April 14, 2010Christine Trimble
Unlike computers, a majority of children in the U.S. have access to a mobile device (93% of 6 to 9 year-olds already live in a home with a mobile phone) and cellphones are a simple, affordable and readily available tool for enabling improvements in education.
To prove this point, panelists from Qualcomm, Lenovo, Sprint, Verizon as well as authorities in the field of educational technology highlighted the benefits of mobile technology in K-12 education and, at the same time, created a real-time interactive learning environment for attendees. Attendees were invited to keep their phones ready. And, like the students who currently participate in pilot projects using mobile devices in the classroom, attendees were encouraged to participate during the panel via their mobile device, by “tweeting” their thoughts and answering polling questions via text messages.
What happened was remarkable but not surprising to the panelists. Attendees didn’t simply sit and listen to industry experts wax poetic on the benefits of mobility; instead they were actively engaged in the learning and conversation. SMS responses to the poll scrolled live on screens, which panelists used during their presentations – pulling responses from the screens in order to confirm a position or demonstrate a point. Attendees were excited to see their thoughts appear on the screens and the panelists’ reaction to their postings.
The Twitter feed and the SMS poll provided attendees with a sense of what a personalized, interactive and wireless classroom experience might be like for high school students in North Carolina’s Project K-Nect who use their phones to learn mathematics. Project K-Nect, a pilot that began during the 2007-2008 school year as part of Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative, has shown how wireless technology allows the classroom to move beyond the traditional lecture model and change the way kids learn and interact with their teachers, peers and curriculum. Just like the Project K-Nect students, attendees found that it’s fun to see your thoughts posted on a big screen (or in the students’ case on a website).
Just as we saw with the panel attendees, Qualcomm believes that active exchange with teachers and peers and continual interaction with content engages the student.
And with this belief in mind, Qualcomm and its partners are exploring ways in which wireless can address some fundamental challenges in improving education. Wireless communication has already changed the way we live and work as business professionals – now it’s time to leverage this technology to deliver an effective 21st century educational experience.
For more on this panel and what Qualcomm is doing in mobile education, go to http://www.qualcomm.com/products_services/mobile_content_services/mobile...
April 14, 20100