The avalanche of options, apps, tools, devices, techniques, tactics, and … and … (and it goes on) that are available to promote mobile learning today is remarkable. Everyone in education is in the throes of dealing with this phenomenon. After all, 1:1 programs distributing, say, iPads to students, plus BYOD, BYOT, and other permutations of a mobile educational environment are shown to extend learning opportunities. And BYOD programs can save districts money as well. So we’ve decided in the November/December 2012 issue of Internet@Schools to point out as many of these options, apps, tools, devices, techniques, and tactics as we can!
Start with a case study, or let’s call it a “proof of concept.” Instructional media and technology coordinator Dawn Nelson writes this month about her school system’s Project Copernicus, which over several years has grown into a big BYOD initiative. In BYOD: An Opportunity Schools Cannot Afford to Miss (page 12), she covers the necessary tactics, logistics, and challenges that come into play when a school or a district wants to “go mobile” in a big way. Yes, she notes, it requires work, training, planning, infrastructure, and organization. But it’s worth it, she says: “We have the exciting opportunity to teach students to ask the right questions, use the real-world tools that they have in their hands to find the best answers, and share that in an authentic way with those around them.”
Then read Idea Watch columnist Carolyn Foote’s compelling observations about the positive impact her high school’s iPad rollout has had and the changes it has wrought in, as she writes, “how our school works.” Here’s a quick sampling of what she has witnessed: students in the library with iPads propped up on tables all around, clustered in groups, textbooks or papers spread about, and the iPad being consulted as well; students in the hallway filming skits with the tablet’s camera; students opening and highlighting ebooks for discussion in class; teachers sitting in meetings, pulling up documents they need or looking up data, and more. See The 1:1 Experience: An Idea Worth Watching (page 26).
And, of course, there’s this month’s Tools for Learning roundup. Victor Rivero covers and comments on a wide array of mobile technology and more—especially more relevant and robust education-related apps for those technological devices. They’re all in his feature The Big Bang: Charting the Expanding Universe of Mobile Education (page 8).
David Hoffman , editor