Session Description
We are in a new age, a new time and we need to create new places and spaces that nurture mobile content in the richly literate classroom. From a pedagogical perspective, we are adrift as mobile devices make their way into the hands of our children and spread ever more widely into everyday life. Although a growing body of research points to the potential of mobile computing for influencing children’s emerging literacy skills, empirical studies on mobile learning in early elementary are rare. Even less is known about developing learning spaces that can support our youngest mobile students.

As technology becomes ubiquitous, questions of appropriateness, physical attributes of devices, placement, and usage patterns need to be answered. Young children need age and developmentally appropriate physical environments that are safe, nurturing, and supportive of child-directed play and learning. Active, creative play and exploration is central to healthy child development. The physical environment, including its ambiance, layout, acoustics, lighting, equipment and furnishings has a profound impact on children’s learning and behavior.

Without a doubt, designing a high quality, developmentally and culturally appropriate environment for children, whether for learning or for play, is a highly complex process. Join in a conversation around building spaces that support the elementary child as a unique individual; are child controlled; encourage exploration, experimentation, and risk taking; encourage critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving. Discuss the implications of these type of spaces as young learners transition to secondary schools.

Conversational Practice
User-centered design is a process that focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product. Rather than forcing users to modify their behavior to accommodate the product, user-centered design attempts to optimize the product around how users can, want, or need to use the product. As we envision and design new spaces for our youngest learners, this user-center approach is critical. In the context of our conversation, user-centered design will become a multi-stage problem solving process that requires participants to analyze our current schools and classrooms, envision new spaces for learning and create rich media objects that will transform our conversation into eBook that can be shared widely with educators so that we may test the validity of our assumptions in real world cases.

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Jennifer Johnson and Carol Kliesen are second grade classroom teachers at Spoede Elementary School in the Ladue School District in St. Louis, Missouri. I had the opportunity to attend their session, “Liven Up Learning – iPods and Classroom Blogs” at METC 2010 and find out how they are using iPods and blogging in their classrooms. From the conference planner:

Liven up learning by using simple tools like iPods and blogging applications. Students independently use iPods to learn new material, review important concepts, and extend learning. Students use communication and collaborative skills as they create blogs that engage and empower them to integrate technology skills as they become 21st Century learners.

Below are my notes, in tweet format, from their very informative session. Thanks for sharing Jennifer and Carol!

Read the rest of this entry…

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Raised Digital Blog Post Photo

Back in January of 2007 I had the opportunity to travel to Indiana University and meet with Dr. Curtis Bonk to talk about his work with educational technology, learning objects and e-Learning. I learned a tremendous amount from that trip and have since kept in contact with Dr. Bonk, whose latest book has been a great resource in improving my own teaching practice.

When I saw one of Dr. Bonk’s recent updates on Facebook was in regards to using wikis in the early elementary classroom, I eagerly dropped him a line to offer my assistance since I have given numerous presentations on this topic. As it turns out, you might be able to help Dr. Bonk and his colleagues as well, plus have a chance to win an iPod Nano! See details from Dr. Bonk below and thanks in advance for your assistance!

A research team from Ohio University and Indiana University is conducting a study of the use of wikis in the classroom by early childhood and elementary teachers and would love those of you using wikis in these age groups to help. If you are a P-6 educator who is using wikis in your classroom please consider contributing to the study. TAKE THE SURVEY

Those taking the survey will be entered in a drawing for a free iPod nano. Anyone volunteering to be interviewed about their experiences will be entered into a second drawing. The survey will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. When you enter the survey site, you will first be asked to initial and date a consent form to indicate that you agree to participate in the study. If you have any questions, the researchers can be contacted via at the emails listed below.

Dr. Lena Lee, Assistant Professor, Ohio University, School of Human and Consumer Sciences, leer2@ohio.edu
Dr. Curt Bonk, Professor, Indiana University, School of Education, cjbonk@indiana.edu
Ms. Chun-Yi Lin, Doctoral Student, Indiana University, School of Education, cl17@indiana.edu

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This is a personal blog. The resources, information and views presented on Raised Digital are solely the opinion of Jeremy S. Brueck, and are not meant to reflect the views of my employer.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Why Raised Digital?

Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.