Planning for Mobile Learning: Part 3

Over the past few days, we have been looking into some questions to ask before starting a 1:1 or mobile learning program in your school or district. This is the third and final installation in this series.

The previous installments can be found by following the links below.

Part 1
Part 2 

For the final chapter of this series, we will look into:

Should the devices all be school provided or a mixture of BYOD and school provided?
Should students be allowed to bring school-owned devices home?
What about students who do not have internet access at home? 

How can mobile device reduce paper consumption?
How will teachers share resources with student devices?
How will students submit assignments to teachers?

How will digital licenses of resources such as etextbooks be managed?
How will teachers be trained to effectively incorporate these new devices?

Managing Digital Licenses

BookPoppingOutOfTablet reduced 1024x514 Planning for Mobile Learning: Part 3Once 1:1 devices are used within your school, content will naturally begin to make the switch from physical to digital. Once digital content is being used by your school, it is important to keep track of the licenses available for each piece of content.

It is easy to get into trouble with digital content licenses because they are harder to keep track of than physical licenses. With a physical copy of something such as a book, if you buy one copy, only one teacher can physically have that book in his or her possession at a time, making it easy to stay compliant with copyright rules of that book.

However, with a digital version of the same book, when one version is purchased, one license comes has been purchased. This means that only one device can legally access the digital book at a time. While it may seem perfectly okay to purchase one copy of the digital book and copy it to each device, this breaks the licensing agreement set forth by the publisher. Since digital licenses cannot be seen in the same way physical copies of something can, it is easy to lose track of the license status without a system in place to track them for you.

Many digital resources come with the license restrictions built in, eliminating this conundrum. However, for those that don’t come with the restrictions built in, schools will need a way to ensure the licensing agreement is not being broken.

For this, the MediaCAST Platform offers copyright compliance tools that allow schools to set restrictions on digital resources such as how many people can view the resource simultaneously, the ability to restrict downloads of the resource and set expiration dates for resources that have a limited shelf life.

Additionally, the MediaCAST Mobile Learning Content Manager ensures content that is shared to student devices is automatically returned once it is no longer needed, freeing up the license for the next group of students. Expiration dates can be set for short periods of time, such as a single class period for a video, or longer amounts of time, such as an entire semester for etextbooks, depending on how long students will need access to a particular resource.

Training Teachers to Effectively Incorporate Mobile Devices

TeacherSittingOnDeskWithTablet reduced 682x1024 Planning for Mobile Learning: Part 3Effective 1:1 programs are about more than the devices. They are about what can be done with the devices. This doesn’t mean finding ways to change a current lesson to include mobile devices, it means finding ways to enhance learning in ways that wasn’t possible without the devices.

In order for this to happen, teachers need to know what it is possible to achieve through 1:1 programs. This means they will need on-going professional development.

Before students are given devices, teachers should be given the devices so that they can spend some time learning how to use them and planning ways to incorporate them into their classroom.

Once 1:1 has been rolled out and students have the devices, teachers should be given time to collaborate with one another and share how they are incorporating them into their lessons. During this time, they can share ideas with one another, ask questions and learn new tips and tricks they may not have learned otherwise.

The more teachers are encouraged to try new ideas and play with their mobile devices, the more comfortable they will be using them with their class and the more effective the devices will be overall.

Mobile devices are a great way to increase student achievement and prepare them for the world outside of school. However, before they can do that, schools must be adequately prepared to effectively use them in the classroom. Over the last few days, we have discussed a few of the things that need to be considered before a 1:1 program is started at your school.

For more questions to consider when creating a 1:1 program, see this list created by iPads in Education. Their list covers technical infrastructure questions as well as pedagogical considerations to take into account when creating a 1:1 program.

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