Monday, April 5, 2010

Mobile, Wireless, and Ubiquitous Learning

With mobile and wireless capabilities, learning is truly ubiquitous, granted everyone has access. The forums this week posed the question of using mobile technologies to take the place of calamity days for schools, something that I have discussed in detail with my classes. Most are interested in mobile learning (mainly via laptop) but not all have access to computers or internet. Until it is true that everyone has access to these technologies, I don't think K-12 schools can require online learning due to expense and it is doubtful that schools will be providing these technologies for students. Ohio's "online calamity day" sounds much more glamorous than it really is. I envisioned skype sessions, youtube vidoes, or at the minimum a discussion forum. This is far from the case and reading the proposed bill was quite disheartening. Lessons must be turned in for calamity days in September, and most calamity days are not used until December. This means the lessons will not be in sync with the content of the class, but hopefully will lead to more "big picture" lessons. It is a step in the right direction, Ohio, but not the giant one I was hoping for.


  1. I agree, it would be great to move to the next step; however, the unfortunate reality is that it will nearly be impossible unless the school is placed in a dream world where there every household income is greater than $200,000, there are computers for everyone in the house, etc. The reality of it is that not every family has access to a computer, high speed internet, etc. To add to those issues would be the logistics of how interactive the information will be, how will it be hosted, who will manage it, how will the training of the teachers, administrators, students, parents, etc. work...the list goes on and on. Definitely a project that needs to be well thought out. But hey, by the time it's all figured out maybe everyone in America will have a laptop and high speed access.

  2. Leesa,
    I don't know if this point matches your thoughts on mobile learning, but I watched the Blind Side recently and saw how the young man who was behind in learning benefited from coaching in taking tests. He couldn't comprehend some of the questions but knew the right answer when the teacher prompted him with clarification of the questions.

    I guess my point is that I see mobile learning not only as technology allowing learning to be flexible in location and time, but as a supplement to the mainstream learning methods. The young man in Blind Side benefited from supplements, although not in technology, and I am convinced mobile learning can add to most students rate of learning and understanding if the mobile content can be developed cost effectively and function well. Hard thresholds I'd imagine but maybe worthwhile. At least try when you can. Profess Anzoi from Tokyo was doing something like that.

    Steve Hoard