I attended their ISTE 2011 Conference Session last June and they have both provided great revelations on the future of mobile learning. I think that this is something we have to consider when planning on children's educational future.
Elliot: There must be something in the water; how else can we explain the sudden growth in mobile learning “events”? For starters, within a span of a few days, two other bloggers(Blog#1, Blog#2) have pointed out the coming “revolution” in K-12 due to mobile technologies. Why now? WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN? via blogs.districtadministration.com
Here is another interesting blog from Cathie and Elliot! I agree that looking into the use of mobile technologies in campuses will open wonderful opportunities for both young and adult learners. I understand the skepticism and fears of district and campus administrations on the different repercussions concerning harm, bullying, and abuse. However, I think that fears and apprehensions should not be the basis in determining and setting the limitations on student's and teachers' progress in inovative and creative teaching and learning.
If we are truly for quality education, then achievement does not come without risks! We need to be open to changes and challenges! We also need to be wise and better decision makers in maximizing the use of current technologies. We have to set aside our personal issues and focus on allowing all learners to reach their fullest potentials.
Educational Leader. Advocate of Equality and Equity in Education. Photographer. Graphic Designer. Web Developer. Digital Artist. Technology is my medium for creative and artistic expression.