The project aims to embed mobile technologies within mainstream learning by providing training on hand-held devices for both teacher trainees and existing teachers. Our MLEARN programme will challenge teachers to think creatively about mobile learning and will develop their confidence to try new ideas within the whole school curriculum.
Hand-held technologies are becoming commonplace within everyday lives but can also be used for powerful learning experiences inside the classroom and outside of the traditional education environment. The MLEARN project aims to embed mobile technologies within mainstream learning by providing training on hand-held devices for both teacher trainees and existing teachers. Our MLEARN programme will challenge teachers to think creatively about mobile learning and will develop their confidence to try new ideas within the whole school curriculum. MLEARN will reach at least 55 teachers across the partnership, teaching across different subject areas in ten schools in each country (including primary, secondary and special schools in UK, Greece, Italy, Romania and the Netherlands. The technologies used will include mobile phones, games consoles, tablets, mp3 microphones and hand-held projectors.
Research suggests that there has been under-investment in training for teachers in ICT generally, and that in a world where young people are keen and constant users of some new technology and much social media, teachers who are confident in the use of hand-held technology will be able to respond quickly to change and to channel the interest and IT skills of young people into education.
New technological developments have the power to transform society, the way we learn, work, play, communicate and interact. Teachers are crucial change makers in this process, and yet recent research shows a lack of investment in teacher training which would empower them to utilise mobile and handheld technologies.
The MLEARN project will deliver:
- Innovative classrooms rather than episodes of learning;
- A model for cascading learning, ensuring sustainability and replicability;
- Greater understanding in schools of the value of handheld technologies in the motivation and retention of pupils
- Better trained teachers with greater confidence in using mLearning every day at school
- Recognition of how handheld technologies can support improved inclusion, and literacy, numeracy, communication and IT skills
- Integrate the use of handheld technologies as a recognised and accepted learning tool within school education (primary, secondary and special schools)
- Embed the use of handheld technologies within teacher training programmes (initial and in-service)
- Support this training using a variety of handheld equipment
- Have these recognised as appropriate training for teachers across Europe, with relevant resources including a teacher’s guide
- Pilot the training programme with teachers in primary, secondary and special schools in five European countries
- Pilot handheld technologies inside and outside of the classroom in a school based project across a range of subjects
Country: Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, United Kingdom
Coordinator: Titan Partnership, http://www.titan.org.uk
Target groups: education authorities, general public, industry, parents, policy makers, researchers, teachers, trainee teachers
Topic: Computer science, Information technology, Technology, Education
Start year: 2013
End year: 2016
Contact person: Helen Mawson, helen.mawson (at) titan.org.uk
In 2014 initial desk research commissioned by the project was undertaken by the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University, UK (Passey, D. and Zozimo, J. (2014). Research Report: A training needs analysis to support mobile learning and information and communication technology teacher training in MLEARN partner countries. Lancaster: Lancaster University).
The research explored the positive outcomes of mobile learning, which include, amongst others, enhanced opportunities for collaborative, social and contextualised learning. The report also focused on the training of teachers to deploy mobile devices effectively in their classroom to maximise the potential benefits for their students. To get the most out of mobile devices, teachers must feel confident to use them like any other traditional teaching tool and have a comprehensive knowledge of how these devices can be applied, as well as an understanding of the pedagogical implications. The report highlighted three key areas of knowledge that must be developed in an effective teacher training programme: technical (what the device can do and how to use it), content (what subjects and topics can be addressed using the devices and their applications) and pedagogical knowledge (how this is done through the development and deployment of appropriate teaching and learning activities). This has become the basis for the MLEARN teacher training programme, delivered to teaching experts from each country in July 2014, and has now been cascaded across the partner countries.
MLEARN is currently gathering data via online surveys on the progress of both teachers and their students during a year of mLearning after undertaking the MLEARN programme. The results will be collated and assessed by Lancaster University by the end of 2015.
The MLEARN programme and training manual will be available on the eLearning platform by October 2015. This will be piloted in the first instance by project participants and will be available in English, Italian, Greek and Dutch.