It was such an honor to attend the 2011 Apple Distinguished Educator Institute in Phoenix, AZ. Being in a room full of passionate and innovative educators within their disciplines was incredibly inspiring! Upon personal reflection of the institute, three interrelated themes emerged: Below is a synposis of each of these major themes.
It was such an honor to attend the 2011 Apple Distinguished Educator Institute in Phoenix, AZ. Being in a room full of passionate and innovative educators within their disciplines was incredibly inspiring!
Upon personal reflection of the institute, three interrelated themes emerged:
Below is a synposis of each of these major themes.
John Medina reveals in his book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School that the initial stage of learning – the encoding stage – is the most critical step in the acquisition of knowledge attainment. He then proceeds to discuss three primary encoding processes:
- The more elaborately we encode information at the moment of learning, the stronger the memory.
- A memory trace appears to be stored in the same parts of the brain that perceived and processed the initial input.
- Retrieval may best be improved by replicating the conditions surrounding the initial encoding.
What stands out most to me is number three: retrieval is improved by replicating the conditions surrounding the initial encoding.
If initial learning takes place on a mobile device – whether it be in class, at home, on a school bus, or at a sporting event – would retrieval of that information be enhanced by reviewing the content on that same mobile device?
I hypothesize that if mobile devices are considered a location for learning, physical location of learning wouldn’t be as relevant. I would still consider the surrounding environment important, but perhaps not as important. If the content studied is immersive, such as the interactive iPad ebook The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, then I would feel safe concluding that this becomes the environment the student is engaged in.
Regardless of your career path, I strongly recommend that anyone with a passion for teaching and learning check out John Medina’s Brain Rules book. Undoubtedly, this is a book all students and teachers should read and apply.
If you aren’t familiar with the iPad short story book The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, I’m embedding a video for you to view below.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below or share them on the K12 Mobile Learning Facebook page.Read More
“Nobody starts out original. We need copying to build a foundation of knowledge and understanding, and after that, things can get interesting. After we’ve grounded ourselves in the fundamentals… it’s then possible to create something new through transformation; taking an idea and creating variations. This is time-consuming tinkering, but it can eventually produce a breakthrough.” - Everything is a Remix
Some of my posts travel beyond discussing new tools we can use in classrooms and discuss the actual process of innovating our approach towards teaching and learning. One of the most common questions I get – and have trouble answering with clarity – is “how.” The video below encapsulates the process of innovation.
I don’t think we have a lack of innovators, but I do believe that most schools lack the fundamental structure welcoming those innovations. By the time we do adopt an idea, it’s outdated or become somewhat irrelevant. For example, consider that even with:
- the prevalence of mobile devices and Internet connectivity
- research revealing the value of informal learning
- knowing that active engagement increases performance,
the majority of classrooms do not leverage these for academic gain. I would argue that one major contributor to this is current school structure, which is absolutely necessary but definitely needs revisions.
For further illustration, imagine what the visual quality of following innovations:
- Blu-Ray Discs
- Xbox 360 Kinect
would look like with old television cables from the 1980′s. Decent, at best (if it’s supported at all). These old cables weren’t built to support the video bandwidth provided by these new devices. No matter how many tweaks you try to make to the brightness and tint of your television, your bottleneck are those cables. No matter how many upgraded devices you purchase in the future, as long you’re using those same old cables, you won’t receive any enhancements in visual quality.
The field of education is operating on old television cables. The innovations are there; industry and the medical field are continually upgrading their wiring. We need to copy the ideas from their “technicians” so that we can also embrace and develop innovations.
I know it’s a deep issue beyond my speculation of solutions. But with certainty, old cables eventually aren’t accommodated for and upgrades are forced. Let’s shop around for new ideas.Read More
With the emergence of the mobile augmented reality app Aurasma, user-generated mobile AR is not only possible; it’s downright easy.
We can amplify its effectiveness in education by providing a community of mobile AR “resources” (lessons, assessments, worksheets, etc.) for educators to download and upload their own AR creations.
Think of this as like (legal) peer-to-peer file sharing for augmented reality, exclusively for education.
Along with Mac and PC augmented reality files, the “AR files” section of K12 Mobile Learning now contains a community of mobile AR resources for educational use.
Here’s a challenge: Who will be the first to upload a mobile augmented reality resource for education?
For now, it’s just for Aurasma since it’s the most advanced and impressive. As this technology progresses, this may include multiple apps for multiple mobile platforms. Please remember that this site is in no way affiliated with Aurasma.
For example, if you’ve embedded a traditional worksheet with AR content, you can upload that worksheet here (assuming it’s yours to upload) and tell everyone your Aurasma username. Now, everyone has access to your “21stcentury worksheet” and there’s nothing else to download other than Aurasma.
So let’s play out a scenario…Read More
This is as fascinating as it looks. Furthermore, I believe this is an app that will drive mobile devices into classrooms and will give many districts enough reasons to reevaluate their policies governing the use of mobile devices in the classroom.
New mobile augmented reality tools exist that allow users (which for us are educators, students, and all other education stakeholders) to upload and share mobile content using mobile tools. Furthermore, it has the ability to use handwriting as an AR marker, thus giving mobile AR legitimacy in the classroom!
Here’s my video showcasing its basic use. I have many projects I’m wrapping up lately and will provide further details and a guide soon.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.Read More