How might access to mobile technologies impact education in the future?

Toni Twiss, another 2008 eFellow, has started a discussion thread on the Vodafone NZ Corporate Responsibility Forum. The forum is based on the question, “How might access to mobile technologies impact education in the future?”

He is my initial response to the discussion. Why don’t you add yours?

Information literacy, as you have clearly stated, is a highy important skill and increasingly so as access to and information itself grows at an alarming rate. The ability to carry around in your pocket a device where access to the web, the ability to share and network information is right there, further highlights the need for students to have the skills necessary to make sense of these resources.

The quoted text, “that teachers currently give the information out to students that they have already deemed to be correct. There is not authentic context requiring students to critique information” concerns me greatly, especially if it is more than just a generalisation and the majority of teachers really do still churn out information for students to consume.

When Jane Gilbert, from the NZCER, talks about the different types of knowing she discusses how knowing what, is far less important than knowing how, who or why. If we relate this to information literacy one could argue that while the information is important, students must know how to find, sort and analyse, know who they can utilise or ask for assistance, and know why this information is required, before the content, or the what beomes useful.

Teachers, as stated, ultimately hold the key to enabling information literate students. As Suzie mentions, guiding students through the process of inquiry or research to teach them the skills is an absolute must before they are let free. I great site I have used is this one to help facilitate a small part of this process.

While the abilty of mobile technologies allow students to access the flood of information any time, any place, any where, I see the an equally exciting potential of mobile technologies in sharing information as well. MOSEP (2007), describe how these devices support the idea that “…students can literally carry their eportfolio around with them and update it at any time in any place.”

This is something that really interests me. A small moblie device than can access learning, share the process and celebrate student achievement, as well as record feedback and reflections to improve learning. Exciting stuff especially when you combine that with this type of development.

Mobile technologies offer some really exciting posibilities for both accessing and sharing information. But as you have stated Toni, it needs to be guided by effective pedagogy first as well as teachers experiencing and understanding the ways that their studetns are finding and networking their own information.

#informationliteracy #mobiletechnologies #NZCER #vodafone

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