Friday, January 16, 2009

Mobile Technology - A Wealth of Possibilities (and some logistical problems)

As a high school student, back in the day I remember getting in trouble for passing notes in class. Why doesn't that happen with our current students? I can confidently state that not one note has been passed here at BHS this year. Or maybe I should restate this? Not one paper note has been passed this year. Texting is now the preferred method of communicating during class when the teacher is not looking. Not only can you text a friend in the next row, you can also text a friend in the next classroom, town, state, country...

At BHS and at many schools, we spend a lot of time dealing with cell phones, which are currently not allowed to be utilized during the school day. However, modern technology is making it more and more likely that this current headache will turn into an invaluable resource in our classrooms.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop just published an intriguing study called Pockets of Potential. As stated in the report's Executive Summary, "the report highlights early evidence and examples of how mobile devices may help re-define teaching and learning in the decade ahead. The key opportunities that it outlines for mobile learning are as follows:

  1. Encourage "anywhere, anytime" learning

  2. Reach underserved children

  3. Improve 21st-century social interactions

  4. Fit with learning environments

  5. Enable a personal learning experience

This week Education Week also highlighted trends in education where cellphones are a resource and not a source of contention. One new resource is which allows teachers to set up quizzes or questions that students can respond to by texting with their cellphones.

A recent survey of about 100 BHS students found the following results:

  • 100% use Facebook

  • Just under 100% send or receive at least 3 text messages in school

  • 85% send or receive more than 15 texts

  • 45% send or receive more than 50 texts per day (including out of school)

  • 35% send or receive more than 125 texts per day (including out of school)

The question surely is not if we will change our stance on cellphones in school, but when?

1 comment:

  1. What about kdis who don't have a cell phone? (granted, it's a small percentage)