“Part of 'getting it right' with ed tech is a practical, guided approach to any implementation plan, no matter how big or small. The same can be said for the trend of mobile learning that we're seeing expand in education today. Laura Devaney guides us through some practical steps for making this type of instructional approach work for the best, in the following article from eSchool News.”
Implementing a mobile learning initiative is a complicated undertaking, no matter how much funding or stakeholder support you have. But a new resource from the Consortium for School Networking offers an outline for school administrators who hope to launch and sustain a successful mobile learning project.
The first step, Investigating, is to determine why you want to implement mobile learning. This can be accomplished by:
- Identifying the problem that must be solved.
- Researching background information and examples.
- Identifying skills that teachers, administrators, and students must have.
- Estimating the cost of implementation.
- Considering how to facilitate acceptance and measure success.
During this step, administrators should look for an overview of plans, best practices in mobile learning implementation, and research to support the procedure.
The second step, Scoping, involves identifying core stakeholders and defining an implementation scope, by:
- Gathering stakeholders and stakeholder requirements.
- Setting preliminary goals for the implementation.
- Defining a budget.
- Identifying participating classrooms, schools, and grades.
- Deciding in-house or external development and requirements.
School leaders should be sure they come to know their stakeholders and their needs throughout this step.
In the third phase, Planning, project leaders should identify the person who is responsible for the mobile learning program’s success, and they also should define what needs to happen to ensure success. They can do this by:
- Refining program design.
- Setting implementation timelines.
- Setting success metrics.
- Adjusting policies.
- Choosing vendors.
Prepping for Implementation—the fourth step—asks leaders to outline what preparations are needed to put the mobile learning program into practice. During this step, administrators should:
- Purchase hardware, software, and network infrastructure.
- Install network, connection services, and image devices.
- Conduct thorough systems testing.
- Conduct initial professional development.
- Communicate the vision and purpose of the program to the community.
The fifth step, Rolling-out, concerns the programs and procedures that must be in place to ensure that the roll-out is successful. This involves:
- Distributing devices.
- Conducting student and parent training.
- Instructing the community in digital citizenship.
- Hosting ongoing professional development.
- Refining and codifying workflow strategies.
Learning and Teaching, the sixth step, involves identifying what learning and teaching look like with mobile devices. Project leaders should:
- Set up and support professional learning communities.
- Showcase effective teaching and coaching models.
- Reflect on pedagogical considerations.
- Refine and set up new assessment practices.
And finally, during the seventh step—Evaluating and Adjusting—administrators and project leaders should identify ways to continue to improve the mobile learning initiative by:
- Collecting feedback.
- Conducting ongoing evaluation of success against metrics.
- Changing policies and direction as warranted.
- Communicating results and outcomes to the community.
- Providing ongoing training for all stakeholders.
Follow Managing Editor Laura Devaney on Twitter @eSN_Laura.