“Mobile learning has reached the stage where the ‘early adopters’ and ‘early majority’ (Rogers 2003) are making the use of mobile and wireless technologies visibile across a broad range of contexts and applications.”
As we think about mobile devices (I think I’ve mentioned this on this blog before), there are so many to choose from and they are so commonplace within our culture and society that we often are underwhelmed with their abilities. Most use the simple features of cell phones, PDAs, and smartphones – SMS, MMS, email, quick searches, photo sharing – but rarely do we see them being fully implemented in teaching and learning. This next step is the critical part of the equation that many are missing. I chose to start this blog post with a quote from “Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training” edited by Mohamed Ally because I think it’s true and something that we must seriously consider as educators of the 21st century. We need to harness the energy and engagement that these devices provide to our learners and show them how to constantly learn from and with them on a daily basis.
The technology is out there and our students possess the capabilities to carry around mobile technologies. Let’s face it…most of them are more tech savvy than us because they have grown up in this age that actively promotes their usage and have some sort of mobile device. However, the shift that we need to be thinking about is using them instructionally as opposed to on the peripheral. Mobile devices are not necessarily the answer if not being used effectively and appropriately, nor are we going to be able to move forward from the ‘adopters’ and ‘majority’ without professional development. One thing I know for sure though is mobile devices make learning more ubiquitous and happen 24/7 because knowledge is always at your finger tips.
How do we encourage and promote this change to occur within our schools? How do we insist that mobile devices are the right choice to foster a new learning environment?
And most importantly, how do we transition from ‘early majority’ to eliminating the ‘early’ so that the majority of educators are using mobile devices within their classrooms as educational tools that foster increased learning opportunities and innovative teaching styles?
I’ll quote Dr. Evangeline Pianfetti: “We need to be change agents.” This topic resonates with me because I have heard Vanna say this in the classes that I have been fortunate enough to take with her, but still hits home to me every time I hear it. Agents of change are a must to transition our educational system into something more innovative, more challenging, more creative. The change starts with each one of us that is willing to promote change. We must be the ones to be proactive in nature. We must be the ones pushing for the inclusion of mobile devices within our school settings and we must the ones that promote active, involved learning.