Despite having been around for a while mobile devices are still rather slowly finding their niche in most of our classes. There are the rather obvious applications that many of us teachers have finally seen the usefulness of, like allowing students to use them to look up a word or research a language point or topic area. Many of us have started to add some fun and competition to our classes with the popular quiz tool Kahoot. And at long last language teachers are beginning to see the value of getting students to record their spoken output to share and analyze with the class. But using a mobile device does not necessarily translate to implementing mobile learning. So how can we use mobile tools to actually extend learning beyond the school and into the community at large?
In the past we have examined on this blog how backchanneling can be useful in feedback and creating a sense of community within the classroom, but many educators today are beginning to experiment with ways to go far beyond this, linking schools to their surrounding local environments to make learning a more enriching and meaningful experience for students. And we’re not simply speaking about students visiting webpages or doing webquests or research.
Imagine if you will students fully engaged as agents of social change in their communities. Supported by a local curriculum and using active methodologies designed around projects and community service, learners are able to see the impacts of their efforts first hand. Education moves from the merely theoretical to the practical and real. And mobile devices actually help transport the student to one of the richest of learning environments: the neighborhood.
If the Extended Classroom is a topic that sparks your interest, Pearson will be hosting a webinar on it by educator and educational solutions consultant Antonio Cara on November 15th at 7.30 pm as part of our series of teaching training webinars. Antonio’s webinar will be conducted in Spanish but will be of interest to English teachers as well as teachers of other subject areas.
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