Flipped Classrooms and Mobilism
1/24/2012 8:09 AM
For years I've watched for the telltale signs of trends in the use of technology in education. I've also tried to keep a half-open eye on what is happening outside of Omaha, and even the United States. Now it seems that the blending of the two is more common. With the advent of fast, cheap telecommunications over the entire globe, more information is available to us about virtually everything and anything. Now. And this leads to a couple of ideas I've been examining.
The first is the Flipped Classroom
. A number of online articles are available, including this from USA Today: "Flipped" Classrooms Take Advantage of Technology. The idea is to move away from the classroom lecture format popular for the last 150 years, in which the sage on the stage pontificates on various topics while students soak in the knowledge, maybe ask a question or two and take some notes thus insuring that they have the concepts down. Follow up would include homework possibly, and tests. This may be an outdated and ineffective teaching style the Flippers say. They suggest that recording their lessons using a tablet, computer, or interactive white board and offering them online--to be watched the night before at home--is the way to go. Students then attend school and immediately are assigned tasks based on the video lesson from the night before. They work in groups or pairs and make sure they understand the concept. The teacher moves around the room answering questions, helping define difficult concepts, and becomes a co-learner. It is claimed the stress is much reduces and students understand the content much better. Good reading and interesting concept. Have to keep an eye on this one.
The second concept is Mobilism or "The Age of Mobilism."
Though there are a number of definitions, I'll go with Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway's suggestion that the future is less about laptops and desktops, and more about smartphones. The number of smartphones being sold will pass the number of feature phones in a few months. Smartphones being defined as electronic devices that are connected not only to phones, but also include data plans that allow for 24/7 access to the Internet. Norris and Soloway examine what will happen in our classrooms when schools begin to take advantage of the BYOD (Bring your own device) concept and schools stop buying expensive laptops for student use. The cost is prohibitive to provide laptops to all of our children, it just isn't possible. However, they predict that by 2015 every U.S. student, from 1st through 12th grades will have some kind of Internet-connected, smartphone sized mobile computing device. Then we will truly have one to one computing.
Teachers will need to move from "I teach" to "We learn" when everyone has content in their hands. It will be difficult for teachers to move away from their comfort zone, but it will happen. The question becomes: Use the mobile devices or ban them? "South Korea has announced that by 2015 each and every student in their classrooms will be using a mobile learning device." This is the onset of The Age of Mobilism.
Norris, C., & Soloway, E. "Learning and Schooling in the Age of Mobilism." Educational Technology
, Nov-Dec 2011, Volume 51, Number 6: Pgs. 3-10.