Examples of Seamless Learning in & Out of the Classroom: Using Mobile Technology in Education
What is Seamless Learning?
Seamless learning means that classroom experience and real life experience are equally important to learning. Education takes place whereever we go. We should always be connected to our lessons.
Also known as ubiquitous learning, U-learning, mobile learning or M-learning, this idea means that smartphones, tablets, laptops and even wearable technology all have a place in the school system. Modern educators are finding ways to turn distraction into interaction. Here are some examples of successful seamless learning applications.
During presentations at a learning conference, delegates exchanged comments and questions via Twitter. The tweets were posted on a screen behind the speaker. The speaker and delegates were given a chance to address the comments and answer the questions.
This method is quieter and more organized than an old-fashioned “raise your hands” approach. Participants can engage in debate without disturbing the flow of the conference. All correspondence can be dealt with at a later time.
Geometry in the Field
Students are sent across the campus to measure the heights of various structures around the school. Using their smartphone’s angle tool, they can triangulate and compute distances. This process requires real-world observation, collaboration and problem solving. The device is only there to measure and compute.
Information can be super-imposed over real images. This can be best used at museums and historic locations. The screens of smartphones and tablets or the lenses of virtual glasses can add facts, questions and statistics to what the students are viewing. The technology reacts to how the students move around the site.
Cooperation with the place to be studied is key. Soon this could be a standard part of any class field trip.
A field trip can be accentuated by learning games. After visiting a zoo, for example, students are encouraged to continue learning by accessing the zoo’s website searching for clues, stats and answers. They earn points for each success in the game.
Turning learning into a game is a great path to learning.
In an effort to document the world’s usage and waste, students use pocket computers to photograph packaging at supermarkets, count the number of plastic bags used by shoppers and document the energy efficiency of the world around them. Back at the classroom, they can share their findings and compute the potential impact on the planet.
Statecraft is a complex role-playing game that simulates the real-life challenges of government and diplomacy. A teacher can build a world based upon multiple parameters including class size. The simulation will then run for seven to eight weeks, showing the cause and effect of various actions.
The game has been tested and refined for 11 years by Dr. Keller of James Madison University.
System for Capturing and Reminding of Learning Log is a system for recording and sharing ubiquitous learning experience. Wherever a student goes, he or she can record video and audio of a situation, take notes and share it with the student base. The information is called ULLO (ubiquitous learning log object). The process is similar to retweeting a favorite post. A student can take and keep an ULLO from another student.
ESL students take pictures and share them with the class to demonstrate their knowledge of prepositions. For example, the teacher can ask them to show something that is on, next to or under something else. This in a more engaging, physical and visual way to teach an otherwise difficult topic in English.
Student Participation is a Must
In order to have successful, continuing education outside of the classroom, the students must be motivated to constantly be observing and learning. All the techniques I learned about absolutely require an engaged and curious student. A student only interested in getting by with minimum effort will not benefit from this learning style.
Likewise, it takes a curious and experimental teacher to make seamless learning work. Educators today are the pioneers for the next century of new learning. School will never be the same. It takes a fresh, wide-open set of eyes to find ways to educate in the future.
- Viewing mobile learning from a pedagogical perspective http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/14406
- Extending Students’ learning Spaces: Technology-Supported Seamless Learning http://ammonwiemers.com/IdetPortfolio/articles/Technology%20Integration/Extending%20Students%20Learning%20Spaces%20–%20Technology-Supported%20Seamless%20Learning.pdf
- Seamless Learning (U-LEARN) http://www.learningfrontiers.eu/?q=content/seamless-learning-u-learn
- Innovating Pedagogy Report 2013 http://www.open.ac.uk/personalpages/mike.sharples/Reports/Innovating_Pedagogy_report_2013.pdf