Mobile Learning for All
Mobile learning for all just makes sense! Mobile learning is more understandable and attainable today than ever before, and at a global level it is an education equalizer. I’ve written and talked about this before, but it is important to keep this global learning idea on the front education burners. Too often nonsense takes over the education and education technology headlines. The point is that we, today, can’t just talk about a digital learning devices in the hands of every learner, but it is also in our grasp to do it. Why not make that a reality—provide the device, the recharging capabilities and the broadband connections. Bring it all together!
I’m completely aware that most of the world news is completely awful these days, but as educators we cannot lose sight of some of the reasons why that is the case. We all say that there is nothing more powerful than education. It’s easy to say. Let’s deliver on those words with mobile learning for the masses.
I’m certainly not the voice of education nationally, or internationally at all, and don’t pretend to be. I’m not in a leadership or policy role at any education corporation, or entity, large or small, either. I’m really a teacher. But I do know that it only takes a minute to understand that while most of the digitally-wealthy world worries about what color phone next to buy, or which wearable wrist watch to fashionably wear, most of the world’s learners aren’t in school, or learning anything, other than what they know from what they’ve been told at a very local level—if at all.
If your reality, today, is a couple of smartphones, a couple of tablets, and maybe a computer in some shape or form—laptop, desktop, or other—please begin to think beyond your touch screens. The sad reality is that even in nations, where technology is actually part of learning, it consistently lags behind in schools, and with our educators, and always with our students. In most of the world, a cell phone, of the cheapest sort, can be the difference between learning and knowing more than each day isn’t easy, and tomorrow will be the same. Tomorrow should be different, and there is no reason that can’t start today!
I always wish to do more than just spout off about things like this. Which has led me to looking for places in which to do just that. For more than a year, I’ve been leading people to EFF, Education Fast Forward Debates. They’ve tackled some of the most serious problems confronting education worldwide. The EFF11 Debate title is Mobile Learning for the Masses, and I will be there. I’m, again, leading others to this debate, just as I have done with others to earlier debates. I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in my thinking—and desire to get others thinking educationally global. What’s brilliant is that anyone can join the EFF discussions as an equal, along with the most magnificent education thinkers of this decade—through Twitter interaction and social media. What I like best is that many of those brilliant thinkers are also capable of taking our words to action. And actions are where we need to be. Another day is too long when it comes to delaying education to the masses. The way to get there is through mobile learning. The reality should be education for all.
If you think there’s no way you can make a global difference, you’re wrong. Get to one of these debates and bring your friends and colleagues. Make a difference!
About the Author:
Ken Royal is an educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience, as well as a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is a Promethean storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.