Mobile Learning Considerations
As seen in definitions by researchers and practitioners, there is no single model or setting that establishes a classroom as a mobile learning environment. The two themes that recur are that of mobility, that learning is not constrained to the four walls of the classroom or the school building, and access to learning content via some sort of device that facilitates student learning any time, any place, customized to their specific needs and interests. Beyond the terms and buzzwords, it is also clear that mobile learning is still about effective teaching and learning practices.
In 2010, the Digital Learning Council defined the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning* and these elements serve as strong guideposts for ensuring the learning environment you wish to establish for your students. The key is your instructional focus. While logistical concerns such as whether your setting is a 1:1 environment in which students are provided devices, or whether students provide their own in a BYOD set up, on the type of device and student access should not blur the end goal: improving outcomes for students.
The 10 Digital Learning Elements point to the following questions to ask when looking to go mobile or optimize a classroom with existing mobile and digital elements:
- Are all my students able to participate as mobile learners?
- Do all my students have equal access to devices and content, in school and out?
- Is there a valid educational rationale for changing my practice to incorporate aspects of mobile/digital learning?
- Are my curricula and instructional practices designed to allow students to leverage mobility to personalize their own learning experiences? Are my texts and assignments digital?
- Have my curricula and instructional practices retained high quality, rigor, and standards as they are mobilized and digitized?
- Am I able to effectively assess student progress and achievement? Do students sufficiently understand how to interact with a mobile and digital assessment mechanism to prevent format from being a barrier to content?