Mobile devices and technology have changed the terrain of school, classrooms and learning. This generation of students can’t settle for sitting in a classroom and mindlessly attempting to absorb information. Instead, they need to physically pursue information. As a result, an initiative by Pearson, an educational company, is now attempting to liberate students from the traditional constrictive classroom environment, according an article recently completed by Nasdaq.
One example of a school implementing technology heavily is Houston-based A+ Unlimited Potential School. Students spend half of their time outside the classroom, meeting in coffee shops to edit text in groups or city parks to photograph wildflowers before researching the flowers online. The school is a private educational site, with approximately forty students on campus. The establishment is only in its second year of operation and serves as part of the country wide initiative to integrate more technology to engage students more actively. Another such school is located in Beverly Hills, Michigan, entitled the Nexus Academy of Royal Oak, has similar procedures for learning. It is one of seven charter schools part of Pearson’s plan that only forces students to be on campus for four hours a day, four days a week. Courses are often taught by remote teachers via teleconference, with students often spread comfortably in the lounge area of the school to do their constricted learning. Technology implementations include the use of robots for shy students, which allow teachers to project the face and voice of shy students for presentations.
Supporters of these initiatives claim that portable devices are wireless networks could change the entire expectations of K-12 education; it is thought that mobile technology could lift performance, make learning fun and lower administrative and facility costs. Alternatively, educational experts and school officials claim that there are limits to the model; no matter how good the technology, the human component of an excellent teacher to adapt the devices will always be required.