I stumbled across this article posted by Emma Drury, whose personal page can be found here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/
Jo Debens, geography teacher, Priory School, Portsmouth
The geography department at my school has been leading the use of mobile device in learning. Throughout last year the mobile@priory (http://www.slideshare.net/
Some of the examples of where we use mobile devices range from simply taking photos and videos to share in class or recording homework, to creating revision podcasts or animations. The point often is student choice, encouraging independent learning and allowing students to choose what approach will suit them. We have found that encouraging mobile device use has enabled our students to access resources that we cannot provide otherwise. For example, students access the internet for research (such as the internet or our department blogs/Facebook support page).
On fieldwork, students can record images, video, sound, take notes, use GPS technology and mapping software to record information essential to their coursework. In school we have used mobiles to record work, for example the students used chalk around school to leave messages or symbols regarding social spaces and guerilla messages and then used mobiles to take images or record video or sound interviews of them discussing their work which could then be shared with the class. The focus is on the learning, the discussion on what they gained from the activity not on the device.
One activity sees students investigating secret places in school – they have to find a space, and find evidence or clues about that space to share with others. Many use their mobiles to record sound or image clues to share. We also introduced a geocaching (http://www.geocaching.com/
The benefit for us as teachers is the personalisation, and the freedom for students to access resources. Often the lower ability children find mobile devices enable them to interact more freely and use tools to learn. We find that it encourages student voices and increases engagement.
Originally some were concerned about potential cyber-bullying or disruptive behaviour but what we’ve actually noticed is that behaviour concerns have decreased since the policy was introduced, and that students are now being taught how to use the internet and mobile devices safely. It has never been about the devices, it is always about the learning. The devices are just the tool that enable young people.
Patrick Taylor – ICT and computer science teacher – Barnsley Academy, Barnsley
At the beginning of the summer we began a collaboration with Microsoft. We were already incorporating products from Dreamspark into the new curriculum at key stage 3 but introduced year 8 to Kodu. They welcomed such a new interesting tool which encouraged us considerably, as we had initially been hesitant about how learners would relate to Kodu, Gamemaker and Scratch.
Microsoft and HTC provided us with handsets which opened up opportunities to support the curriculum. With this in mind I created an Introduction to Computer Science taster session covering mobile app design with resources extracted from the MTA and Microsoft school resources. This spanned over five lessons and allowed learners to decide if they would like to head down the computer science route or the ICT route. Learners will complete their MTA exams over the next academic year with some doing so at the end of this term.
Touch Develop (https://www.touchdevelop.com/
One of the great things about working at Barnsley Academy is that colleagues are open to trying new technology and by being part of a national group, United Learning (http://unitedlearning.org.uk/)
Nasim Jahangir, business and economics teacher, Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College, Leicester
I teach A-level business studies and economics and mobiles can be invaluable, I allow students to use them all the time. I set strict guidelines, phones only come out when I say, usually for group work when students need to research. If we have the access, why not use them? I appreciate I work in the post-16 sector so have less behaviour issues and students can be trusted if you set parameters from the beginning. To be honest, the students are pretty good; if someone is looking at something they shouldn’t be the others tell them to get off it and get back to the task. I have a zero tolerance for any misbehaviour.
Recently I have been looking at the business strategies of Marks and Spencer, so the students would use their mobiles to do research about what their competitors have done. It stops me from having to photocopy loads of stuff to take to the class. We can look at things that have happened immediately and then I can set them off on their own research. I don’t always have access to computers so allowing them to use their phones gets round this issue.
I am trying hard to get away from teaching from the front and putting the onus on the student. Students have their phones and in fact if you allow some use and take away the ‘bogeyman’