Sue Waters Blog

Will Mobiles Be THE Tool of The Future?

| 6 Comments

306544780_4dc16c0405_m.jpgWe debate which mobile devices (e.g. PDA, ipod, mobile phone) to use for mlearning? And it is good to hear differing opinions from people like Stuart Smith and Nick Cowie on the use of mobile phones. But more importantly, we have others reflecting on whether they should be letting their students take their mobile phones out of their bags. Unfortunately, in most circumstances, if teachers want to use their student’s mobile phones for learning they will not be allowed to because it is against school policy! [image by bb_matt]

So tonight it was nice to come across a video podcast interview by Robert Scoble with Elliot Soloway, faculty member of the University of Michigan and founder of GoKnow Learning (Educational computing for mobile handheld computers) that discusses both policies and the future of mobile phones in education.

Elliot points out while many schools think laptops are the solution he believes that mobile phones will be the tool of the future in education.

His reason include:

  • Mobile computing is what kids are doing any way and soon 100 % of students will have mobile phones
  • Most schools have poor IT support which is why their computers do not work.
  • Internet works 50 % of the time in schools which means teachers have to plan two lessons (Internet and no Internet).
  • Price of mobile phones is decreasing.

Elliot also explains that:

  • Education is about meeting the requirement of their curriculum; there will need to be blending of the curriculum with the mobile phones.
  • It will not be a painless process; there will be a tear between the old and the new ways.
  • Schools will eventually need to change their attitudes towards mobile phones.

Check out the video podcast interview by Robert Scoble with Elliot Soloway here!

My thoughts – will be interesting to see in 4 years time whether the mobile phone has become the tool.

Author: Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

6 Comments

  1. Pretty interesting stuff, dswaters.

    The use of mobile phones in the classroom is a highly debated topic right now in the U.S.

    Personally, I think that the unfortunate fact of the matter is that until teachers can *control* what their students do with those mobile phones in the classroom, then they simply won’t become mainstream tools for classroom use.

    *Should* they become mainstream tools? Yes, IMHO.

    Nevertheless, too many teachers simply don’t want to allow their students that kind of freedom – for fear of their students not behaving responsibly enough.

  2. Thanks Darren for your feedback.

    Would love to hear more teachers thoughts on this issue. Can understand their concerns but are the issues that much different that issues that can arise with using Web 2.0 tools with students?

    Surely it is all about educating them on appropriate use of these technologies?

    Sue

  3. Its also about the whole teacher directed vs student centred classroom – both are needed, but how personal mobile phones can be integrated remains to be seen – maybe there’s a market for a school-friendly, parent/teacher controlled phone…

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