How to Empower Your Faculty in a Mobile Learning Environment
It’s a brave, new world. Educators are facing some of their biggest challenges ever. But at the same time, we’re teetering on the edge of the most significant, most exciting revolution – mobile learning. If you’re responsible for making it safely to the other side, pay attention to the following.
1. Involve your faculty in design and purchasing decisions
Want to know the single most significant success indicator of a mobile learning program? It’s whether the teachers were involved from the start. Sure, management has a strategy and budget, and vendors know their products. But nobody knows the kids better than their teachers.
Make your faculty part of the decision and implementation process. It will allow them to have their questions addressed before a costly mistake is made. Moreover, you’ll get their buy-in.
2. Provide for professional development
The mobile learning environment requires teachers to learn new skills. What if teachers have grown up in the digital age, you may ask? Well, you can’t assume they know how to turn previously social tools, like Twitter, into professional development tools.
Additionally, this generation struggles more than others to distinguish “fake news” from fact – a critical skill for an educator. Other mobile teaching skills include app-specific knowledge, general technical literacy, digital citizenship, and familiarity with communication tools.
3. Allow time for learning
Professional development opportunities only have value if teachers have time to benefit from them. Create time for faculty members by freeing them of administrative tasks. There are several time-saving apps and tools for teachers to assist with anything from lesson-planning to parent correspondence.
4. Enable community collaboration
Student success has been positively linked to school community collaboration and peer observation. With the transparency provided by technology, teachers, more than ever, need support from colleagues.
A Learning Management System (LMS) like Pedagogue allows educators to learn and grow. It’s a safe space where they can share advice, strategies, tools, hacks, resources, etc. and work together to improve their teaching skills and the students’ academic performance in their charge.
5. Don’t be prescriptive or restrictive
At the very minimum, teachers should have the same flexibility on a mobile learning platform that they have in their classrooms. Technology provides excellent oversight opportunities, but your teachers don’t want to feel like Big Brother is watching them.
Get comfortable with knowing that a thriving mobile learning environment won’t happen overnight. Your faculty must feel free to make mistakes and learn from them. If faculty members are scared to try things for fear of breaking the system, they will bypass it. Remember, a teacher’s job and passion is to teach.
6. Ensure stable and efficient infrastructure
Last but not least, teachers need to have confidence in the mobile learning infrastructure. A system that crashes and forces them to switch between mobile and manual modes of instruction will exhaust and frustrate them.
Infrastructure requirements for mobile learning platforms will depend on the LMS and other tools selected. Watch out for concurrent user limits and make an offline/disaster plan part of the implementation requirement.