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I came across this video that was sent to the Mobecom listserv which was posted by Doug Kaufman at clearTXT. The purpose of the listserv, by the way, is to create a community of participants that are interested how technology (especially mobile) can be leveraged in education.
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In the comments of the video I noticed that there is even a conference coming up that is dedicated to “handheld learning”. The handheldlearning2007 conference is in London on October 10-12, 2007.
The video is from the UK, but the ideas, issues, concerns, and thoughts are not unique and definitely apply to the United States as well.
I think that as with any new technology there is a need to build knowledge around the acceptable uses and possible contributions that can be made to the teaching and learning process.
I find it interesting in talking with some of our neighbors and friends that have teenagers. From what I understand, many teenagers would rather have a cell phone than a car, if they could only have one. What this means to me is how important it is to be connected to others. This connection, while social in focus, could have some tremendous potential in teaching and learning.
Imagine the ability for students to quickly and easily communicate, connect, and share information with each other in an informal way. Learning is social. Informal learning is powerful.
Here at GRCC I wonder about our use of Wimba Pronto instant messaging to help students discover, reach out, and connect easily with others. There is so much potential. It would also be interesting to see how students would respond to new capabilities that they could have through using their mobile phones and clearTXT software to create groups and connect with each other.
The video points out that technology can change teaching practice, but good teachers are good teachers regardless of the tools employed. I agree!
I was impressed to see that Michigan State University was highlighted in this video. There is a team of professors (Ken Frank and Yong Zhao) that are undergoing some research into applying an ecological perspective with how technology works in the classroom. Their work is highlighted here: “Factors affecting technology uses in schools“. I think this is an interesting perspective. I think it’s important, as was mentioned in the video, that teachers shouldn’t feel like they will be replaced by the technology. They still continue to have a role, and perhaps even a more important one. That is, to help facilitate, prepare, and shape learners to be successful in society… where technology is one important factor.
What are your thoughts about mobile phones and their use in the classroom or for learning?
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