The M in mLearning is for Motion

NASA Visualization Explorer (iPad app)Life has been so hectic and intense that I’ve had insomnia for the past month since I got back from vacation. It might seem that this is not a good sign, for we need to rest our tired minds after a long day of planning, training, discussing, changing…However, I feel that this period has been one of ignition, one that our minds keep processing all what we want to accomplish with the new possibilities. Parallel to all the elearning projects and changes we are phasing in at the school I work for, mLearning is in the air. I can see MOTION around even if it is still not consciously perceived by our teachers. Some have purchased tablets, others have been questioning how to deal with the cell phones disruptions in the classroom. Others have already come up with some simple and effective activities incorporating mobile device. The mLearning revolution has started and there’s no way back. It didn’t start top-down. In fact, it is the other way around. Our students are the provokers. They are the teasers. They are the ones starting to set the pace and motion in our classrooms. Some teachers feel that they are out of synch with the youngsters who are active producers of content out of the classroom.

NASA Visualization Explorer (iPad app)MOTION is undeniably taking shape in a way that it can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. So, this is the perfect timing for action on the trenches. I am getting prepared, and the Ed Tech Team that I work with is also shaking up. It is that period that ideas are popping up and we still need to understand what we should do with them. It is getting clear, though, that the first steps to start mlearning micro-revolutions to stir up our community of educators and learners can cause a little insomnia as a positive side effect. Here is what I’ve learned so far and have discussed with the Ed Tech Team:

  • Bring on the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device); helping teachers realize that they can use what is already there is an essential step; give examples of lesson plans and activities and ask them to test in their classrooms.
  • Explore students’ expertise; let them tell you what they are already doing with their gadgets. How authentic would that be in terms of language practice?
  • Help teachers develop their digital skills through a mind shift  in a way that they can deal comfortably with different devices operating systems, and this means their understanding that they might be the learners and the students their tech mentors. 
  • Start with very small projects that involve more than one group, that connect teachers together
  • Read, explore, subscribe, test in class. Part of the MOTION is learning, is becoming knowledgeable about an area that you still don’t know much about. 
  • Use your network and give back to it by sharing your own results. 
  • Spot those teachers who have already started their own micro-revolution and help them stir up their own classrooms. Good models have an amazing, long-lasting ripple effect in the teachers’ group.
  • Keep exploring with no set boundaries until you get the picture of what really works in your context. 
Here are some of the places I’ve been keeping all the inspiration and ideas to keep the MOTION rolling for the mlearning revolution:

2 Comments

  1. Nina Lyulkun March 4, 2012 at 16:19 #

    Thank you, Carla. The article is very interesting. As far as your students have been already involved in M-Learning, ours are on the long way to it. Though, time is very short, and, I am sure, tomorrow m-learning/teaching will play the most important role in education.

    Take care,
    Nina

  2. Carla Arena March 4, 2012 at 16:28 #

    Dear Nina,

    You might think that your students are far from getting to the mlearning trenches, but remember that they are already there! They have mobile devices in their hands already, so we’re the ones to figure out how to incorporate those in our teaching practice.

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