Monday, February 14, 2011

The Portfolio Process in your Pocket

Here is the first draft of an article for a newsletter entitled, Is the Future of ePortfolios in Your Pocket? (It is the title of my upcoming keynote address at the Western AAEEBL Conference.) I would love some feedback on the paper, which was drawn from previous blog entries and my mPortfolios Google Site. I have been reading a lot of online articles about mobile computing in the last week. Here is a quote from Why Mobile is a Must from T.H.E. Journal:
Kids today are captivated by the personalization and socialization of online tools--the ability to build large networks of friends; share their thoughts, feelings, and goals; and communicate as they wish. Students have become so invested in mobile devices that our society has coined a new term for them--digital natives--to represent their having only known a world where all of this is possible. And not only is it possible, it's possible anytime and anywhere, via a plethora of devices and widely available cellular and WiFi networks.

The upshot is, these digital natives now have in their hands the tools to shape their own education in once unimagined ways. They have the ability to interact with other learners at their convenience, with differences in time and place presenting no hurdle. They can research, on the spot, any topic of interest. And they can capture the moment, whether it's in a picture, a video, or a blog entry.

Another article in T.H.E. Journal focuses on the national survey Speak Up 2009, Drill Down: Mobile Devices in Education, where they quote parents:
  • Parents see the use of mobile technologies in schools as a means of increasing student engagement (43 percent) and preparing students for the working world (41 percent).
  • The most often-cited instructional benefit is mobile devices' ability to extend learning beyond school hours.
  • Only 12 percent see no significant educational benefit to mobile devices.
The Speak Up 2009 reports are available for download, and are interesting reading. I imagine the 2010 report, when it comes out, will have even more of an emphasis on mobile learning. The latest ISTE Publication, Learning & Leading with Technology, has several articles on mobile technologies in learning: "The Whole World in Their Hands" and "There's an App for This!" It seems like there is a convergence of thinking about mobile devices in education! In a week, I will be attending the ITSC conference in Portland, where I plan to attend some interesting sessions related to these issues (and the AAEEBL conference is the following week). Stay tuned!

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