“The Future of Education Is Wireless” — according to the Wireless EdTech Conference 2012, which was held in Washington, D.C., October 10-12. Why? “Mobile is innovative, affordable and provides 24/7 access to a seemingly endless amount of resources. That’s why there are more mobile subscriptions than toothbrushes. From low-income urbanites, to the suburban upper-class, to the poorest of poor in rural areas of the world, mobile connectivity has the power to transform learning in a 21st century environment” (conference site).
Then they go about showing, sharing and introducing policy, educational performance and international examples. There are powerful examples, and you really get up close and personal to the people who present and share their ideas.
I attended the conference. It’s the one conference that makes me want to attend all of the sessions. I usually go for the education section and the policy sessions. The conference is star-studded with people who know education and who are in touch with the pulse of the nation — educators, pupils, school board leaders, and policy makers. It’s a great conference to do powerful networking with, to name a few, the new president of ISTE, influential people from the Smithsonian and the wireless industry, and tried and true leaders like Dr. Chris Dede.
If international is your interest, here are a couple of videos for you:
Working with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Digital Millennial Consulting, Project K-Nect is a Wireless Reach funded pilot program that began during the 2007-2008 school year to discover if 24/7 connected smartphones could play a role in enhancing student engagement and learning.
The Augmented Reality Experience (ARE) uses 3G connected smartphones to help young students learn the history of Asian art. For more information, please visit Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach website.
I like the following video because I have actually taken kids on environmental field trips. It was a steep learning curve, and I had taken courses and worked with people in outdoor education. For me, the fact that kids could focus, do research and learn using powerful tools is so wonderful.
I remember taking kids and being so excited for them but having to handle clipboards, papers and string, and other tools was a challenge. We did it, but you might understand why a lot of teachers never did. I took courses and tramped in the woods learning on my own. I learned to make it simple, following patterns in nature, creating learning experiences that they could write about, and using a pile of posters and guidebooks.
We even made an Outdoor Lab Newspaper and did some art work. But my accumulated knowledge does not equal the knowledge that students are in touch with using an augmented reality device like the one in the video. Take a look and then think about the vast knowledge the kids had at their fingertips.
How technology has changed the possibilities for those of us who want to share the beauty of learning in the out of doors. I used mothers, cuisine, took birding courses, learned to read the woods, explored a rotting log, and handled a big telescope. But it was hard to individualize, identify, and itemize the things we found even if my s’mores were tasty.
What do we need to do to move forward? Here are some notes from Chris Dede’s plenary:
- Old wine in new bottles: we have new media but don’t know how each empowers its message.
- The vehicle is less than the sum of its parts.
- We must go beyond using tools to empowering people.
Spectrum and Broadband Deployment
“Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski wrote an op-ed piece describing America’s standing in spectrum and broadband deployment, its continued progress, and what the country needs to do to promote the markets for broadband and apps” (Alton Drew, 9.18.12). You may want to take a look at his statements about the use of 4G.
Infographics: Use of Technologies in Schools
At the beginning of the school year, everyone makes predictions about the use of technologies in schools. So a company created an infographic to show results of what people think in an infographic. The Edutopia site shares what happens when education is unplugged and schools are able to make cable free connections.
SodaHead.com, the web’s largest opinion-based community, asked its users about their thoughts on technology being used in schools, including when tablets and laptops should be allowed, thoughts on cell phones and texting in class and the potential change over to ebooks. In addition, the poll asked respondents about their favorite and least favorite subjects in school and their opinions on the importance of a college education for getting a job. The survey results are posted as an infographic.
Announcing Wireless EdTech 2012 – The Future of Education is Wireless
Qualcomm, September 2012
The Evolution of Mobile Learning: Insights from the Wireless EdTech 2011 Conference
Chris Dede and Julie Evans, September 2012
Learning is Personal: Stories of Android Tablet Use in the 5th Grade
Marie Bjerede and Tzaddi Bondi, August 2012
Helping Life-Saving Lessons Reach Marginalized Indian Communities
Sesame Workshop, August 2012
Wireless Learning: How Mobile Technology is Transforming Classrooms and Empowering Young Women in Jordan
Ken Banks, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, July 18, 2012
Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey: K-12 Students and Parents Connect the Dots with Digital Learning
Project Tomorrow, April 2012