8 Tips for Launching Successful Mobile Learning in Your District
Mobile learning sounds like a win-win situation: every student can have access to powerful edtech tools through a device that costs the district nothing. And there certainly is great potential in mobile learning, especially for districts whose resources are limited. At the same time, there are several potentially tricky issues that districts will need to navigate in order to harness the full benefits of mobile learning while minimizing its costs.
First, the district will need to make provisions for students who do not have access to a mobile device and/or do not have internet access at home. It may be possible to bridge these gaps with donated devices or devices that can be borrowed from the school library. There are also products which will provide internet access at home.
Second, there will need to be ample professional development opportunities. Some teachers may be reluctant to, as they see it, open Pandora’s box by allowing personal devices. Others may lack vision of the possibilities.
Third, schools will need to teach a digital citizenship curriculum. It would be irresponsible to encourage personal device use without preparing students for the challenges that they will face. A solid curriculum will cover data privacy, information vetting, digital reputation, time management, and other topics needed to succeed in a digital landscape.
Fourth, teachers will need to carefully choose a platform for organizing their materials. Google Classroom is one option to meet that need. It allows teachers to organize all of their instructional materials and, obviously, meshes well with other Google products.
Fifth, districts will need to implement policies related to privacy and security in order to ensure that student and teacher data is safe. This probably seems like a daunting task in an age when even major international companies struggle to keep their data secure, but districts still need to do their best to ensure student data security.
Sixth, there is a responsibility to ensure that students are prepared to manage their online presence, including communication, social media, and issues related to cyber-bullying. Teach students to be “upstanders,” not bystanders, when there is a problem.
Seventh, technology coaches will be needed to assist teachers not only in the transition to mobile learning, but also on an ongoing basis to help them be aware of the latest advances in edtech.
And, finally, eighth: involve the parents and the wider community. The plethora of digital tools will make it easy for students to share their work with a wider audience.