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Teacher Mobile Device Use on the Rise
posted by: Larisa | May 30, 2012, 02:32 PM   

According to a report released by education nonprofit Project Tomorrow, teachers are more likely to use personal mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers, than the general public.  While 64% of principals and 54% of teachers have regular personal access to mobile devices, only 40% of the general public has access to personal mobile devices according to the data.

Administrators and teachers who frequently use this technology tend to have favorable views regarding student use of personal mobile devices in the classroom.  As explained by Julie Evans, the president and CEO of Project Tomorrow, “For many of us, we cannot truly appreciate the value of a new technology tool until we have realized a direct benefit from its use in our personal or work life.  That’s the same for educators.”

Although mobile devices in the classroom have often been regarded in a negative light, teacher Ariana Leonard argued, “I can use my cell phone for all these things, why can't I use it for learning purposes?”  As teachers and administrators begin to appreciate the value of new technology tools, administrators have become twice as likely to pilot or institute a “bring-your-own-technology” program at their schools for educational use.  Additionally, teachers have started to integrate the use of personal mobile devices in the classroom to have students record notes, conduct surveys, and receive “homework reminder” text messages.

Teachers have traditionally shown openness to technology.  For instance, they are more likely to take online courses to continue professional development.  Educators note that online courses allow for a more personalized learning experience.  According to Jimbo Lamb, a math teacher, "This is technology that helps us be more productive.”

As discussed recently on the AAE blog, teacher encouragement of cell phone use by students might enable students to become too dependent on technology.  The other side of the argument posits that teachers have the duty to show students how to responsibly, efficiently, and effectively use technology.

Either way, while teachers continue to employ the benefits of this technology, they are also gaining an understanding of their students’ worlds.  Effectively, teachers are better able to encourage students to think independently in traditional and technologically savvy ways.

Project Tomorrow’s findings also reflect the results of the 2011-2012 AAE Membership Survey. According to the data, 85 percent of AAE member teachers incorporate technology in their lesson plans at least some of the time.  Another 58 percent of survey respondents agree with a policy that would phase out textbooks with digital content, including access to mobile devices. Clearly as teachers adopt the use of new technologies, they are more likely to incorporate their use in the classroom.

Teachers, do you use a personal mobile device?  If so, do you integrate your device in your lesson plans?

Comment below.


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