quinta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2009

Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education

O livro "Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education" de Liz Kolb propõe a utilização do celular na educação, enquanto uma ferramenta de ensino e aprendizagem.

Porque não? No projeto de educação a distância que desenvolvendo estamos iniciando um processo de interação com os alunos pelo celular.

Apresento uma parte do texto do livro.

No resumo da obra é possível ler:

Many, if not most, educators view cell phones as the enemy. Author Liz Kolb sees them as powerful technology in the hands of students. Acknowledging the current reality—that many schools ban student cell phone use in the classroom—Kolb discusses a host of innovative and highly interesting uses for the technology that do not require using the phones in the classroom. She also addresses the issues that have caused the bans and provides guidelines for overcoming the problems.

Ignoring, or worse, demonizing a technology that students willingly and actively use in every other aspect of their lives is not a winning educational strategy. Tapping into the ubiquitous power of modern communications technology and merging it with the flexibility and excitement of the Interactive Web (Web 2.0), Kolb provides a vision in which engaged students use the tools of their choice to enhance learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Mini lessons and powerful resources throughout the book are easily adaptable and appropriate for almost any grade level.

O sumário do livro:

Chapter 1 > Cell Phones as Learning Tools
Chapter 2 > Concerns with Cell Phones in the Classroom
Chapter 3 > Conferencing, and Mobile Notes
Chapter 4 > Cell Phones as Cameras and Camcorders
Chapter 5 > Developing Classroom Projects for Cell Phones
Chapter 6 > Cell Phones as Research and Organizational Tools
Chapter 7 > Cell Phones as Management Tools
Chapter 8 > Cell Phones in Preschool and Lower Elementary Learning
Chapter 9 > The Future of Cell Phones in Schools
Chapter 10> More Web 2.0 Resources for Cell Phones
National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS)

Fontes: Mobile-libraries e International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

A propósito da discussão sobre a utilização pedagógica do celular na educação, proponho a leitura de um artigo publicado no Jornal Education Week's Digital Directions sob a designação Making the Case for Mobile Computing

Are cellphones and other mobile devices powerful learning tools or intolerable classroom distractions?

For Elliot Soloway, the answer is a no-brainer. Cellphones, hand-held gaming gadgets, and netbooks—all relatively cheap, seemingly ever-present mobile devices used (and often abused) by today’s teenagers—can engage middle and high school students in learning inside and outside of school, he and other advocates of mobile learning say.

“These kids sleep with their devices,” Soloway, a University of Michigan education and computer science professor, said at a mobile-learning conference earlier this year. “Kids prefer these devices to computers or anything else.”

Then why not tap their allure and instructional potential? Because not everyone is convinced that mobile tools have sensible or effective applications for schools. Many schools, in fact, ban the devices during the school day because of the tendency for students to use them in class for texting classmates or other disruptive purposes. And at a time when many school leaders demand evidence of a product’s academic effectiveness before spending precious budget dollars, mobile-tech applications are hard-pressed to satisfy that requirement.

“The enthusiasm for [mobile learning] is based on observation and just expert thinking, and not on a lot of hard data,” says Robert Spielvogel, the chief technology officer and director of applied research and innovation at the Newton, Mass.-based Education Development Center. “Teachers’ experience so far, because there aren’t instructionally validated applications, is that cellphones and the like are only a distraction.”
Gathering Evidence

Mobile-learning proponents are now working more aggressively to document the effect that small, hand-held technologies can have on learning, and to come up with evidence-based recommendations for using them.

Soloway has seen results firsthand in the classrooms he and his colleagues have been studying in Detroit, and he says there’s a growing body of anecdotal evidence about the impact of portable electronics on student motivation and engagement.

“The state of the research is that it is still emerging,” Soloway said in an interview. “The problem is, how do you use what might appear to be a toy as a real tool? To use them effectively, you need a learning-management system, a curricular rationale, evidence of the best practices, and those are coming out now.”

Soloway isn’t alone in suggesting that schools use mobile technologies to enliven lessons, encourage student collaboration, and promote greater communication between students and teachers. The Mobile Learning Conference this past winter drew educators and researchers from around the world, and a research conference in London this fall on hand-held learning devices is expected to draw some 1,500 participants, many of them already convinced of the value of the tech tools. The topic is also slated as a key focus of formal and informal events this week at the National Educational Computing Conference, or NECC, in Washington.

“As we start showing what’s an appropriate use for mobile learning devices, and as people get more comfortable with having them available in the classroom,” Spielvogel says, they will be viewed by more teachers as valuable instructional tools.

There is already some evidence to support the enthusiasm. Studies over the past five years by the Research Center for Educational Technology at Kent State University in Ohio have found that using hand-held devices in the classroom can improve students’ motivation, engagement, conceptual understanding, and problem-solving skills.

Carefully designed research projects that equip students with cellphones to allow collaboration on math assignments—such as the Learning2Go initiative in the United Kingdom and Project K-nect in North Carolina—are showing similar outcomes.

Soloway’s work in Detroit includes some encouraging results in raising student achievement as well, he says, but those studies have not yet been peer-reviewed or published.

The EDC is working with market-research experts and education organizations to gauge cellphone usage among young people here and abroad for clues to how easily the devices might be utilized in schools.

“The studies are all pointing in the right direction,” in supporting the use of mobile devices in the classroom, says Soloway. “We just need more of them.”
Workplace Tools

In lieu of independent evidence, commercial providers of hardware and content applications are trying to make the case for themselves by publishing case studies and conducting research projects in schools that use their products.

Even though the literature on mobile devices is thin, there is strong evidence that the kinds of instructional approaches that they enable have a significant impact on students and teachers, says Bob Longo, the executive vice president of Studywiz Spark, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company that markets learning-management systems with desktop and mobile applications.

“We know that if you put more time on task, you’re going to get a better result, so if you give students and teachers access to [content] 24/7, the learning experience extends outside of the 45-minute class period,” Longo says.

“There’s no question that the more data we can accumulate, the easier it is for people to make decisions” about how to use mobile technologies in schools, Longo adds. “But K-12 education is one of the only markets where we’re still trying to justify the importance of technology. Every other place, like in the workplace, it’s taken tech for granted as an environmental necessity.”

Many educators, however, are skeptical. Earlier this year, a representative of the American Federation of Teachers, for example, questioned industry officials’ claims that cellphones are effective educational tools. And many teachers have spoken out on blogs and in newspaper opinion pieces about how students’ unauthorized use of cellphones in school has undermined learning.

For Soloway, the proliferation of mobile devices among young people and the devices’ critical role in the workplace are reasons enough, for now, to begin integrating them into the classroom.

“This is the knowledge-worker age, and every knowledge worker has mobile learning, mobile computing; the mobile device is their hub around which all work takes place,” Soloway says. “If we’re going to prepare kids for the knowledge-work marketplace, then mobile learning’s got to be what we prepare kids to use.”

Postado em 27 de agosto de 2009 por Joao Jose Saraiva da Fonseca

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