Mobile learning, online communities take the spotlight


AT&T, the Pearson Foundation, and Qualcomm are sponsoring the initiative.

To learn more about the LML initiative, visit http://www.cosn.org/MobileLead.

In the same spirit of providing online resources, CoSN also announced a new online community of practice called Access4Ed.net, which focuses on innovative approaches to providing access to technology tools and online environments in K-12 schools and districts.

The new community of practice is launching in conjunction with the release of the rough draft of a new report, titled “Connect and Inspire,” on the state of online communities of practice in education. Both are part of a three-year initiative, Connected Online Communities of Practice (COCP), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and implemented in partnership with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and five other organizations, of which CoSN is one.

“Based on the preliminary finding in this rough draft, we know both the benefits of, and some key elements of what makes, a successful online community,” said Darren Cambridge, senior consultant for AIR, “but we need to bring that to scale, and there’s still a lot more we need to know about sustaining effective leaders and their communities, incentives for membership and participation, and how to use metrics and data to build the best community.”

Cambridge said the COCP project will continue its research with reports, other online communities of practice similar to CoSN’s Access4Ed.net, testbeds for design, case studies, and more.

“At the district level, there are so many issues we face on a daily basis, whether it’s trying to find ways to develop a one-to-one environment in tough economic times to the tech support, security, and policy considerations that must to be taken into account if your district is trying to embark on a new mobile learning platform with school- or student-owned devices. All of these issues tie back to one central theme—access. The new online community of practice CoSN has created will allow for the development of new innovative strategies to improve [technology] access in districts across the country,” said Bailey Mitchell, CoSN’s new chair and chief technology and information officer for Georgia’s Forsyth County Schools.

Meris Stansbury

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