Mobile Learning

Mobile Learning

 

Mobile learning implies that instruction takes place on the go – in fast moving cars, or on a roller coaster. In reality, it does not mean any of those things at all. Mobile Learning is what transpires in a learning process when information is launched and received in through proper, yet unconventional methods. The phrase in today’s world is linked to the idea that new technologies provide the perfect platform for learning as previous generations were linked to actual blackboards and film projectors. Using devices such as Smartphones, iPads and other tablets, and similar devices, mobile learning is inspired by new innovations in technology that have been forever connected to the classroom of everywhere. This is a place where students and teachers can interact, learn, and reflect – all away from the traditional learning spaces.

Learning takes place today in the scenario described above all the time. While there are concerns regarding this type of learning, supporters believe mobile devices as a learning platform engages students and excites the mind. Although there are benefits, others point out that Mobile Learning has a ways to go before it can be adopted on a large scale. Many believe Mobile Learning – which requires the purchase or acquisition through other means –  of the devices. Not all students will have access to devices as these items tend to be expensive. And while there are examples of companies providing devices as part of a program, not all municipalities or classrooms can benefit in that way. For those who appear to oppose mobile learning, the equity of  access to these devices remains a large concern. Will these students who are unable to afford such devices be left behind? Again? I hope not. This is a major concern for smart educators everywhere. These concerns should remain among the top concerns for any educator wishing to bring mobile learning to our schools.

While detractors exist, the potential instructional uses for these devices are great. Many in education instruct with these instruments in mind. However, these devices are tools. Tools that in properly trained hands can unlock virtues and gifts in previously talentless hands. Teachers must be willing to make changes and be aware of changes required  in the evolving types of instruction to captivate the learners who hold the devices. Making changes to the curriculum must remain one of the primary goals of educators. Changing the types and focus of lesson plans and units of study to reflect the needs of learning with these devices is key. For example, lecturing for 40 minutes on a topic is no longer an option to reach these students who hold the devices. Changing up traditional styles of teaching, and incorporating inquiry-based learning in content instruction will lead to learners who play a more significant role in the acquisition of knowledge.

Also, there are areas such as assessments that are also due for a makeover. While summative assessments will always be with us, there are several ways to produce evaluative materials to judge a student’s progress through a range of material. As Emmen offers, there are several ways to provide feedback to learners and data to help instruction. Formative assessments differ from the summative type by being more informative than the other kind of assessments. Information for teachers and students can result from the use of  online software like Socrative.com. These formative assessments focus on providing information that is relevant for future learning strategies. As Dodge states, “formative assessments — support learning during the learning process,” software like Socrative offers feedback to both teacher and student. These types of assessments have a dual purpose, providing data for the teachers with regards to instruction, whether to continue or return to specific topics to review materials as some students may not be not grasping key ideas. Likewise, the students gain from viewing the feedback and can then make determinations regarding the material: “do I need more study time on the content”, or “I can move on to the next topic.”

Finally, some companies like Virgin Atlantic are using wearable devices in the uniforms of flight attendants to improve customer experiences. Such technologies can inform about flyers’ names and other data. In addition, flight uniforms can be outfitted with LED name tags, and can offer even more lights – again on the uniforms –  to be activated in times of emergencies. Finally, “Virgin Atlantic announced they will be using Google Glasses at the Upper-Class Wing at London Heathrow airport. Their purpose is to test how wearable technology to enhance passengers’ travel experiences.” These are advancements made for air travel in an industry that does not affect most of the world’s population. Perhaps in the future, such advancements can be made to assist in educational aims.

 

 

 

References

Corbeil, Joseph Rene and  Maria Elena Valdes-Corbeil. 2016. Are You Ready for Mobile 

          Learning? EdUCause: Why it matters to Higher Education. Retrieved

          from: http://er.educause.edu/articles/2007/1/are-you-ready-for-mobile-learning

Nguyen, My. “Up In The Air: Wearable Technology Takes Off.” Wearable Technologies.

          2015. Retrieved from: https://www.wearable-technologies.com/2015/12/up-in-the-

          air-wearable-technology-takes-off/

Emmen, Jonathan. “Top 5 Student Response Systems that Work on Multiple

          Platforms. Emerging EdTech. 2015. Retrieved

          from: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/09/top-5-multiplatform-

           studentresponsesystems/

 

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Connections – online software that links people

Connections – online software that links people

Project Management

ZOHO Project Management Software. Retrieved from: https://projects.zoho.com/portal/

          techprofessionaldevelopment/newlogin.do#dashboard/879443000000014341

This product was chosen due its relative ease of use in the training modules I use with new teachers at St. Joseph’s Prep. The software was free, it required an email to start and offered training materials for new users. I sent along instructions to the cohort of new teachers, five individuals in all who would be working with this project management software. Once the software was sent electronically to the users, I will address them individually and in a group setting to begin the “project” I have planned. In this instance, having a calendar and areas for assigning tasks to every individual will be the first ways I can see using this project management software.

Users may use tablets or smartphones to access accounts and make changes to calendars, update accounts, and show tasks are complete with the devices. The product is the completion of an assignment that has several components, so as a result, there are several outcomes that are desired. Each one of these outcomes will lead to the successful completion of a video, a self interview, and an interview of a student.   

RSS Reader               Feedly. Feedly.com. Retrieved from: http://feedly.com/i/welcome

Really Simple Reader sites allow Web 2.0 users to be able to gather several different news, sports, or entertainment sites and have the information sent directly to a particular device. A user can use many different devices such as a laptop or desktop, a tablet, or a Smartphone. With the RSS feed and an application that organizes the RSS feed, the user can have all the content one desires sent to one location, saving time and effort searching different websites each time information is desired.

I chose “feedly.com” for delivering content to my iPad. I chose this site because it was recommended by the creators of the video posted under the “readings” for this module. The site was very easy to use, I chose three different news feeds, NPR, the New York Times, and The Huffington Post. Each of these organizations offer the national news I intend to stay aware of in my daily. I have not always been dedicated to knowing the news, and being aware of even the most important events in local and national news. An RSS feed from Feedly will allow me to remain constantly in touch with the most recent and popular stories.

This can enhance the learning by allowing me to connect with educational news as it breaks as well as follow stories that relate to subjects I am interested in. For example, I will take time over the weekend to further investigate other RSS feeds available from feedly.com. The product, once again, is informing people of recent events that change from day to day. A more informed teacher in world events is better able to discuss matters with students, as students will have questions he/she will want to discuss.

Podcasting

Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds. Retrieved from: http://www.audacityteam.org/

Podcasting allows users, just about anyone with a computer, tablet, or a Smartphone, to create audio files in a Mp3 format. This format is the most widely used and can be posted on a Website allowing consumers the ability to download and listen – usually for free. It has been said by many that podcasting has “democratized” radio, taking the power from the hands of corporate radio.

The selection of Audacity to create podcasts was chosen because I had a history with the application and have used it with students and teachers to explain content and be an additional resource for users who were trying to learn academic material or a training module from the program I currently oversee, a new teachers program at St. Joseph’s Prep. Audacity is one more technical tool that I use to convey the importance of learning and using technology to aid and assist new teachers to learn and grow.

References

Audacity A quick overview for the Completely Bewilded(sic). YouTube.com. Retrieved

from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4QpD1vAJkY

Watson, Stephanie. How Podcasting Works. Retrieved from:

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/basics/podcasting.htm

Rules for Online Etiquette

Rules for online etiquette, or Netiquette, begin with being respectful of others while engaging in Information Technology Communication(ICT). According to Berk, as seen in his summary article of online etiquette, “Top 12 Be-Attitudes of Netiquette for Academians,” declares there are twelve rules for users to follow, although his focus is for those in Academia, he hopes all users will take heed to his warnings. These twelve rules include using appropriate language, grammar, and spelling. In addition, Berk warns users to be as brief as possible in email and other forms of communication, and to be cautious when communicating with colleagues.

Of these rules, I believe I have violated many, if not all, at one time or another. Fresh in my mind because it happened only a few weeks ago, is a text altercation between myself and a colleague. Stemming from a comment I made in a meeting earlier in the week, I made a comment to this person, and he did not receive the barb as I intended. Quickly, the anger spilled out over our phones while in a group message text. Needless to say, we were both at fault, and both embarrassed, as we had never intended those comments. We agreed it was harmful and fruitless to act as we did, particularly within the confines of the group text, where other colleagues could see our written reactions. I wrote things I most likely would have never said in person, and that troubled me. I learned from that experience.

Perhaps that was my worst example of me going beyond the bounds of acceptable and responsible communication over new media. Although I have been known to click on the “Reply All” button when intending a message for only one individual in the group. I was replying to a friend – or so I thought –  at work, and I wrote a few sentences about a colleague who I judged as being unfair. This person’s opinion was well known, and in the email I analyzed her opinion and debunked each one of her points. It was nothing earth shattering, and she was going to hear that information at some point in the future, however, I wish I had paid more attention to the “Reply/Reply All.” That led to an awkward moment, but thankfully, not much more than that.

I work in a school that values professional development – particularly for new teachers in years 1 – 5 teaching at the school. In these “formative” years, it is particularly important to address netiquette or online etiquette. These themes are addressed during a three-day training prior to the beginning of the school year. The Prep also has a program for Alumni, called the Alumni Service Corps. Some of the young men return to teach at the Prep. Many times these individuals are very intelligent, however, even the brightest of students need “polishing.” As these new teachers are fresh out of college, they begin a training program in August that lasts through the academic year. One of the first areas of content for Alumni Service Corps teachers is professional correspondence. I start with always using proper spelling, grammar, and most importantly uppercase letters. Many new professionals do not realize the importance of portraying a professional presence when connecting with students and parents in email. These Alumni teachers usually meet once every two weeks to discuss professional development topics.

Netiquette relates to “Digital Citizenship” through the simple, yet tremendously important idea of being responsible while online and corresponding through email. Being aware of one’s civic duty while online is an essential theme in digital citizenship. Also, using proper Netiquette is recognizing that the individual agrees to the social norms and participate in the civilized world of online communication. The three themes of Digital Citizenship, student learning, the student experience, and the student’s life beyond the school are areas to address and train students and new teachers in the “How to’s in online communication”.

References

Berk, R. A. (2011d). Top 12 be-attitudes of netiquette for academicians. Journal of Faculty

          Development, 25(3), 45-48.

Common Sense Media. (2011) Digital Literacy and Citizenship in the 21st Century. San

           Francisco. Retrieved from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/

Malroy, R, Verock-O’Loughlin, R, Edwards, S., Woolf, B. (2016). Transforming Learning 

          with New Technologies (3rd ed). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Being a Digital Citizen

Being a Digital Citizen

What does it mean to be a “Digital citizen?”

We have all taken courses in Civics and Government in Middle and High School. I even taught that course for a few semesters. Hopefully, we learned a bit about the government, how it operates, the United States Constitution, and what it means to be a responsible person or member of society in America.Being a “Digital Citizen” could mean a number of different things. Mostly it is being a responsible person in the online community.

But what does “responsible” mean? Briefly, being responsible in any online pursuit means the ability to find and use technology in a competent manner, to critically assess any information found online, and being constantly vigilant to the consequences of our actions. (Common Sense Media 2009) In addition, as an adult online user and an educator, I have a responsibility to students and parents to train students in the elements of Digital Citizenship as seen in Malroy, Edwards, and Woolf, B. (2016).  

These elements center three(3) themes: student learning, the school environment, and the student’s life outside school. Providing for equitable access to an online experience that is open to an exchange of open ideas helps to define learning for the digital citizen. Ensuring a safe and secure school environment where rights and responsibilities are made clear for all users so that she/he may know the best practices to conduct oneself while online. And finally, student’s need to know how to practice responsible online skills because at the end of the day students leave the school and return home to where he or she may engage in online shopping or running a website. Students need to understand that all online actions must be ethical as consequences can result from not following regulations.

References

Common Sense Media. (2011) Digital Literacy and Citizenship in the 21st Century.           San Francisco. Retrieved from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/

Malroy, R, Verock-O’Loughlin, R, Edwards, S., Woolf, B. (2016). Transforming        

          Learning with New Technologies (3rd ed). Boston, MA: Pearson.