Today I’m serving on a panel at Wireless Edtech in Washington, D.C. I am thinking about Mobile School Design as both a supplementary school service and as a future school design.
Research in the corporate world is already underway in this space with formal and informal learning protocols for business design.
Josh Bersin, President and CEO at Bersin & Associates, remarks,
“After we talked with companies about mobile training for several years, the real ‘design point’ you have to think about is ‘continuous learning.’ How can we assemble culture, activities, people, content, work, feedback, and a whole environment where people are learning on a regular basis?”
Bersin’s high-impact learning organization research is leading the way in m-learning, and I am captivated by some potential organizational structures for schools and districts. The following are three big design elements to consider:
On Demand Design – Schools and districts can design the mobile school by ensuring that e-learning courseware has a mobile component. This way students and educators can log on to courseware and professional development assignments at anytime and anywhere.
Sophisticated filtering software that I am learning about this week at the conference is getting cheaper and more powerful for district IT staffs to manage the mobile learning space for such approaches. However, the IT staff has to be willing to learn and plan around these portable-learning environments.
The local technology plan will also need to allow searches for e-books, videos, podcasts, and learning portals. Once the IT staff makes a concerted effort to categorize with the curriculum and instruction department what on demand resources are essential, nice to know, and emerging for rating, then you have a process for on demand mobile school design.
Social Design – Wikis, blogs, forums, and expert directories should be accessible to all learners at the mobile school. Not only should social networks be encouraged, but e-learning communities on mobile devices will be essential for connecting the learners to the larger conversation around outcomes, measures, and supports for any project or training effort that needs an e-community of practice.
Facebook and Twitter are not the only options for schools to form mobile learning communities, but they should not be excluded either, as they both have ways they can be curated, moderated, and delivered to audiences as part of these new school design models.
With the right coaching and mentoring models online and via mobile help desks, learning applications with blended expert support seems like a way to ensure continuity of learning for any student or educator.
Embedded transformational design – Performance support, reference information, and feedback loops will motivate and personalize the m-learner’s experience to the class project outcome or professional training paradigm they are undertaking. Through rotational assignments, after assignment reviews, and quality circles like Google+ hangouts, m-learning participants can flourish in supplemental or full school design models.
As such designs include embedded games or quests on mobile devices, new GPS location applications, and future development, a brave new world is possible indeed.
Blend in field trips, in person presentations, regional site sports, arts events, social gatherings in real time, and mobile school supplemental services can serve as a fiscally smart wrapper to the total student experience.
A Mobile Charter School? Opening 2012!