Increasing Personalized Learning Through Technology

Please Note: This advocacy proposal consists of 2 blog postings. Please continue to Page 2 at the bottom of this post.

IPOD TOUCH PILOT PROJECT

Increasing Personalized Learning through Technology

“We increasingly use technologies such as Web 2.0 applications, online content and data collection/visualization tools to research, collaborate, communicate, design, and create.  In school, students should develop the competencies to use these emerging technologies effectively.”

British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2011

PersonalizedLearningBC.pdf

Technology is ubiquitous and the pressure to incorporate instructional technologies (IT) into schools is coming from multiple directions, including parents, government, and the educational community.  Parents express the desire that their children possess the necessary technology skills to compete in a globalized world. Government and others want to maintain our current world-class standings in international tests, such as PISA, PIRLS and TIMSS.  Business leaders are demanding more of graduating students, and students, as digital natives, are adept at using and mastering technology. Finally, teachers want to use, understand and learn more about technology use in the classroom. The British Columbia Ministry of Education recognizes these points of view and includes the use of technology in its vision for public education in British Columbia (BC Ministry of Education, 2011). In the B.C. Ministry of Education’s recently announced Personalized Learning Initiative, student and teacher digital literacy is highlighted as an important literacy equal to that of reading and math (BCEd, 2011). To participate in this vision and to increase and support digital literacy at Glanford Middle School, I propose a trial project of the use of iPod Touches for the 2011-2012 school year with the intention of implementing the school-wide use of iPod Touches and/or other mobile devices in the 2012-2013 school year based on the findings and recommendations of this trial project.

Why a Mobile Device?

According to the 2011 Horizon Report, studies show that by 2015, 80% of people connecting to the Internet will be using a mobile device, and Internet-capable mobile devices will outnumber computers by 2013.  Statistics show that students are rapidly adopting mobile devices into their day-to-day lives.  For example, the percentage of all eight to eighteen year olds who own either an mp3 player or an iPod has increased from 18% in 2004 to 76% in 2009 (Kaiser Foundation, 2010).   Mobile devices are clearly the devices our students will be using in the future, if they are not already doing so now.

Mobile devices, such as the iPod Touch, are ideal for the classroom, because they provide specialized and optimized applications that are Internet accessible and designed to complete specific learning tasks, thus reducing student time spent on web browsing in search of web pages suitable for their needs.  Mobile devices are a collection of a variety of different technologies that support learning, including electronic book readers, annotation tools, applications for creation and composition, GPS and compasses that allow sophisticated location and positioning, accelerometers and motion sensors that enable the device to be used in new ways (including gesture-based computing), digital capture and editing that bring rich tools for video, audio, and imaging, and also social networking tools which enable collaborative work in the classroom and around the world. And this is just the beginning…

Click on the globe to view Tony Vincent’s detailed analysis of iPod Touch educational features and applications or http://learninginhand.com/ipodtouch/

As the following charts demonstrate, media, such as television, music/audio, computer, video games, print and movies play a large role in the culture of today’s youth. Teachers can better connect to youth and capitalize on their technological facility by including more media and technology in the classroom. An iPod Touch will enable these connections to be made.

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