We all know that people learn in different ways, at different paces, and with different strengths. Classroom teachers work hard to incorporate all of these differences into their plans and create successful personalized learning experiences for each student. Now, more and more students carry with them a tool that can help teachers with this challenge. Students are not the only ones who are more likely to be using mobile devices to accomplish tasks – parents, teachers, and administrators are too.

I carry my iPhone with me everywhere. Daily, I look up phone numbers, addresses, real estate listings, nearby restaurants, and much more. Occasionally I look up the bio of someone being interviewed on TV, or read on Wikipedia the history of a place mentioned on the news. All of these activities make me both more efficient with my daily tasks, as well as more informed in the moment about current news events and stories. Students want to be doing the exact same thing in school. In the Speak Up 2011 national results, Project Tomorrow learned that a majority of middle and high school students (56 percent) identified “not being able to use their own mobile device” as a major obstacle to using technology at school.

Further, parents understand that technology will be a key aspect to their child’s future success, and administrators understand that mobile devices lead to engaging instruction. According to the Speak up 2011 survey, 87 percent of parents say that the effective implementation of technology within instruction is important to their child’s success and more than 75% of school administrators report that the top benefit to mobile learning is that is increases student engagement.

So, with students, administrators, and parents overwhelmingly on board, what is the remaining challenge preventing more mobile learning from being incorporated into our schools? Teachers need more training. We hear frequently that the common concerns that schools have about devices getting lost or stolen or broken have not occurred in schools with BYOD programs because students take ownership over the devices and keep them safe. However, it is clear from these mobile learning pioneers that teachers need help setting up classroom rules and creating lesson plans that leverage the educational power of mobile devices. So, it seems like our next steps are clear. Let’s remove the one remaining hurdle.

For more information, read the report by Project Tomorrow: Mobile Devices + Social Learning = Personalized Learning.

Or, join us for a webinar on November 13 at 2pm ET with Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans. During this webinar, Julie and a panel of K-12 leaders will identify key findings from the Speak Up 2011 trends report and from interviews with innovative educators who are leveraging mobile devices for learning. Stories from these cutting-edge education leaders illustrate emerging device ownership and value proposition trends, mobile learning implementation considerations and strategies for launching mobile learning initiatives.

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