As mobile learning programs become more ubiquitous, international attention is focusing on how different countries integrate mobile devices into formal schooling. Last month, United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released a comprehensive report called UNESCO Working Paper Series on Mobile Learning on the state of mobile learning around the world.
The report breaks down usage and policies in different areas, including North America, and part of the research focuses on “Essential Conditions for Mobile Learning.” In this section of the report, researchers present five key conditions that must exist for a mobile learning initiative to succeed: visionary leadership and commitment, robust technology capacity, professional development, scalability, and policies that promote and support the initiative. Excerpted from the report:
1. VISIONARY LEADERSHIP AND COMMITMENT
Leadership and vision are central to the development of school reform efforts and mobile learning initiatives. Pioneering schools and districts with robust mobile learning programs often have strong, visionary leaders who promote and oversee the projects. While many national, state and provincial, and local policies have encouraged mobile learning, efforts to implement mobile learning programs are typically spearheaded by a school leader – often a principal, technology coordinator, district superintendent or university faculty member.
Teachers must learn how to use mobile technologies to change teaching and learning, so that they are doing more than just replacing print resources with digital versions.
The project leader must cultivate a unified vision across the school or district, drawing in leaders from the curriculum and instruction, assessment, and technology departments. According to Lenny Schad, chief information officer for Katy Independent School District in Texas, it is critical that Continue reading