Well I have just about recovered from the U-Learn 08 Conference held in Christchurch last week. It is the largest eLearning conference for teachers in the country. The conference more than anything confirmed my belief that we are headed rapidly towards a combination of Collaboration Webs and Mobile tools which will take over our teaching. This year’s Horizon Report confirms that these will be adopted within 1-3 years.
For this reason I will be helping to implement a project at my school to facilitate a shift to the use of Mobile Tools and Connected Learning in the classroom. Currently teachers need to jostle over the limited computer room resources, similar to most schools as we know. We will be dedicating one classroom of laptops to allow 5-6 teachers from a range of subjects and Year levels to have online access on demand. The teachers will become a collaborative team with ongoing professional development in the use of online tools to implement student centred learning. The focus of this project is on developing the staff so that they can become team leaders the following year when we purchase a number of sets of cheap mini laptops such as the Classmate PC (as shown above).
Already there is strong interest in participation in the project. I see it as just one project among many where rapid growth can occur by exploring and modelling what is possible.
Clearly the expectation is that Mobile Phones will become the web tool of choice for most teenagers and possibly adults too. However, until the more web-capable iPhone & T-Mobile become more affordable then we see the use of the mini PC as an affordable choice to help prepare our staff and students for what lies ahead.
Here is a link to my presentation to Department Heads which was use to promote discussion of our “Collaboration Webs Project”: