Implementing the latest mobile learning trends into the classroom can be both exciting and rewarding for students and teachers alike. Whether it be a blended learning environment, flipped classrooms, or 1:1 initiatives, teachers are getting more involved in choosing which resources work best for their class.
But what happens when a tech savvy teacher teaches in a school where there’s no mobile learning platforms implemented? Recently, I had an opportunity to interview Arielle Romita, a 1st year kindergarten teacher over at Walter C. Black Elementary an East Windsor Regional School located in New Jersey. Arielle has achieved her Bachelor’s Degree in early childhood education from Kean University, where she was taught to teach using the Project Approach.
The Project Approach is a project based teaching and learning method that’s being adopted throughout classrooms worldwide. During our interview, Arielle discussed her hopefulness for more classroom technology integrations so she can maximize her skills using the Project Approach method. One tool that she would like to see used as soon as next school year is the iEarn Collaboration Centre, which provides interactive online curriculum based groups where students and teachers across the world can collaborate and share ideas with one another. “iEarn and other similar ed tech tools are revolutionizing the way that students and teachers access and share information.” states Romita. To find out more about my interview with Walter C. Black’s newest Kindergarten Teacher, feel free to check out the discussion in it’s entirety below.
Has your school implemented any mobile learning platforms? i.e. 1:1 initiatives, flipped classroom, blended learning, BYOD, etc.
Not at the moment but we have many teachers like myself who constantly seek permission to incorporate creative teaching techniques into our daily curriculum.
Since your school hasn’t implemented any of these programs, has there been any talk about moving in that direction?
Nothing official but more and more teachers are bringing it up during our staff meetings. As teachers we are always eager to use the latest and greatest tools to help enhance our students learning experience.
Do you feel that a mobile learning platform could elevate teachers and students alike?
It’s possible. Mobile learning platforms put the teaching into the hands of the students themselves and, whether children or adults, students learn better through hands-on activities and when they have an interest in the topic they are learning about. Teachers are able to learn more about their students’ interests by listening to the discussions held in class, after the research is done at home. Then, according to these interests, teachers can modify activities so that the students are getting the most out of the knowledge they are gaining at home and in the classroom.
What type of technology already exists in your classroom today?
Two teacher computers and four student computers. All Mac desktops.
How does this technology help you as a teacher?
So many resources for teachers can be found on the internet. I play many videos for my students off of BrainPopJr, TeacherTube, and Youtube and introduce various online games to help reinforce lessons. Starfall and PBSkids are two websites the children frequent during Computer Center.
How do your students respond to these tools and websites?
My students love online videos and games. They are learning while they are having fun and don’t even realize it.
Do you use any mobile apps in class?
No but I’ve been doing some research and I like what ABCmouse has to offer. This is something that I would like to suggest next school year
Do you see a significant value in mobile applications?
Yes, I’m sure there are many other mobile apps that would benefit my students. It’s all about having students excited and e
What is your favorite teaching/learning tool that you currently use?
The internet as a whole. I can always find something online to grab my students’ attention and get them interested in what they are about to learn.
What type of technology would you like to see in your classroom next school year?
A SMARTboard! I believe that this should be in every classroom in every school no matter the grade level. Anytime that you can add the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer, as a teach you’re winning, your students are winning and ultimately your schools is winning.
How is your school preparing for Common Core/PARCC testing?
They are adding new curricula and resources aligned with the common core. They are offering teacher professional development and adding more opportunities for teachers to common plan using the CCSS to develop objectives, instructional goals, and lessons. They are also reviewing sample test questions and tasks.
In conclusion it’s obvious that although there’s schools like Walter C. Black that lack a concrete e-learning curriculum, teachers still find ways to implement a strategic mobile learning approach. As more newly tech-savvy graduates enter the teaching ranks, the demands for next generation classroom tools are sure to increase. Today’s youth are growing up with a baby bottle in one hand and a tablet in the other. Time’s have changed and as for parents and teachers we must adapt in ordered for our children and students to succeed.
Interested in finding out if your school’s infrastructure has the capacity to support mobile learning? Turn-key Technologies offers network consultations to help prepare your school for the newest K-12 technology trends. Speak with an expert about setting up your school today.
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