Preparing to join a mobile learning revolution with some solid help.
GUEST COLUMN | by Yolanda Ramos
The numbers don’t lie. According to Futuresource Consulting, U.S. K-12 schools purchased nearly 2.5 million devices in the second quarter of 2014. There is a mobile learning revolution underway as schools around the country plan and implement new models for technology integration.
And the good news is that schools are seeing powerful results from the effective use of technology.
For example, results released earlier this year by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Verizon Foundation revealed that standardized test scores in math for students participating in a mobile learning program increased by more than four percent and teachers participating in the program reported that 35 percent of their students showed higher scores on classroom assessments; 32 percent showed increased engagement in the classroom; and 62 percent demonstrated increased proficiency with mobile devices.
Key to the mobile learning revolution’s success is ensuring all members of the school community are offered professional learning opportunities.
One critical lesson learned is that the key to the mobile learning revolution’s success is ensuring that all members of the school community – teachers, administrators, technology coaches and IT professionals – are offered professional learning opportunities to support them as they transform their schools into mobile learning environments.
That’s why ISTE, in collaboration with the Verizon Foundation, launched the Verizon Mobile Learning Academy (VMLA), a free, virtual professional learning program developed to help schools teams prepare for successfully integrating mobile technology into learning and teaching.
Developed for teams of administrators, classroom teachers and technology coaches, the facilitated, five-module program will be delivered online four times during the 2014-2015 school year. Working in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education (CTE) the academy offers a robust curriculum, aligned to the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age.
ISTE instructional consultants will guide teams through mobile technology integration, teach them the ins and outs of creating lessons and activities that use mobile learning, and expand their knowledge of the latest mobile devices and education apps with an eye toward the very best and most appropriate uses for students.
In addition, the VMLA will focus on helping educators learn how to guide their students to safely use mobile technology, while also encouraging creativity.
Best of all, school teams who participate in the VMLA will quickly discover that they are not alone in the mobile learning revolution. They have joined forces with their colleagues from around the country to truly transform learning and teaching in their schools.
Yolanda Ramos is ISTE’s senior director of professional development services and has more than 20 years of experience in K-12, higher education and learning technologies industries. At ISTE, she leads the development, implementation and assessment of professional learning programs and is focused on building a vibrant and growing portfolio of offerings to meet the needs of educators in the use of technology to support learning, teaching and leadership.