Mobile Technologies for learning
More than half of the world’s population now owns a cell phone, and children under twelve years constitute one of the fastest growing segments of mobile technology users in the U.S.
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center in its publication Pockets of Potential quotes Michael H Levine:
“It is no longer a question of whether we should use these devices to support learning, but how and when, to use them.”
Real life picture
The following excerpt from Derek Wenmoth’s blog is an indication of the ubiquity of cell phones and mobile devices, and how easy it is to simply take one out of your pocket and capture the moment in a learning environment…
“Today I was at a Wellington kindy, checking in on a young student about to transition to school. With cell phone in one pocket and digital camera in the other, I caught footage with both devices of the student putting audio on her photostory, which we then posted to her blog. On the wing, the teacher and I chatted about the ease with which a student could take a photo with a cell phone and bluetooth it to a laptop. We reflected on the practice that although many kindys have adopted digital cameras, cell phones still remain an adult domain, yet many of the students in the kindy would be quite adept at moving around their parents or older siblings phones.”
But mobile phones have now become more than just a phone. A mobile has multiple applications. A mobile can incorporate:
- Phone (obviously)
- Appointments Calendar
- Alarm Clock
- Game device
- Music player
- Still Camera
- Video Camera
- Video player
- Address Book
- To Do List Reminder
- Voice Recorder
- Email Tool
- Text Messenger
- Satellite Navigation System
So, how does this impact on the learning environment?
- Students are more likely to have access to a mobile device than any other form of technology.
- Mobile technologies are the ultimate ubiquitous device.
It is now not a question of whether to use mobiles in our schools, but how.