Toy to Tool

Before teaching, I just didn’t get it. I would see kids with tablets, smartphones and tech watches, and my first thought was the kids were missing out on a fun/dirty/spastic childhood like I grew up with. These technology natives have grown up with a completely different childhood experience, then ever before. I originally saw technology as a toy making kids antisocial and uncharismatic. I was sad for our next generation.

As a teacher, technology is a tool that not only engages learners, but gives students more experiences and data then ever before. Edutopia describes technology to be either “a bridge or a barrier.” For teachers it’s difficult to not let  technology add “fluff.” Technology should enrich and give perspective to each lesson.

Mobile learning is now the natural progression with technology. Students did not grow up the way I did, so students should not be expected to learn like I did. Students are already in engaged with technology, so as teachers I believe it’s our job to teach students how to use technology to learn.

Going into my third year of teaching, I now feel more comfortable incorporating technology more often. Technology certainly engages students, however many times it adds another component of the lesson. Teaching little ones, the transition time has to be almost seamless, as to not loose the student’s attention. I often describe my classroom as controlled chaos, adding technology at times seems like a daunting task.

A mobile classroom may seem like a daunting task but it’s one we must face, because having engaged technology driven class is so beneficial to the learner.

  • Preparing Students for the Future:

    • Our job as teachers, is to prepare students for the future. To prepare these students for their future, mobile learning is a must. Jobs nationally and abroad rely on technology heavily, to be in the classroom environment using mobile learning students are allowed to explore and ask questions in a supportive atmosphere. Students need to learn to use this technology and learning this in the classroom is the first step.
  • Current Learning:

    • I have this science book in the classroom that still says Pluto is a planet…. with a mobile classroom those days are over. Students are learning the most up to date information and have access to research, data, and opinions. My dad always tells to me “check the source” before believing the information.  It is so easy to watch a youtube video, read articles or a tweet and quickly jump to a conclusion. Teaching mobile technology, we can educate students on the value of the source and the importance of integreity.
  • Alternative Learning:

    • Mobile learning can reach all different learners. It has the flexibility to engage and extend to different styles of learning.
  • Expanding the Classroom:

    • Field trips are expensive, so they are limited per school year. Mobile learning technology allows students to expand outside the classroom virtually without leaving the actual classroom. Students can connect with scientist, experts, and other kids easily, gaining valuable information in seconds
    • Students are able to use digital tools, mobile notes instantly, their learning materials are readily available. Students can study and learn on their downtime, without the hassle of textbooks and binders.