Educating the Mobile Generation

Educating the Mobile Generation

by Tia Carr Williams -
Number of replies: 1

How many people use mobile technology?

According to Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, there are 900 million personal computers users and  2 billion mobile phones (rising daily) currently in use around the world. With mobile devices becoming a primary way for people connect to the Internet Semel suggests that much accessing of  information, connect ion to online learning communities, and creation of content for the Internet via a mobile device will become normative.

A recent study by the Irish National Teachers Organization (INTO) endorsed this idea. According to INTO, only 20% of the 671 students surveyed report using their mobiles to make phone calls, whereas 81% report using their mobile to communicate via text or IM messages.

The INTO survey seems to dovetail with the results of a 2005 Pew Internet and American Life study on teens and technology. Like their peers in Ireland, American youth preferring using IM or TM for everyday conversations with friends.

Other key findings from the Irish National Teachers Organization survey:

96% of 11 & 12 year old students have a mobile phone
60% have a camera on it
72 % say they use it to access the Internet
20% use it to make calls
81% use it to send texts

Acknowledging the growing connection between mobile media and youth, the popular social networking community MySpace teamed with Helio to provide a mobile version that includes access to Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, and various Yahoo! services.

A 2005 study conducted by the United States-based Kaiser Family Foundation also found that, although 90% of teen online access occurs in the home, most Gen Y students also have web access via mobile devices such as a mobile phone (39%), portable gaming device (55%), or other web-enabled hand held device (13%).

Derek Baird suggests that 'In order to create a better and more relevant learning environment for the digital learning styles of the Gen Y student, there is a need to integrate new pedagogical strategies that support the authentic use of technology to support and foster student motivation, collaboration, and learning.

The convergence of mobile and social media technologies, on-demand content delivery and early adoption of portable media devices provides higher education with an opportunity to leverage these tools into learning environments that seem authentic to the Gen Y students filling the virtual and physical halls of the 21st century university.

This is exactly the kind of conversation that needs to happen--especially here in the USA where our use of mobile technology to support student learning (mLearning) lags behind that of Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia.'

Related Resources

Looking Forward: Thinking About mLearning
Learning 3.0: Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
Leonard Low + mLearning
MoSoSo, Gen Y & Digital Learning Styles
Totally Mobile

Given that this seems to be verified, Im kicking off with two excellent pdf's that give us a very comprehensive view about how the 'm' generation (m is for moble and we are talking phones) has a very specific way of transacting with information.

I believe the first document allows us to really understand the the deep connection (if you'll pardon the pun) that the student generation have with the immediacy of communication. Clearly, this has ramifications in a broad behavioural shift that cannot fail to reflect itself in the classroom. I would be interested to hear from you about observations on this.

My second choice to get our conversation started is from Educause and is a very good articulation from several perspectives about the expectations of the 'Net Generation' by Chris Dede, who is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor of Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.  Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educationaland Psychological Assessment, the U.S. Department of Education’s Expert Panel on Technology, and the International Steering Committee for the Second International Technology in Education Study. , so he should know a thing or three.

Remember, we will aggregate all the pdf's in a final document if you don't have time to download and read now, however, I shall be asking questions later.....

In reply to Tia Carr Williams

Re: Educating the Mobile Generation

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -
Doctors are great PDA users, so more and more educational material is being created in my field for PDA's. Personally I believe that instant access to information on handhelds will cut down on the obscene amount of information doctors are expected to remember and allow them to concentrate their brain capacity on better problem-solving and diagnosis.