Mobile learning has taken on new meaning. We’ve long since broken down the classroom walls, and now we’ve moved on to make practically the entire world into a connected classroom. With information and interconnections available to students anywhere at any time, essentially in the palms of their hands, the opportunities mobile learning presents are huge.
In this month’s Tools for Learning feature, Victor Rivero has taken a snapshot of the mobile scene in schools at this juncture. Despite the broad presence of mobile technology in ours and our kids’ hands, he notes that many schools and districts are still lagging behind in capitalizing on it. We’ve all read about pilot programs, one-to-one iPad or laptop implementations, BYOD or BYOT (bring your own device or technology) rollouts, etc., but there’s apparently still a long way to go. While research shows positive attitudes among educators, students, and parents toward incorporation of mobile technologies in schools, barriers remain. As Victor indicates, they include costs, device management, infrastructure, plus professional development and implementation support.
To help you deal with these barriers, his feature It’s a Mobile World: But Is It a Mobile World at School? (page 8) takes a snapshot of some of today’s solutions. He writes: “A number of companies, platforms, app makers, and toolmakers have dedicated themselves to creating a most comfortable mobile experience. Here we provide a rough map to an ever-shifting mobile world.”
We also feature an interview this month with the creators of and participants in the Hillbrook School Idea Laboratory, or iLab, a flexible learning space intended to enable the adoption and use of new waves of educational technologies as they come along, including, of course, today’s mobile devices. Read A New Mobile Approach to the Learning Space (page 12) to tap into the insights of these creative minds.
Internet@Schools at Internet Librarian
Finally, as usual in the September/October issue, I like to talk about the contents of our live and in-person version of Internet@Schools as well. After all, it’s better than print! (Better than virtual too, IMHO.) The Internet@Schools track at Internet Librarian this year is on Oct. 28 and 29 at the Monterey Convention Center in Monterey, Calif. Come if you possibly can to hear sessions on libraries as STEM to STEAM hubs, flipping the library for 21st-century learners, social action research, ebooks in schools, and lots more. Hope to see you there. See a preview of the Internet@Schools track HERE (for Oct. 28) and HERE (for Oct. 29), and check out the full Internet Librarian program at infotoday.com/il2013/program.asp.
David Hoffman, editor