In the last few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to research information and communications technologies (ICT), specifically mobile learning technology, and how it’s being implementing throughout the world. I want to learn all I can to make sure my mobile learning initiative at Lamar University is successful. It was important to me to find out:
- What worked?
- What could have been done better?
- How do we apply the lessons learned?
A few courses ago, I developed a couple of plans for my mobile learning initiative using the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) model and the Influencer model. I developed a Wildly Important Goal (WIG) for my innovation plan and identified several vital behaviors and lead measures that I wanted to act on. However, after doing much reading and research it’s evident that I need to refine my original plan and clarify my vision for mobile learning at Lamar.
I organized my research findings and reflections about global and local technological innovations in a literature review which helped shape the revisions to my plan. I also created a short slide show presentation that highlights some of the lessons I learned and how I intend to apply those lessons for a successful implementation of mobile learning at my university.
“Classic Learning” by Alan Levine is licensed under CC BY 2.0
My Updated WIG and Plan Outline
Three faculty, as members of a pilot group, actively incorporating at least 2 instances of mobile learning and BYOD into their curriculum and assignments, per course, by Fall 2017.
One thing I learned is that it’s OK to start small. A small pilot group of faculty will enable me to establish a key group to model effective use of mobile learning and BYOD. Although my goal now focuses on a much smaller number of faculty members I am keeping the goal date the same to allow time for ample professional development (PD) and training on pedagogies and strategies for mobile learning.
Create an LU Mobile Learning Task Force and devise a vision.
- The task force, which includes me and a couple of colleagues, will act as a leadership team for my mobile learning initiative and oversee the pilot group.
- The task force, with the approval of our Institutional Review Board (IRB), will determine student’s and faculty’s current use, attitudes and beliefs about mobile learning and BYOD through a survey and focus groups.
- The task force, along with input from the pilot group, will devise a clear vision for Lamar University’s mobile learning initiative using the data gathered from our survey and focus groups.
Research, professional development, training, and collaborative opportunities for faculty
- Professional development will focus on ICT as the lever and its pedagogical implications, and not just the tools themselves.
- The PD will be robust, convenient, personalized, and relevant and will focus on pedagogical strategies for implementing mobile learning. We may create a locally implemented Professional Learning Community (PLC – Mobile Learning at Lamar).
- Incentives such as certificates and/or other non-monetary awards will be provided for participation.
- The task force (or the Division of Distance Learning) will host workshops for faculty to explore mobile apps and their uses for teaching and learning.
- The pilot group members will be encouraged to perform peer presentations and showcase their mobile learning skills for teaching and learning.
- Pilot group members will be encouraged to attend off-campus PD opportunities like the EdTechTeacher Summit, the ISTE Conference, or other online opportunities such as the Online Learning Consortium (OLC).
Monitoring, evaluation, and technical support
- The task force will perform frequent, if not continuous, monitoring and evaluation of the mobile learning project. We will attain frequent feedback from all pilot group participants in order to make improvements.
- The task force will provide continuous and reliable technical support throughout the project in addition to providing mentors that will be strategically placed throughout departments and colleges.
“Arrow Change” available on Pixabay is licensed under CC0 1.0
After all of my recent research I feel I have a better understanding of what steps to take in order to ensure a successful tech initiative. You really must focus on a vision first and make sure that you have a strong leadership team to guide and support the effort. It only takes a spark to get a fire going; mobile learning is a technique that can ultimately spread from a small group and slowly but surely permeate throughout the campus to other faculty.
Additionally, I discovered that PD is an integral part of any new ICT innovation project. Not only is it vital to the plan’s success, it has to be the right kind of PD which focuses on what the technology will be used for, what you hope to accomplish with it, and how it can be used to improve learning and teaching outcomes. I plan to provide ongoing support and guidance because PD should be ongoing as technology is always changing. The task force will continue research in order to be sure we are up to date on the latest tech trends. If possible we will create a PLC specifically for our mobile learning initiative in order to provide personalized training on specific topics, teaching and learning tactics.
Once the pilot group is established, the task group will monitor and get feedback from digital surveys and pilot group discussions. Again, the results from the surveys and discussions will help to make improvements, changes and updates to our mobile learning initiative so that it can thrive and spread throughout our campus.
In short, if it wasn’t for my recent study of global and local technological innovation projects, I wouldn’t have been able to refine my innovation plan or clarify the vision I had for my mobile learning initiative at Lamar University. Clearly it’s a great advantage to learn from what others are doing with regards to mobile learning in order to organize the best plan for success.