Shifting technologies

So back to the idea of the telephone or the printing press as change agents. A post from Stephen’s Lighthouse on The Primary Web Device provides some growth figures on mobile phone consumer technology.

He quotes from The Register 

The cellular industry took 20 years to reach one billion connections, three years to reach two billion connections and is on target to reach its third billion in a period of just over two years,” Wireless Intelligence director Martin Garner said. “Worldwide growth is currently running at over 40m new connections per month – the highest volume of growth the market has ever seen,” he added. According to Garner, most of the current growth is coming from emerging markets with low levels of penetration, rather than from mature regions such as Europe.

Stephen covers some cool ideas in what this means for libraries. Bit different to our schools where mobile phones are usually seen as something to be locked away or banned.

His last two questions are the best. Are we preparing for new software and device modalities? Are we in K-12 prepared for the largest generation in history – with phones attached?

Frankly we have hardly begun to think this through. Will the next 12 months see a bit of a shakedown in some schools? I have had a secondhand report today that one of my Teacher Librarians is preparing to embark on a metamorphisis of her library, and in addition to reconfigurine learning spaces she will add mobile devices into the library device pool. Excellent. Let the experiments and lateral thinking begin!

What we are doing is creating a learning community. We do this by using Web 2.0 tools and a social constructivist approach to learning. Jo McLeay asked How do we know that blogs and podcasts improve student learning? The comments are well worth a read, as they show that it is learning in a Web 2.0 community that works, not technology as tool – which is what Web 1.0 was all about and which is where many of our teachers are still.

John Connell pointed to Don’s Blog and and his comments about his son’s Study Blog. His son Lewis’ learning community extended beyond his school leading to be a very productive learning experience.

Lewis received his first comment on a blog post yesterday from someone in Dublin, Ireland, in connection with a post he had put up about Proportional Representation. It’s made a real impact as he now realises there are people out there are reading what he writes. It also helped him to better understand what he is studying.

David Warlik got this feedback from his teachers about Why Kids Blog:

Even when they’re out sick, students work on their blogs.

Carol Barsotti

I’ve got 6th graders coming in during their lunch and after school to add articles to their blog and to respond to their classmates’ articles

Al Gonzalez

My students are floored when, as they say, “some random person from Texas commented on my blog!!” The students are getting real world experience with writing.

Brian McLaughlin

Why would my students want to write on paper for their teacher to see, when they could write on their blog for the whole world to see.

Kathy Cassidy

In fifteen years of teaching, I have never seen anything come along even CLOSE to motivating students to write – like blogging does.

Mark Ahlness

Our learning spaces need to get into mobile technology, mobile computing and social software to engage with the students in their world. From where teachers stand it is all about new literacies and new ways of communicating and negotiating content and meaning.

So back to that mobile phone. Take a read of Smith’s Ninth Grade Blog and To Cell Phone or Not to Cell Phone.

So today I tried something new…I had the kids turn on their cell phones and ring in their answers.

Did you guess what the students had to say about the incorporation of mobile phones into their learning experience?

Ways of learning need to change, and I like to think that the required pace of change is oh so! neatly highlighted by the growth in mobile phone connections.

One thought on “Shifting technologies

  1. Judy, to really get a good insight into the educational potential of mobile phones, try reading Alex Hayeswho is an advocate andd VTE educator from Sydney. He has really pushed the boundaries of my thinking in this area including the use fo phones in the classroom, moblogging etc.

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