“But Mr. Grant, why do I have to use Google Drive?”
I never get tired of answering that question.
Cloud computing has made such a difference in my life that I have no problem being an ardent advocate for it.
I tell students about this time in the “old days” where I’d have to walk three kilometres in the snow to the local library to meet a partner to complete work on a project for high school.
I go on… “Nowadays, you kids don’t have to leave your house, room or school to work way more collaboratively/productively on similar tasks”.
Cloud computing has already been a game changer and I see no difference why that trend won’t continue. In the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) suite, students have access to a plethora of tools that will cultivate skills vital for their future. Enabling students to collaboratively work on documents, spreadsheets, images, videos etc. helps shape them into active and engaged individuals capable of working in environments that remake content and facilitate them in becoming producers and creators (Diana Rhorten). These tools continue to stay current as they are constantly being updated; taking into consideration the needs of the modern world.
“Now students, take your mobiles devices out”. “Ya! Whoo Hoo”!
How is it that just about any activity you do with mobile devices in schools these days is always well received by young people?
Maybe it has to do with the idea of ‘play’ that Douglas Thomas focuses on in his New Culture of Learning. By extension, mobile technology can be seen as a crucial instrument of play. I wonder if students realise how powerful this technology is in relation to their learning?
“Well students, I’ve got some facts that might just blow your minds”:
- ‘In April 2013, educational apps were the second most downloaded in iTunes of all of the categories — surpassing both entertainment and business apps in popularity.’
“So, you students are already learning with it whether you are conscious of it or not!”
Mobile learning seems to be another vehicle that will help students acquire many of the skills that will be required for their future. This technology provides them with a chip in the game of the ‘global participatory culture of learning’ (Judy O’Connell) so to speak. It enables them access to learning networks that exceed that of traditional institutions and provides them with tools to help make sense of and again, be an active participant in their learning.
That’s also where we come in as educators. Our ever changing role requires us to act as mentors; ensuring that these natural consumers of information are shown how to successfully participate and become a true digital native (Nichole Pinkard). David White and Alison Le Cornu also relate to this issue in their ‘digital visitor vs resident’ analogy. A goal, as teachers needs to be helping shift students from where they are merely consumers (visitors) to a position where they are producing and enriching their networks and communities (residents).
“Do you really think we’ll use all this tech in the future Mr. Grant?”
If it’s any indication of what we’re up against, the ‘Future Work Skills 2020’ report also acknowledges that they don’t really have any idea of the jobs that will exist in 2020; however, they do estimate that ‘virtual collaboration’ and ‘new media literacy’ are two of the ten skills that will be important and part of the way we can focus on them is by using cloud computing and mobile technology.
“So, let’s get back to work!”
“We’re ready when you are.”
Davies, A., Fidler, D., & Gorbis. M. (2011). Future work skills 2020. Institute for the Future for the University of Phoenix Research Institute: California
A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas at TEDxUFM. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM80GXlyX0U
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada V., Freeman, A., and Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAv6uqrE_9E
Kuehn, L. (2012). No more “Digital Natives” and “Digital Immigrants.” Our Schools / Our Selves, 21(2), 129–132.
Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner | MacArthur Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0xa98cy-Rw