Mobile Learning – The Impact for Educators
Yesterday we took a look at the concept of mobile learning. We began by providing a brief definition from the website on the website irrodl.orgthen started to assess what such technology offers for learning.
Clearly, the very opportunities provided by mobile learning create complexities and additional challenges for educators who are used to the traditional notion of instructing students. First and foremost appears to be a transition from a reading and writing approach to learning to one that is almost entirely activity-based.
Mobile learning demands an ability to find information rather than either possessing or knowing it. And as technology further emerges, knowing where to find a specific piece of information is no longer as obvious as it once was.
In the fullest sense, we find that mobile devices create new forms of knowledge as well new ways of accessing that knowledge. Think of a song that is available for an iPod, then the quest for the user to acquire the song, download it onto their iPod, then retrieve it when the person has the desire to listen to it. Many adults would not be able to navigate their way through this process given their lack of knowledge regarding accessing music as well as how to operate the various controls of the iPod itself.
New phrases such as technology enhanced learning or technology supported learning are simply inaccurate here. Such phrases conjure up the idea that technology does something to learning. But it is learning itself that is truly being transformed.
With advanced technologies, one major shift will be to examine how knowledge is organized and interrelated. Do we continue to offer a traditional breakout that organizes learning by subjects like math, science and social studies? And does education continue to see reading and writing as the core that all other learning revolves around?
Or does mobile technology demand that technology be in that fundamental mix, a member of the core subjects? Could we even venture to say technology must be put above all other areas of learning as a new core for the future?