Mike Scheid, Technology Integration Specialist at Cherry Hills Christian School in Colorado, is passionate about mobile learning. He successfully implemented a 1:1 mobile program at his school and was kind enough to share his experience with other educators and IT specialists in the recent Center for Digital Education Special Report Webinar: Mobility and the Cloud. (Listen to the archived recording HERE!)
In regards to implementing Cherry Hill’s mobile program, Mike is the first to say they did some things right and some things not so right. But the end result has been a thriving, engaging, and successful learning transformation. In the webinar, Mike shares his key factors towards implementation and some things he learned along the way.
#1: Key Players
Form a team of administrators, teachers, parents, and students and meet regularly. Discuss shared goals, form a united effort, and teach one another what technology can and cannot do in the classroom. Use this group as a sounding board for all major program decisions.
#2: Desired Outcomes
Mike was quick to share this important fact: “The desired outcome of your mobile learning program should NOT be to simply add mobile devices to the classroom.” Instead, mobile devices should help teachers and students collaborate, engage digital natives, allow for 24/7 learning, and become an essential tool to help students accomplish their academic goals.
What systems are needed to accomplish the desired outcomes? Mike phrased it this way: “What is needed to get technology out of the way and allow for 21st century learning?” For Cherry Hills, three systems were absolutely necessary—an LMS that integrated with SIS and allowed for digital collaboration and communication, a filter designed for schools that limited inappropriate classroom distractions, and an MDM that made managing the devices easy and efficient. Mike found this solution in Lightspeed Systems’ Mobile Learning Essentials.
#4: Professional Development
Teachers and staff need to not only be comfortable with simply using the new devices, but with using them to instruct in the classroom. Mike suggests offering practical workshops that model teaching with technology. Use tech savvy teachers to share applicable ways to use the devices in the classroom. And most importantly, share the vision of the entire program by example. Bring the device to meetings. Use in presentations. Make it accessible, easy, and fun!
There is no perfect device. Mike encourages schools to consider the following three questions:
–What device will help our school meet the desired outcomes of the program?
–What device will play well with our current technology environment?
–What device will best allow technology to get out of the way? (stability, reliability, etc)
For Mike and the team at Cherry Hills, content is king. They knew incorporating apps that related to content creation and content differentiation were essential to meeting the overall goals of their desired outcome. So that is what they did. Above all, he encourages schools to use apps that integrate well with the systems in place and assist teachers and students in their learning goals.
Thanks again to Mike for sharing these key factors to success. Be sure to hear more of his story here.
You can do it, too! Learn more about Mobile Learning Essentials and request a demo to see how it can help your mobile learning program.
Please continue this conversation. Agree with these factors? Have a few of your own to share? Leave a comment!