Taking Action for Mobile Learning
While classroom teachers are not necessarily policy makers, their input should (and sometimes does) drive policy. Comprehensive adoption of mobile learning can start with the individual practices of a few teachers in a school, but fully supported implementation requires significant planning, investment, and reform all the way up to the school board.
So what can an individual teacher who wants a school or district wide mobile learning program to improve student learning do? If you are that that teacher, chances are you already incorporate technology available to students, plan lessons and activities to personalize students learning experiences, and provide opportunities for extensive in and out of class collaboration. This is a fantastic start and there are several steps you can take to move the discussion from the hallway between classes to school and district decision makers.
Teachers can help supportive administrators make the case for mobile by clearly presenting both the benefits of mobile practices and by demonstrating thoughtfulness about potential risks and costs. This includes posing and answering instructional questions such as:
- What kind of devices and software does the school already own to facilitate mobile teaching and learning? What more is needed?
- What is the instructional focus of the use the selected devices and internet connectivity?
- What will teaching look like? How will it look different?
- What will student learning behaviors look like? How will they look different?
- How will assessment be different? Why will mobile learning better allow for competency-based assessment?
Teachers are a building’s experts on teaching and the needs of their individual students, but they can also show their expertise in helping school and district administrators plan for policy impact. Frequently, teacher initiative in this area can help legitimize the request. Similar to the instructional benefits, policy impact discussions can be driven by asking and answering a series of questions:
- How should decisions about technology purchases be made? How can teachers help?
- How can the school/district be certain that newly purchased technology is being used in the manner intended?
- How will student use be monitored? What are the safety and security concerns that need to be addressed?
- What aspects of the Internet access and use policy(s) are impacted? What potential changes may be necessary?
- How will academic honesty and integrity be monitored and maintained? Are discipline code/policy changes required?
- What professional support will teachers need?
Much like mobile teaching and learning allows students to take ownership of their education, thinking about these questions and issues allows teachers to take ownership of the mobile discussion in their schools and districts. Teachers prepared to think about high level impacts are prepared to demonstrate leadership and convince skeptical leaders that mobile transformation is not only probably, but beneficial.
Policy of Protection
Preventing cyberbullying and protecting student privacy, what is your school’s policy position and best practices?