Technology innovations are happening around the world everyday. It is no secret that there is a need for an increase for technology in the classroom to be able to provide personalized, student-centered learning. This will also allow for engaging and collaborative learning. I created an innovation plan in 5305 that you can see here that I thought was good to launch. After being in this class and seeing the success and failures of others through research I can now see some changes that need to be made. Globally schools are jumping to mobile learning to equip students with skills they need to be successful in this evolving technology world. The articles that I researched talk about how technology integration promotes student-centered learning, the justification for use of mobile devices by students, and how professional development is essential for an any technology implementation to be successful. I have also been able to look at what worked, what could have been done better, and how can I apply these lessons learned to my plan.
We all know that ICT (information and communication technology) is being used everyday around the globe to enhance student learning. There are a few examples that I felt work when implementing technology in education.
- The eSkewla Project- A project that was based in the Phillipines which we all know is an area not flourishing in educational tools and opportunity. This plan to me worked because they didn’t start the implementation process until they had a solid foundation. The involved parties saw the big picture with ICT. That is simply to make learning “interactive, flexible, and fun with the use of ICT” (p.18). This project had its hiccups along the way with the training, infrastructure, outside parties that had doubts. In the end there was community support, involvement and there was mobilization. Because the focus of this program was the community, the instructional model, and required training made this program successful.
- MoMath Project- Project based in rural South Africa. This program in my opinion worked because it had support from mobile companies and the community. Mobile learning in this region is small compared to other countries. This project was launched to bridge the gap with mathematics. To me this program worked for several different reasons.
- Accessibility- This free service is accessible via a mobile phone and it gives students access to several exercises and allows students to collaborate with others, compare achievements and get guidance on forward. Without having to download any app, the service works on any phone and pc and is fully browser-based. It requires students or teachers to sign-up then pick their area of interest.
- Understanding- Teachers can use the service to better understand their students’ competence and areas they need to improve.
- Support- Government has completely supported this initiative, 3 top mobile networks support this initiative.
This project is also easily monitored by teachers and students, it curriculum is aligned with its educational standards, and it allows students to excel at their own speed.
Since my innovation plan promotes blended learning I found it interesting that BYOD projects were the most successful in blended learning and distance learning. “Bring Your Own Device (BOYD) program, a movement that has been gaining popularity over the past few years. Schools allow students to use personal devices for curriculum-related activities. The staff often employ rules regarding when a device can and cannot be used, and more often than not, digital citizenship is a hot topic for discussion. Many see the use of technological devices in class as the natural way to move forward and keep up in a tech-dependent world. So far, BYOD seems to be the most cost-effective way for the majority of students to work together using personal tools with which they are already comfortable” (Beach). How schools respond to the growth of mobile devices will affect generations of students and their readiness for college and the workforce. It will also impact how well teachers, administrators, and staff do their jobs. We must all do our best to ensure that accessibility and quality remain top priorities as technology develops.
What Could’ve Worked Better
When I think about projects that could’ve worked better the one that sticks out to me is the The IPad “debacle” in the LA Unified School District. There are a lot “wrong” that happened with this project.
- Poor planning
- Teachers were not trained enough or not at all on how to use the IPads and curriculum
- Students learned how to bypass the security features on the IPads and use it at their own disposal to surf the internet
- Administration and faculty support was not there
- Too connected to vendors (Apple & Pearson)
Don’t get me wrong I applaud their ambitious effort to provide all its students with IPads. If executed correctly this could’ve really given them a lead in the race to implementing technology.
How can I Apply these Lessons Learned
- Gain support-If I don’t have support from the administrators and teachers my initiative for blending learning might not get off the ground. I can do this by showing them through my research why implementing technology in the class is a step in the right direction to enhance student learning.
- Plan- It has been repeatedly found that careful planning is a requirement for the effective implementation of technology. However, technology is often promoted as the solution for improving learning before teaching and learning needs are even identified. In order to effectively target technology to support teaching and learning it is necessary to engage in planning at the state, school district, school, and classroom level. (Means, 1993). I need to make sure that I have a solid foundation in place and that can only occur with proper planning. Making sure that my infrastructure is set, materials are in place, support from teachers, etc.
- Professional Learning– Teacher development is at the core of educational innovation” (West, 2013, p. 13). When trying to push technology implementation we fail to neglect the teachers. Yes, we want our students to be successful and be prepared. How can we do that if the teacher isn’t prepared? We have to provide our teachers with meaningful, fun professional learning. Teachers need training on how best to implement and utilize technology in their classrooms. Great teachers help create great students. In fact, research shows that an inspiring and informed teacher is the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement, so it is critical to pay close attention to how we train and support our teachers.
In conclusion, mobile learning is another gateway for students to get need classroom information. Mobile learning has also open the doors of communication between the students, teachers and even their peers. There is a growing need for digital content in the classroom. “Technology is a critical part of learning and teaching in today’s classrooms,” commented Alicia Levi, PBS Education. “Teachers today need access to high-quality digital content to keep pace with schools’ investment in interactive whiteboards, tablets and other devices to maximize the educational benefits of technology in classrooms.” (PBS.org, 2013). Embracing mobile learning is growing worldwide as you can see in some of my research articles. “Teachers are integrating digital learning into their classrooms more than ever. Nearly half (48%) of teachers surveyed reported using technology for online lesson plans, and just under half use technology to give students access to web-based educational games or activities (45%). Additionally, teachers use online video, images and articles (43%). Sixty-five percent of teachers reported that technology allows them to demonstrate something they cannot show in any other way.” (PBS.org, 2013).
It is now being seen across the world how mobile learning equips students with much needed skills for the future. Several studies have been done to explain the benefits and some of the issues with mobile learning and how it impacts student performance in the classroom. Yes, the research says a lot, and now I just need to “tweak” my plan just a little to meet the needs of the teachers.
Baran, Evrim. 2014. A Review of Research on Mobile Learning in Teacher Education. Retrieved from http://www.ifets.info/journals/17_4/2.pdf
Chambers, Bradley. (2014, August 28). L.A. cancels iPads-in-the-schools program: a failure of vision, not technology. Retrieved from http://www.macworld.com/article/2599988/lausd-ipad-cancellation-is-a- failure-of-vision-not-technology.html
Fritschi, J. & Wolf, M.A. (2012). Turning on Mobile Learning in North America. Illustrative Initiatives and Policy Implications. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002160/216083E.pdf
Hylen, Jan. (2012). Turning on Mobile Learning in Europe. Illustrative Initiatives and Policy Implications. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002161/216165E.pdf
Isaacs, Shafika. (2012). Turning on Mobile Learning in Africa and the Middle East. Illustrative Initiatives and Policy Implications. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from http://tostan.org/sites/default/files/resources/unesco_turning_on_mobile_learn
Johnson, Ben. (2014, September 16). Why Quality Professional Development for Teachers Matters. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/why-quality-professional-development-teachers-matters-ben-johnson
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2015). NCM Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report- 2015-k-12-edition/
Kamenetz, Anya. (2013, September 30). The inside story on LA schools’ iPad rollout: “a colossal disaster.” Retrieved from http://digital.hechingerreport.org/content/the-inside-story-on-la-schools-ipad-rollout-a-colossal- disaster_914/
Lapowsky, Issie. (2015, May 8). What Schools Must Learn from LA’s iPad Debacle. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/2015/05/los-angeles-edtech/
Mahaley, David. (2013, August 11). iPad Educator Professional Development – The Three R’s. Retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2013/08/ipad-educator-professional-development-the-three-rs/
Means, Barbara, et.al. Using Technology to Support Education Reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Research (1993).
Networks for Goals 2000 Reform: Bringing the Internet to K-12 Schools, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL)
PBS.org. (2013, February 3). PBS Survey Finds Teachers are Embracing Digital Resources to Propel Student Learning. Retrieved May 5, 2017, from http://www.pbs.org/about/blogs/news/pbs-survey-finds-teachers-are-embracing-digital-resources-to-propel-student-learning/
So, Hyo-Jeong. (2012). Turning on Mobile Learning in Asia. Illustrative Initiatives and Policy Implications. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002162/216283E.pdf UNESCO. (2009).
eSkewla: Community-based E-learning Centers for Out-of-School Youths and Adults, Philippines. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001833/183307e.pdf
Venezky, Richard. (n.d.). ICT in Innovative Schools: Case Studies of Change and Impacts. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/site/schoolingfortomorrowknowledgebase/themes/ict/41187025.pdf
Vracar, Amy. (2015, February 24). 3 Reasons Why Professional Learning Matters. Retrieved from https://www.teachermatch.org/blog/3-reasons-why-professional-learning-matters/
West, Darrell. 2013, September 17. Mobile Learning: Transforming Education, Engaging Students, and Improving Outcomes. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/09/17- mobile-learning- education-engaging-students-west
Beach, M. (n.d.). How Schools Are Implementing ‘Bring Your Own Device’. Retrieved May 5, 2017, from TeachMag: http://www.teachmag.com/archives/7706
PBS.org. (2013, February 3). PBS Survey Finds Teachers are Embracing Digital Resources to Propel Student Learning. Retrieved May 5, 2017, from