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Knowing what to do and where to start can help your mobile program succeed

mobile-stepsSuccessful mobile learning initiatives are more and more prevalent in districts across the nation.

And while the same initiative won’t necessarily work for two different districts, mobile learning best practices repeatedly prove that successful initiatives share a number of the same steps.

Here, we’ve outlined seven of those steps. These steps are broadly described, and successful mobile initiatives certainly require much more attention to detail, in-depth planning, and continued focus.

What steps do you believe are critical to mobile learning success? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

(Next page: 7 steps in a mobile learning initiative)

1. Identify your teaching and learning goals

What do you want teaching and learning to look like in your district? What kind of mobile learning program will help get you there? What do you want students to be able to do, demonstrate, and carry with them when they leave your district?

2. Decide what you want mobile to look like

Is your ideal mobile approach to go one-to-one with district-provided devices that students bring home? Will you opt for BYOD? Will students have access to devices that they leave at school? Or will it be a combination of these?

3. Involve all stakeholders at all times

Community members, parents, school board members, students, and teachers are more likely to support a mobile initiative if they feel included and know their opinions matter. If local businesses are involved in communications, school leaders might leverage those connections to secure free or reduced-price devices.

4. Plan more than you think you need to

District leaders will need to consider and plan for funding and budgeting, infrastructure and network capabilities and upgrades, digital curriculum resources, and professional develop to accompany the devices.

They will also need to plan for problems and the unexpected–no initiative is without bumps in the road.

5. Don’t start with a device (See Step No. 1)

As experts and school leaders say repeatedly that focusing on a device before outlining teaching and learning goals is the quickest way to ensure a mobile learning initiative’s failure.

6. Start small and scale up

Beginning with a small-level rollout can expose challenges or kinks that district leaders and technology staff can correct before the program expands throughout the district.

7. Be prepared to change as technology and educational goals evolve

Mobile initiatives require research and planning, but technology’s quick-changing pace all but guarantees that your initiative’s devices will need an upgrade in the near future. Be ready to consider and evaluate new devices or approaches to mobile learning–and listen to students and teachers when they express what works best for them and what engages them most.

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Laura Ascione

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