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Groups advocate for mobile learning, 21st century education

New papers focus on professional development, equity, collaboration

Mobile technology has the ability to expand learning opportunities across the globe.

Two working papers from educational technology stakeholder groups advocate for mobile learning and its ability to expand educational opportunities to students of all circumstances.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in collaboration with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), released “Turning on Mobile Learning in North America” and “Mobile Learning for Teachers in North America: Exploring the Potential of Mobile Technologies to Support Teachers and Improve Practice.”

The papers are part of UNESCO’s larger Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning, which scans the globe to provide concrete examples of how mobile technologies, thanks largely to their ubiquity and affordability, can respond to unique educational challenges, supplement and enrich formal schooling, and make learning everywhere more accessible, equitable and personalized. The papers were co-authored by Jennifer Fritschi and Mary Ann Wolf for UNESCO and CoSN.

“Mobile technology is enabling schools to truly reshape and rethink today’s and tomorrow’s K-12 classrooms. The more leaders and educators embed mobile learning into their districts, the more we’ll see an educational transformation that goes beyond our school walls, helping to maximize the potential of all students in the 21st century,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger.

For more on mobile learning, see:

Mobile Learning: Effective Anytime, Anywhere Education

The “Turning Mobile Learning in North America” paper, drawing on analysis of recent research, in-depth interviews, and a survey of mobile learning efforts in the United States and Canada, puts forth the following recommendations to facilitate mobile learning:

  • Update acceptable use policies for students using mobile phones in formal educational settings.
  • Evaluate the different approaches to mobile technology classroom use to select one that best meets the particular needs of teachers and students.
  • Work to ensure continuous mobile access for students through partnerships with broadband providers.
  • Provide job-embedded professional development for teachers to support the implementation of mobile learning programs.
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Comment:

  1. M

    May 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    A recent article in Time reported on studies that indicate we should be moving ahead more slowly on this issue: http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/14/do-e-books-impair-memory/?iid=hl-main-feature

    They said people tend to remember more when they read things in print than on a screen; and the smaller the screen the poorer the recall.