2012 has been an amazing year for my growth as a professional. The main catalyst of this growth was when I started engaging with like-minded educationalists around the world on Twitter in January of this year. In particular, I learnt about new methodologies like brain-based learning, flipping the classroom and a variety of technology-based teaching aids.
The area I explored most fervently was the bewildering array of educational software and apps for learning. In what follows, I would like to offer a round-up firstly of the apps I found particularly useful, as well as those which disappointed and annoyed me. I will finish by listing some of the most promising apps I would like to trial next year.
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee
The use of mobile technologies in the classroom certainly divides opinion amongst teaching professionals. Having worked with schools across the UK, there are clearly two distinct camps when it comes to the use of consumer-technology in the classroom: those who use it and those who don’t.
For those who use technology, the benefits seem endless, but for those who don’t, the arguments they present are numerous too.
I am hoping to share insight from schools from across the UK, both private and state, in affluent and disadvantaged areas, where consumer-technology has found a valuable place within the classroom and the wider learning environment.
Recent statistics from a survey of secondary students in a Basingstoke school showed that a staggering 50% of their students owned an iPod Touch and 35% owned an iPod Nano. Whilst I recognise that these are not national statistics, they do reflect what we are finding from school to school.
How are schools using mobile phones to promote learning? We link to a Becta study into mobile phone use in the classroom. Hertfordshire Grid for Learning lists handheld devices and possible mLearning applications. Finally, we cite two blogs on MFL ideas and general classroom uses for mobiles.