Over the past week or so I’ve had the privilege of participating in a number of cluster meetings around the country – always so energizing to be among groups of teachers gathered to share their ideas, experiences and classroom successes!
For my part I’ve been sharing thoughts relating to possible futures we face, referencing the findings of the Horizon Report and CORE’s ten trends. Top of the list in these and other trends findings at the moment is the impact of mobile technologies on classroom teaching and learning.
Confirming the accuracy of these predictions, I keep coming across examples of where mobiles are already impacting on practice in the classroom. Just a few days after Apple released it’s iPad in NZ I was at the EastNet cluster where I met cluster coordinator, Belinda Johnston (pictured) who was recently returned from participating in the Apple Bus tour through schools in California. In her presentation to the group, Belinda explained how she’d embarked on the trip with the intention of focusing on the use of laptops in a 1-1 setting in classrooms. As a result of the tour, however, she has returned convinced about the future of mobile technologies! Belinda shared some compelling stories and illustrations from her trip to California to support her reasons for this change in direction, and is now the proud owner of an iPad, and is preparing the case for a suite of iPods in her school.
A couple of days later, just after I presented the ten trends at the Hamilton CORE breakfast, I was in Te Aroha, visiting Stuart Armisted (pictured right) at Stanley Ave School. As a part of an extensive programme of school review and development at the school, Stuart and his staff have been exploring the potential uses of mobile phones – thanks to some generous support from Vodafone who have supplied a set of HTC Magic mobile phones running the Android operating system. Stuart is exploring the use of a range of Android Apps on the phones, and is also working closely with the developers of the school LMS, Ultranet, to enable teachers and students to interact directly via the mobile devices in the classroom.
We live in exciting times – and it’s very pleasing to see such examples of the adoption and use of new technologies that are based on sound pedagogical principals and the support of school curriculum – not simply as a result of “techno-lust” 🙂