While interest is growing in the usage of mobile devices in school, a report on learning with mobile devices and social media tells us administrators still struggle with key concerns. Nearly half of principals identify teachers who are not trained in how to use mobile devices for instruction as the number one barrier. Teachers cite student distraction as their top concern of mobile use in the classroom.
Here are nine actions we must take to make responsible and educationally beneficial use of cellphones and other student devices a reality in the classroom.
- Update outdated policies that criminalize student use of their own devices.
- Remove network obstacles that keep students from connecting. Airports, Starbucks, hotels and more have figured this out. Schools must, too.
- Talk to students in your school. Start celebrating ways they learn with their devices. Ask them for input on policies and guidelines.
- Prepare teachers to manage a device-rich classroom with professional development and onsite coaching.
- Provide opportunities for teachers to learn to use technology as a tool to engage students.
- Tie effective use of technology to student achievement
- Ensure those who evaluate teacher performance understand how technology increases effectiveness.
- Implement digital citizenship instruction into your school. Common Sense Education has a high-quality curriculum available to schools at no cost.
- Connect with others who have had success. You can do this by following hashtags #mlearning #byod and #byotchat on social media.
Will the role of this technology change the role of the teacher? Yes. Will this take away some of their control? Yes. Will this help students succeed in the world in which they live? Yes. Is there any educationally sound reason to prevent students from realizing the potential of learning with these powerful tools?