Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mobile Computing Devices

The prevalence of mobile devices, along with the quick access to the Internet and its plethora of information that they provide, will demand change to the curriculum being taught and the assignments being designed. For curriculum it means a restructuring of standards, not only in the way those standards are delivered but also how mastery of those standards is measured. For teachers it means becoming familiar with the “new version” of Bloom’s Taxonomy and designing activities that incorporate higher order thinking skills which require students to evaluate and create. Teachers need to focus on developing lessons that are project-based and necessitate the need for students to communicate and collaborate with one another. Many teachers struggle to find the time needed in order to teach all of their required benchmarks and standards. Utilizing mobile computing devices for project-based learning could be one solution to the problem because the process would allow for the integration of curriculums.

Teachers must also realize that mobile devices present more opportunity for, and that students mainly use them for informal learning. These informal learning experiences allow students to personalize their learning to their own liking. It will become essential for teachers to discover how to take successful informal learning experiences and build from them engaging formal learning experiences that still promote personalized learning. It would also be helpful to create lessons that teach students the basic skills of how to use these tools safe and effectively.

On a personal note, someone asked me the other day if I could ever live without my cell phone. After several minutes of pondering, my response was, “Of course I could, but I certainly wouldn’t want to…I think I would be lost without it”. In the busiest of times, it keeps me connected to family, friends, school, and yes, even work. I use it for making phone calls, text messaging, obtaining information from the Internet, organizing contact information, storing events on the calendar (which also syncs with my Google Calendar account), mapping out directions to my next destination, and the list could continue if we all had time. Obviously, my cell phone, and other mobile computing devices such as my laptop, has become an extension of who I am. These devices assist me in my venture to become a better educator by helping me stay connected to my Personal Learning Network (PLN) through Twitter, Facebook, and several Google Tools. They have also allowed me to become a successful e-learner by giving me access to my course work and any necessary information virtually anytime, anywhere. So, although I could survive without my mobile computing devices, evidence shows that they have become indispensable to my very being, and the removal of those devices would not only redefine who I am currently but who I will become in the future.