Peer Review #1-Moblie Learning (k-5) Week 6

Title:  Examining the influence of a mobile learning intervention on third grade math achievement

Author(s): Derick Kiger , Dani Herro and Deb Prunty

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education. 45.1 (Fall 2012): p61

Date: Fall 2012

I chose to study mobile technology on the k-5 grade classrooms this week.  I chose this because I am very interested in how I can incorporate more technology in my classroom daily.  I need to write a grant to get “i” devices, but having some background knowledge is the best place to start!

This article looked at two groups of third grade students, from the same school, and compared them directly to each other.  One group got to use mobile devices (iPod touches) to practice math multiplication facts, and the other group (control) used the classic way of practicing those facts.  The control group used math fact triangles, games, and flash cards to practice while the the mobile learning intervention group (MLI) used their iPods for practicing.  They got to practice for 10 minutes everyday and could only use 2 apps a day.  Sometimes students got to choose their app, other times they were told which ones to use. I think this address NETS 3c:Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.  By introducing these apps, students will learn how to use them and know WHEN to use them.  This sounds like a standard that is for older kids, but I think it can start here.  Kids need to know when and how to use apps.

Also, some days the students had to work on specific fact families   They did this by teaching the students how to manipulate the settings to focus on the exact facts that they wanted to work on.  This addressed NETS-S 6a: understand and use technology systems.  Aside from using the device itself, the students learned how to use many different apps.  They learned how to change settings so that they could work on exactly what they wanted to work on.

One thing that I really liked about this study was that the kids were introduced to only one app a day with specific learning time set aside for them to explore and get to know the app. I think this is VITALLY IMPORTANT FOR TEACHERS TO REMEMBER.  Especially for elementary teachers.  I think sometimes we get so excited to show our kids new things that we show them too much at one time and it really works against us.  If you go at the right pace (one app a day) kids will understand that app more fully and be able to use it independently later.

Because of the way the world (and education) is changing, students love this kind of stuff.  I have used activotes (use with a promethean board) in my classroom (1st grade) and kids love them.  I have brought out my (personal) iPad and the kids beg to use it.  This is a part of our students  everyday lives.  They know this stuff, sometimes better than we do.  I know that my kids (2 and 3) LOVE technology.  They use it now and they are so little!  Lots of students have different types of things at their houses….Either iPads, iPods, some kind of tablet, smart phones, the list goes on.  Kids know how to run the technology, our job as teachers is to give them the best practice with the device as possible.  The hard part is not going to be teaching them how to use the technology, it’s going to be finding the right apps for them to use. I think this has all to do with NET standard T2b: Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.  This is a big and heavy standard, but I think it starts small and can be right in elementary school!

I’ll leave you with these last two quotes from the report that I found very useful!

“… This finding suggests that coupling “business as usual” curriculum with a mobile device may be a cost-effective lever to improve student achievement.”

“For today’s students, emerging technologies such as mobile learning, online learning, and digital content hold great promise for creating a new learning environment that not only engages them in contextually based content, but also enables greater personalization of the learning process and empowers them to explore knowledge with an unfettered type of curiosity that is too often missing from traditional classroom settings. (Blackboard K-12, 2011, p. 3)” 



2 thoughts on “Peer Review #1-Moblie Learning (k-5) Week 6

  1. I think that learning through devices has its place. I am just concerned that it will take up too much of the way we learn. I definitely agree and can see it is being proven that attention span is better, engagement is higher, etc. when a child is using an I-pad or watching a fun video. But, there is a bigger picture that needs to still be seen. A teacher needs to be aware that in the old reading groups where you sat around in a circle and read to each other and discussed the story what is being taught is more than how to read and comprehension and the like. A child is learning to take turns listening and speaking, they are learning to hear other people’s opinions and how to form and share their own. They are learning to read with inflection, etc. I think all of those things can still be part of the lesson even if it has a digital focus. But, the teacher needs to be able to see all the “other” things that are being taught in order to not leave them out of the lesson. As the educator, we can’t just assume that because we are using a digital approach to learning, the simple aspects of learning the ways of learning can’t solely be taught by an I-pad or smart phone. That quote you included about how coupling this modern learning with technology as well as business as usual can be very effective but I think in moderation. Good article and findings!

  2. Amanda,
    I definitely agree with you that getting technology into the classroom is something that will be essential as a teaching practice for years to come. I am also looking into a grant to get IPads into my classroom. (If you find a good one let me know!) I know that when I use technology in my room the kids definitely respond. I got a mimio at the beginning of the year and I am still amazed at the things that I can do with it.

    I also agree, however, with the idea that technology cannot just be thrown out to the students without giving proper time to explore and really learn about it. I know that even when I give my students a group assignment of creating a PowerPoint, they sometimes struggle with understanding exactly what they can do with the program. I think that it is important to remember that although our students often know more about technology than us, there is still a learning curve for them to pick up, and effectively implement, new technology.

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