domingo, fevereiro 23, 2014

From Distraction to Learning Tool: Mobile Devices in the Classroom

Isto não é bem um artigo, mas vale a pena ler. A ideia e o conceito associado permitem uma boa reflexão sobre o uso dos tablets em sala de aula.

From Distraction to Learning Tool: Mobile Devices in the Classroom

A journalism professor at the University of Maryland is using tablets to engage his students.
Once banned in the classroom, mobile devices are becoming more accepted as a teaching and learning tool. Yet teaching methods have not caught up with mobile's potential, according to Ron Yaros, assistant professor of new media and mobile journalism at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

"Under the current methods of teaching in higher education, a mobile device can be a distraction rather than a helpful tool," said Yaros. "Nobody seems to be looking at how to teach with smart devices, while keeping students engaged."
His assertion is backed up by a recent University of Central Florida survey on mobile learning practices in higher education: Among students who owned a tablet, 82 percent said they used the device for academic purposes. But to improve mobile learning effectiveness, the study advised, "students and instructors need help adopting more effective learning and teaching practices across content areas."
For the past three years, Yaros has been researching the most effective ways to integrate technology into learning environments, with emphasis on use of the tablet in the classroom. He calls his model "MEEC": Manageable Educational Environment for Collaboration, an alternative to the large, impersonal lecture hall (playing on the even larger MOOC).
The key, according to Yaros, is to use the right technology for the class format. For example, students may find a phone too small for academic use, while the laptop can lead to multitasking. "About the only thing you can do to eliminate laptop distraction is to ban them from the classroom," he said. "The laptop can open multiple windows, which makes it a potential distraction, as few students can resist the temptation to open up windows in the course of a 70-minute lecture."
Only the tablet (typically an iPad) is ideal in the classroom, Yaros insisted, because students can open only one screen at a time. "I believe the single-window device — the phone or tablet — will get you closer to success in the classroom."
Designing Lectures for Tablet Use
It's not enough to simply give students a tablet, pointed out Yaros. He puts a great deal of time and effort into designing his classes around the mobile device: "The key is in planning for the 60- to 90-minute lecture, focusing on how to manage it, sharing the professor's work, showing what peers are doing, opening up relevant websites, conveying expert information and keeping the students engaged from the beginning of the lecture to the end."

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