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true mobility…

In Education on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 16:07

If We Are Truly Mobile, Then Where’s School?

By: Jason Ohler

I don’t think we understand the mobile revolution yet. Most of the examples I see of mobile computing in K12 use mobility within school. The point is, that when we are truly mobile, as many of us are, where is school?

Could we not expect students to go places outside of school, and conduct research that feeds back into a unit of inquiry? Students become reporters and analysts, presenting their findings to their peers, if not the world. Alas, there is the issue of insuring students to leave school grounds, and parents’ concern about where their kids are. Surely there are creative solutions to these issues.

But the point here is that we have a habit in education of ignoring big technologically-driven social changes until they are on our doorstep. We basically ignored personal computing and the Internet until we simply couldn’t anymore, because the world outside school began offering a better education than the world within it. We currently are ignoring the semantic web, immersive reality, and transmedia storytelling—to name a few. The real shame here is that most of these are inexpensive extensions of the technology we already have, and offer real teaching and learning possibilities that are engaging to students and that are also academically sound, depending on what we do with them.

Russell Quinn‘s work is a case in point. He is on the forefront of transmedia storytelling by actually using the GPS component of our personal digital devices. The narrative goes forward, but then takes enlightening detours here and there that require readers to be present somewhere in order for the GPS part of his story to do its job.

So, back to the real revolution in mobility, and the fact that school can be anywhere. Stop and think for just a moment—how could Russell’s GPS component of a unit of inquiry enliven and deepen a unit on, say, ecosystem study? Local history? Language?

You can read more about Russell’s adventures at his World’s Most Wired blog entry on Wired magazine.

Retrieved from: http://www.21stcenturyfluency.com/blogpost.cfm?blogID=2990

 

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