When educators combine the modern smartphone with wireless internet access and the remarkable number of cheap and free mobile apps now available, they become truly amazing pocket-sized learning devices. Teacher Jennifer Carey tells how she’s using smartphones in her classroom: to charge up lessons, promote research and fact-checking, and harness powerful mobile apps to expand learning.
Short of banning smartphones (a short-term solution, at best), I think the evolution of AI services like Siri means that the problems I pose for my 8th grade math students will have to shift from a focus on finding the answer as the endpoint — to a greater focus on analysis. OK, you have the answer but so what? What does that answer mean in a real-life situation?
And I wonder how teachers in other content areas might have to rethink their teaching and assessment strategies, with Siri at our studentsâ€™ beck and call?
At the beginning of the year, when teacher Jamie Weir invited her high school students to bring their mobile technology into her classroom, Grade 12 student Zac Hawkins’ first thought was “Easy class.” He couldn’t, he says, “bring myself to take the concept of using technology in the classroom seriously — more than likely because I’ve been taught all of my life that technology is not meant for the classroom and that school is a paper-and-pencil-only environment.”