Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cellphones for learning field testing

In class on Monday, we discussed use of cellphones by young children and their potential to support students' learning and assessment. I returned to the office and found this description of students, teacher, administrator and support staff working collaboratively to explore the opportunities.

I had the great privilege of being invited to spend some time in a learning experiment in one of the local schools that I work with. The principal, let’s call him Gord (that’s actually his real name) emailed me about some interesting idea he and his grade 8/9 teacher had. The class was studying the novel The Wave. The book is about an experiment itself so it seemed perfect to their teacher, Carla to try out an experiment of their own.

So I popped in for a visit and here’s what I found:

  • Engagement. As Carla and Gord pointed out, the cellphone novelty will soon pass, the engagement was with the ideas and sharing. Students were not really dazzled by their phones, they simply used them to share ideas, pictures, sounds and videos. The real engagement was with each other and the story. The cellphones were almost seamless.

The post continues with more description of the process. Sounds like a community committed to the idea of "Every one a teacher and every one a learner!"

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