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Mobile Learning Proposal

Introduction

Common Core State Standards require students to produce clear and coherent writing, develop writing through revision, editing, and rewriting, and publishing documents using technology. Students need feedback, both from their teachers and from their peers, to begin to develop habits of editing and revising before publishing. To engage students in mobile learning

while supporting the need to revise, edit, and publish, students will work with DocAs Lite, an app that allows them to comment and edit the work of their peers. Students will be able to share their work with their peers as Microsoft Word files, and students will be able to make comments

on and edit each other’s writing. This app allows students to work on annotating and editing their

peers’ work anytime, rather than in the constraints of the classroom, and it encourages students to think of their work as a published file that will be public, rather than an essay that only the teacher will read. The app can also be used to distribute class readings, as the app functions as a

regular reader as well.

Problem Statement

Today’s students are tasked with reading complex texts and writing complex responses.

Students are expected to use technology to produce and publish writing, as well as collaborate with others about their writing. Students need adequate access and exposure to collaborative technologies to meet the demands of the Common Core State Standards. Traditionally, students have worked together in in-class peer conferences, editing and revising printed copies or handwritten work. This leaves students with annotations and comments that they must then revise on a computer or rewrite on paper before submitting their work to a teacher. Students work is rarely seen as a public document held to the scrutiny of anyone other than the teacher. Though this method may help to teach students the fundamentals of writing, it does not address the CCSS expectation of technological collaboration and sharing, and publication of documents. Also, in students’ quests to make text-based arguments, students need the ability to annotate. Though annotating can be done on paper, e-readers allow students to carry multiple texts in a manageable format. Students can also save their annotations as PDF files to submit for teacher review. The DocAs Lite app also helps students with the non-cognitive factor of organization. The app keeps track of all documents and annotations, so students will never have to ruffle through a cluttered backpack or notebook looking for a text. Everything is easily sortable and searchable on DocAs Lite.

To address this issue, DocAs Lite allows students to convert their texts to PDF documents, share those texts with other students, and annotate PDF documents to collaborate and peer-review. This allows students to work with digital copies of their work, email their documents among their peers, and publish their work as PDF documents. Students can use the app both in class and at home, making their learning convenient and portable. Though students can complete revision assignments with pen and paper, they cannot easily share their work with their peers without being in class. This proposed mobile-learning project will allow students to conveniently revise, edit, and annotate in a mobile environment. As the app also functions as a regular reader, students can open other texts for class and annotate those texts for easier understanding.

Lesson from Elsewhere

Other mobile device projects in ELA classrooms that can provide models, examples or statistics to support the activities in this project include:

In “Integrating iPads: Perspectives and Possibilities in a High School ELA Context” discuss teachers’ and students’ views about experiences with iPads in the classroom. This

study examined the experiences of pre-service teachers, teachers, and students when

iPads were introduced into instruction. Using a phenomenology approach, the author’s

collected data from several teachers in a large, middle-income urban high school; the data was in the form of audio interviews and blogs about the experiences. The most notable thing to me was that teachers learned that the technology itself is almost a new content area, and the applications used on the iPad must be taught to students before they can use them. When integrating a new application, students need time to learn the application

before adapting that technology with the content area.

According to Project Tomorrow’s “From Chalkboards to Tablets,” parents and

administrators are increasingly interested in the use of technology in the classroom. In

2012, 56% of parents polled believe that technology is “extremely important” to student

success. The study also showed that many parents still do not have access to smart phones or tablets, though the numbers are rising. In 2012, 49% of families have tablets and 73% have smartphones. Since not every family has access to mobile technologies, most of the activities using DocAs as a revision tool should not extend outside of class time.

Concept Map

Lesson from Elsewhere Other mobile device projects in ELA classrooms that can provide models, examples or

Mobile Solutions

To help students gain revision skills and increase organization, students will use the application DocAS on iPads in the classroom. Students will research their topics using the reader features on DocAS. This will help students to keep their research materials organized, and it will allow students to take notes on and annotate their research. Then, students will type their essays using a laptop or desktop computer, and use then use the DocAS application to collaborate with their peers. Students will be able to send their typed essays to their peers, and their peers will be able to edit their writing and making suggestions for revision. This proposal takes advantage of the mobile device because it allows students the opportunity to keep a digital folder of their materials, collaborate with their peers, stay organized, and make edits on their digital files. Using the iPads to store research and collaborate with peers removes the paper and pencil aspect of writing. This proposal will be costly; schools must commit to purchasing at least a class set of iPads, but the DocAS app is free to download.

As students can send their annotations, essays, and revisions through email, they can send their work to their teachers as well. Teachers can assess student annotations, as well as their peer-to-peer revisions. Students that have not used mobile devices may struggle to adapt to the technology, but the DocAS app is very use-friendly. Also, technology is often fickle, and a down network during the school day can wreak havoc on daily lessons; however, internet accessibility is an issue with any use of technology in the classroom.