Advocacy Context: I am a hearing itinerant teacher, working for a special education coop. I work with a variety of age/levels of students, who have hearing loss, on a one-to-one/small group basis within various districts and various schools. I travel to multiple schools per day, carrying all of my materials with me. Currently, the available technologies are limited to older laptops, which are bulky, heavy, and limited in interactive educational programs available. Since I travel to multiple schools, I do not have consistent space available to work with students in each school, and do not have consistent access to technology.
What is the mobile hearing classroom?
Advancements in mobile technology have created opportunities to integrate technology easily in the classroom; providing a motivational avenue for students to learn 21st century skills. The Mobile Hearing Classroom (MHC) will be used within the hearing itinerant teaching position to provide individualized learning programs for students with hearing loss within the school district. Mobile technology will greatly enhance the hearing itinerant program by allowing materials and technology to be easily transported from school to school. Utilizing an iPad2, the MHC will integrate technology and 21st century skills within the educational goals of each student; focusing on auditory development, reading and language development, and advocacy skills alongside 21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration (Partnership for 21st Century Skills).
Why include mobile technology?
A decade into the new millennium, life, work, and play has rapidly transformed. The industrial age has morphed into the digital age. Life, in all its aspects, is more fluid, more diverse, and more multidimensional. Mobility of peoples, physically and through communication technologies, has created an atmosphere of instant contact, instant connection. This mobility of people, information, and ideas creates a new system of knowledge; thus impacting the way we learn, what we learn, and where we learn (Lambert, M., 2001). Technology has created an avenue for ubiquitous learning. All students must be prepared to utilize technology to expand and build upon their knowledge, developing skills to live and work in the 21st century. Technology in education becomes a motivational force among students in the 21st century. As mobile device ownership and use increase, the connection between the classroom and real life becomes even more important.
Educational Outcomes Using Mobile Technology in Hearing Itinerant Program:
-teaching and learning of and through multiliteracies (New London Group, 1996; Angelo, J., Conners, K., & Helkowski, T., 2009)
-individualized instruction specific to student’s educational goals (Christensen et.al, 2008)
-provide access to technology to bridge the digital divide (Warschauer, M., 2002)
-digital citizenship development (http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/)
-create a knowledge network through collaboration of hearing students across various schools/districts
-provide avenue to demonstrate competence of personal advocacy skills
-mobile learning=learning anytime, anywhere
What will it look like?
“Immensely portable, tablets serve as e-readers, video repositories, and web-browsing devices with instant access to thousands of apps—all in one package that easily fits in a book bag, and even replaces the need for the physical books therein (NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition, 2011, p. 14).”
As an itinerant teacher, mobility is important. Advantages of an iPad are beyond simply educational, they are professional too. The variety and number of apps available allow greater amount of opportunities for students to access and create knowledge and knowledge networks. Multiple books and apps, along with internet access (pictures, educational sites, access to collaboration programs) all within one single device expands my repertoire of materials that I can carry for multiple students of multiple levels, as I go from school to school. Along with capacity, the iPad provides students with activities that are interactive and motivational. Since my position is mobile, I have limited access to space within each school building, limiting my access to technology. Students and I, will be able to access learning materials, as well as create a learning environment in an instant wherever we may be. Not only will students be able to use the technology to enhance learning, I will also be able to use the mobile device to collect data, access work email (one of the best ways for me to communicate with all the staff I work with), and plan lessons and create materials on the go. By integrating mobile technology within the goals of hearing services, I will be able to meet my students’ individual goals along with providing them opportunities to develop and strengthen 21st century skills.
Educational Apps & Learning Objectives:
The following are a few examples of apps that would be beneficial for hearing impaired students and the hearing itinerant position. These apps, along with direct instruction on specific skills will create a learning environment that reflects individual needs and the skills needed to live and work in today’s global economy.
-App used to capture moments of learning. Jot down notes, take pictures, collect resources, create folders, and access anywhere. Students will collect information on advocacy skills that can be easily accessed to prepare presentations for their teachers, peers, and families. EverNote Peek (http://www.appannie.com/evernote-peek/) is also available to use as a studying device for class subjects.
- Improves sentence ideation, formation, and receptive and expressive language. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs. This app is related to materials that are of physical nature available within the hearing itinerant program, replacing the need to carry multiple supplies.
International Children’s Digital Library (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icdl-free-books-for-children/id363731638?mt=8)
-A collection of free children's books from around the world, spanning different countries and different cultures. This app can ease transportation issues, as well as allowing for students to highlight/make observational notes within the story as they go along, without “marking up” an actual text.
Collaboration programs (Google docs, diigo, blogs, wikis, podcasts, vodcasts)
What supports are needed?
In order to create a hearing itinerant program that is technology driven, certain materials and supports are needed.
-Materials- iPad, appropriate apps, wifi available within all districts: Considering the cost of individual materials, and the time/energy spent in moving materials between schools, the cost of an iPad (used with multiple students) is low
-Professional Development: Training may be needed for classroom teachers to enable students to present advocacy information to class.
-Acceptable use/security policies: Policies will need to be developed that are able to span multiple districts, or each district must create acceptable use/security policy to reflect use of mobile technology in school-allowing access to wifi and appropriate programs.
Angelo, J., Conners, K., & Helkowski, T. (2009). Anywhere learning. Educational Leadership, 66, 6.Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar09/vol66/num06/Anywhere-Learning.aspx
2. EverNote Peek-http://www.appannie.com/evernote-peek/
3. Language Builder-http://www.appannie.com/languagebuilder-for-ipad/
4. International Children’s Digital Library-http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icdl-free-books-for-children/id363731638?mt=8
Christensen, C.M., Horn M.B., & Johnson C.W. (2008). Distrupting Class: How Distruptive Innovation will Change the Way the World Learns, McGraw Hill: New York.
International Children’s Digital Library-http://en.childrenslibrary.org/index.shtml
Lambert, M. (2001). 21st century learners and their approaches to learning. Paper presented at the Eighth International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning, Spetses, Greece. Retrieved from http://ultibase.rmit.edu.au/Articles/sept02/lambert1.pdfNew London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66, 1.
Vision of K-12 students-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8&feature=related
21st Century Pedagogy-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l72UFXqa8ZU&feature=related
Warschauer, M. (2002). Reconceptualizing the digital divide. First Monday, Volume 7, Number 7. Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/967/888.