Mobile Learning in K-12 Schools

Patricia Hawke

At Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona they are beginning to branch into mobile learning. Called twenty-first century learning, using mobile technology in the classroom has created concerns for the teachers, as they fear the students will be distracted with other mobile applications on their device. Regardless of these teachers’ fears, times are changing; students need to be challenged technologically to keep their attention. The old ways or preaching in front of the classroom while the students take notes is old fashioned. Students aren’t like they used to be. They are getting laptops, iPhones, BlackBerrys, iPads and other devices and are using them on an everyday basis.
Students love technology. They are on it all the time. Their mobile phones are practically glues to their hands and they are constantly texting, picture messaging, going on social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and twitter. This everyday use of technology makes them tech savvy and even the kids are beginning to teach their parents how to use their technological devices. That’s why its s important for the teachers to expand on the student’s technological knowledge and challenge them with new applications and educational tools that a mobile device can offer.
By adding educational tools and educational lessons through mobile devices, students are more likely to pay attention. Since they are already addicted to technology, student’s love being able to work in school with mobile learning devices. There are many benefits to being able to use mobile technology in the classroom. Students will be able to take notes on their device, very well organized notes that they can refer back to later and record lectures using voice memo recording or video recording, so they can review the lesson plan when they want to study or refresh their memory’s before a test. Of course the devices would be great for researching information on the Internet for projects or classwork.
Distractions can happen anywhere at anytime. The fear teacher have that their student wont be paying attention is relevant and a right thing to fear. Students In school are constantly using Facebook and other social media sites and this would be a distraction in the classroom. Think about it, if they are already sneaking using their phones in a regular classroom setting then it will be no different if they choose to use it during a mobile learning environment. It will just be in plain site.
The teachers should start incorporating Facebook into their lesson plans! It seems logical since the students are already constantly on their social media sites. A teacher can create a Facebook page and add test dates, homework due dates and projects due dates into the calendars so that the students are constantly reminded. The teachers also could utilize social media to be able to interact with students and answer any questions they might have easily without having to set up and appointment to go on school campus.
The use of technology in the classroom will open so many doors for students. They will be able to learn in a way that the twenty-first century has taught them and they will be able to utilize the technological devices to make their educational pathway easier and more reliable.
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