Mobile Learning Experience Top 5 Winner: Life Long Learning

Join us in congratulating, Mary Bade, as one of the five winners in the Mobile Learning Experience Contest.  Mary is a a former 5th grade teacher and current Teacher Technology Facilitator at Los Ranchitos Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona. She started teaching for the Department of Defense Schools in Italy in 2006 and moved to Tucson in 2008. Her current school district, Sunnyside Unified School District, has taken on a digital initiative to put laptops in the hands of 5th and 6th graders by the end of 2011. Mary shares with us her vision for mobile learning, “I am honored and encouraged to be a part of this endeavor by the district, but want to take learning to an all new level with the students by making it a truly mobile learning experience.”

Life Long Learning In Your Hand

What better way to engage students in achieving academic success than reaching them with the tools they use every day. Laptops, iPods, iPhones and iPads are where our students are comfortable using and acquiring information. I envision a class where all students are engaged in the learning process with a computer in front of them and a smaller portable device for on the go learning at their ready. I have an iPod touch and one day doesn’t go by that I am not looking up a word, searching for an answer to a questions, using it to stay connected with a wide variety of people, or using to keep my mind stimulated and challenged. Am I at home? Maybe and maybe I am sitting in the middle of the mall.

Imagine students at home and instead of watching television, they are exploring new ways of making electricity and making it efficient. The next day they bring this same device to school and hook into a sharing device and share the information with their peers. This class gets inspired and decides to develop their own ways of creating and saving electricity, their goal is a solar-powered iPod or solar-powered laptop to save the environment and allow them to use their iPod or laptop anywhere, anytime. All from sitting at home on a handheld device or netbook and researching topics that interest them.

Envision the class that is using netbooks to research the Revolutionary War when one student recognizes a family name. Further research determines that the student is a descendant of the soldier. This discovery opened a whole new aspect to the war, a personal connection that would not have been made had it not been for being able to do research on the internet.

As a lifelong learner I want my students to be lifelong learners. Always seeking, always questioning, and always questing for knowledge anytime anywhere. Mobile devices open this opportunity for everyone.

Mary Bade
Tucson, Arizona

Congratulations, Mary! How has mobile devices enhanced your learning environment? Post comments below.