Is there a place in secondary schools for students to use their own mobile devices to enhance their learning?
With more students with smart phones than ever before, should secondary schools adopt a BYOD (Bring your own device) approach and allow our teenagers to use their phones as part of their learning journey?
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Yes, in our middle school in Miami, we taught a class on designing apps, as an after school club, and you can do the same - (send me an email for the curriculum). The app we produced is called WishToList - available at the iTunes App Store, and read the section OUR STORY. See WishToList.com
The app lets kids build their own Wish List for their birthday, holiday, share it with their friends, and send it to their parents when the list is complete.
That's a question that needs careful consideration. Children identify their mobiles as personal devices, which of course, they are. Using them in lessons has its place but schools should not consider them as a replacement for existing technology. The main problem with the use of personal devices is how to monitor them properly and provide the same level of protection that can be enjoyed on school owned desktop/laptop computers.
Another issue is that of identity. Let me explain further. When a user logs into a computer their identify is established and a password is (usually) required to authenticate them. This is good safe practise as any issues arising during their 'session' can potentially be monitored and if risks are apparent, the relevant person can be councelled and helped appropriately. Most other 'devices' have no means of establishing this two factor authentication process and are therefore more open to misuse/abuse.
We should encourage and teach children to use ALL technology safely and I am delighted to learn that Claire Perry MP, recently appointed as the Prime Minister's adviser on preventing the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, is advocating e-safety awareness training as part of the national curriculum. This is long overdue.
At the end of the day the answer is really simple. It's not technology that poses the risks, it's human beings. Teaching our children to be aware of the dangers, what to look out for and how to report when they feel unsure or uncomfortable about something they see is the essence of allowing and encouraging them to use technology of all types safely.
Yes, 2 schools in Sutton use mobile devices to include devices in their remit to enhance their understanding of mobile devices. They tend to use iPads, mobiles and other devices to enhance their learning. They will be connected to the wireless network and eSafety plays a big part in this. I won't mention the schools names but they do work well with the students.
Mobile devices, when used wisely, can be a tool to support learning.
For instance, there are ways to use app technology for the purpose of instruction. Seehttp://sturgeonl.hubpages.com/hub/a-guide-to-using-technology-in-the-classroom.
When mobile technology is used effectively for instruction, it may even motivate student learning.
Science perhaps if you are doing an experiment you could use the mobile with camera to record the results / changes in things so you can perhaps enhance the write up with pictures,
Clearly for some children it may be easier to do this, esp when you have to describe exactly what has happened, if they find this harder then they can maybe use other media to help complement the written write up.
I dont know about enhancing their learning, but certainly for making their schoolbags a bit lighter.
I long for the day when all school text books are available on the iPad (absolutely loads of them are already), and the schools allow pupils to access the books on their iPad instead of lugging them to and from school.
My son is aged 12 and he goes to quite a forward thinking school that allows them all to have their phones at school and be on Facebook etc, and has a huge education programme in place around that (its really, really good). In class when they have to document things it is a regular feature to "take a photo of it on your phone", indeed sometimes the homework is to take a photo on your phone and bring it in to show the class (on the phone, saving a lot of printer ink and paper). Its great to see this sort of embracing of technology.
I asked my son "what about the kids who dont have phones with good cameras" thinking there must be some children with an old Nokia or something, and the look of reproof and answer of "everyone has a good phone, I have one of the oldest ones", coming from a boy that has a relatively new iPhone 4S - apparently over half the class have iPhone 5's, another few have iPhone 4S's and the remaining ones have "just rubbish phones like Android ones"!