Mobile learning: what works well and why


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An investigation on the hype of mobile learning.

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  • This is a question that comes up a lot… Why a particular technology focus?
  • The simple answer is there has been a “fortuitous convergence” Mobile devices have saturated society and they are—based on our research—increasingly relevant to education. We are rapidly discovering—as I’m sure all of the people in this room are as well—that mobile phones can enrich and expand learning. Increasingly, it looks as if mobile devices may have an important role to play both in the formal setting of school as well as the informal learning environments outside of school.Essentially, we are rapidly recognizing that the devices tucked in our pockets and bags, carry an impressive (although mostly unrealized) potential to benefit learners living and working in a wide range of contexts.Let’s briefly underscore what exactly I mean by “ubiquity” and “power” in the context of mobile learning.I will then summarize UNESCO’s efforts to help bridge the ubiquitous and powerful devices to learning and EFA Goals.
  • Levy and Murnane show how the composition of the US work force has changed. What they show is that, between 1970 and 2000, work involving routine manual input, the jobs of the typical factory worker, was down significantly. Non-routine manual work, things we do with our hands, but in ways that are not so easily put into formal algorithms, was down too, albeit with much less change over recent years – and that is easy to understand because you cannot easily computerise the bus driver or outsource your hairdresser. All that is not surprising, but here is where the interesting story begins: Among the skill categories represented here, routine cognitive input, that is cognitive work that you can easily put into the form of algorithms and scripts saw the sharpest decline in demand over the last couple of decades, with a decline by almost 8% in the share of jobs. So those middle class white collar jobs that involve the application of routine knowledge, are most at threat today. And that is where schools still put a lot of their focus and what we value in multiple choice accountability systems.The point here is, that the skills that are easiest to teach and test are also the skills that are easiest to digitise, automatise and offshore. If that is all what we do in school, we are putting our youngsters right up for competition with computers, because those are the things computers can do better than humans, and our kids are going to loose out before they even started. Where are the winners in this process? These are those who engage in expert thinking – the new literacy of the 21st century, up 8% - and complex communication, up almost 14%.
  • Mobile learning: what works well and why

    1. 1. Mobile learning:what works well and why Francesc Pedró Teacher Development and Education Policies
    2. 2. 1940s 1950s 1960s (miitjans) (mitjans) 1978 1980s 1990s 2012 1920 1928 1930s 1945 Freqüència d’ùs ¿?1890 1900s 1931 1900 1925 1950 1975 2000
    3. 3. Why mobile learning?
    4. 4. Ubiquitousand powerful mobile devices Potential to benefit learners everywhere Expandingapplicabilityfor teachingand learning
    5. 5. How the demand for skills has changed Mean task input as percentiles of the 1960 task distribution Economy-wide measures of routine and non-routine task input (US) Routine manual6560 Nonroutine manual55 Routine cognitive5045 Nonroutine analytic40 Nonroutine interactive 1960 1970 1980 1990 2002 The dilemma of schools: The skills that are easiest to teach and test are also the ones that are easiest to digitise, automate and (Levy and Murnane) outsource
    6. 6. Where are we?
    7. 7. Where are we? Improved access BYOT vs. public investments
    8. 8. Where are we? Limited intensity and variety of uses in the classroom100% 100%90% 90%80% 80%70% 70%60% 60%50% 50%40% 40%30% 30%20% 20%10% 10% 0% 0% OECD average Sweden Denmark Korea OECD average Sweden Denmark Korea No time 0-30 mins 30-60 mins 60 mins or more No time 0-30 mins 30-60 mins 60 mins or more Science Foreign language (weekly usage) (weekly usage)
    9. 9. Where are we? Limited intensity and variety of uses in the classroom 100 Percentage of students declaring at least a weekly usage, PISA 2009 90 80 70Percentage of students 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Use school the Internetfor group work and communicationindividual homework on a Chat oncomputer browse material from the schools Play simulationsor mathematics schools we Browse computers for schoolwork UseDoing with other students Download, line at school drilling, such as for foreign language learning at work on the e-mail at school school upload or and Practice website Post school OCDE average 39 22 19 18 15 15 14 10 9
    10. 10. Where are we? But not at home! 100 Percentage of students declaring at least a weekly usage, PISA 2009 90 80 70Percentage of students 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Use e-mail for Use e-mail for Download, upload or Check the schools communication with Doing homework on the Browse the Internet for communication with browse material from website for teachers and submission computer schoolwork other students about the schools website announcements of homework or other schoolwork schoolwork OCDE average 50 46 34 23 21 14
    11. 11. How to explain it? Perception of usability:  Can I use it? Perception of usefulness:  is it worth the effort?
    12. 12. What works?
    13. 13. 1. Engagement
    14. 14. 2. Convenience
    15. 15. 3. Productivity
    16. 16. 3. Productividad
    17. 17. It’s not the technology! Educational needs Pedagogic solution Affordable and sustainable It’s the pedagogy!
    18. 18. Making change happen
    19. 19. How to move forward? Realism: “a teacher like me” approach More than even, we need an efficiency- driven approach:  Are students going to learn more, better, differently? – From data transparency to data-driven instruction  Am I going to become more efficient? – Teacher and student perspectives Policy focus has to shift to assess, suport and reward teaching
    20. 20. Teachers still need support % TALIS Average70605040302010 0 Teaching ICT teaching Student Instructional Subject field Student Content and Student Teaching in a Classroom School special skills discipline and practices counselling performance assessment multicultural management management learning needs behaviour standards practices setting and students problems administrationAreas are ranked in descending order of the international average where teachers report a high level of needfor development.Source: OECD. 2009
    21. 21. But they hardly get any feedback No appraisal or feedback No school evaluation %605040302010 0 Australia Portugal Iceland Mexico Denmark Brazil Turkey Slovenia Italy Hungary Lithuania Malta Estonia Malaysia Ireland Spain Austria Bulgaria Norway Korea Slovak Republic Poland Belgium (Fl.)Countries are ranked in descending order of the percentage of teachers who have received no appraisal or feedback.Source: OECD. Table 5.1 and 5.3
    22. 22. Making change happen Strong support + incentives Poor results Good results Idiosyncratic innovations Systemic innovationLow pressure: High pressure:no assessment assessment Poor results Conflict & demoralisation No use Fake use Weak support & no incentives
    23. 23. Summing up We need more and better uses of technology in school education… But only efficient solutions have a chance to scale up! What happens with technology is just an indication of how badly school systems manage educational change
    24. 24. No new kid in the block, but a more balanced learning ecosystem
    25. 25. Many thanks F.Pedro@UNESCO.orgAvailable at: /francescpedroMore at: @FrancescPedroED /francesc.pedroED