We’re having a warm discussion in my classes about mobiles: What is it that makes people say “put them away, they’re a distraction” or at least that they are less than laptops as learning tools before they have played with them enough to know if that claim is true or not; if mobiles are disruptive, what is it exactly they are disrupting? Or is the current mode of teaching and learning actually disrupting a future mode that includes mobiles?
So we’ve decided to go mobile only for a few classes to see what we discover about ourselves and out tools. Well, mobile plus sketchbook actually, in keeping with the idea that the best way to take in information is with paper and pencil:
We noted by our habit of defaulting to a laptop for everything and we’re thinking maybe we should consider building deeper tool chest. So, as Dorothy Sayers points out in her wonderful speech, The Lost Tools of Learning, we are going to doodle around with our mobiles to “give ourselves the feel of the tool.”
We’ll update here as the experiment progresses.
Composed in WordPress app on my iPhone 6
Another mixed bag of activities: teaching, invigilating an exam, work on projects, staff meeting. No serious issues with the phone in any of them.
The only thing I couldn’t do was print. I rarely print anything so this was kind of funny to me.
I’m finding that gesture-based apps like Mailbox and Swipes are better than laptop tools for processing email and tasks.
We’re running a Slack trial and this is turning out to be a boon for mobile work.
Composed in the WordPress app on my iPhone 6
My Day 2 was a typical admin day, one bookended by meetings and two sessions with IT to help Grade 10s ready their laptops for upcoming provincial exams. I used the time in between to set up the back end for the new Centre for Innovation and process a ton of email.
Composed on my iPhone.
I’ve decided to try going a week at work using only my phone, an iPhone 6. I maintain that all we need to run a good school is a smartphone and a notebook, that a laptop is legacy of industrial model learning and that mobiles are transformative.
The signs all point that way at least, and now I want to know where the actual pain points are so I can build a strategy for making the transition to a mobile-first school. I have no doubt that we need a device such as a laptop or desktop for some work, but I’m pretty sure the day-to-day can be done with a mobile phone.
Like a mad scientist I’m running this experiment on myself first. Mostly, I’m just observing and taking notes. Depending how things go, I’ll bring my students in the next week or so.
A typical day with a mix of teaching and meetings.
Journalistic skills, and not just tools to record events, can be spread, taught and encouraged.
This post, Move Over Citizen Journalism, prompts me to think we ought to add a J to the STEAM acronym. That would be Journalism, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
These days, which are characterised by a shallow understanding of critical events and ideas leading increasingly to uncivil behavour on both sides of conflicts, civics ought to be as important as any of the STEM courses. And so far as journalism–the Fourth (newspapers) and now Fifth (blogs and social media) Estates–is an essential part of civil society, cultivating clear and courageous journalistic thinking in young people seems like a good idea.
I thought to try an experiment at SXSWedu this year and invite a few sketchnote enthusiasts to collaborate on a collaborative sketchnote using FiftyThree’s innovative collaborative drawing platform, Mix. So we sat down andknocked around ideas and settled on XIM, or Experimental Impresssionism.
I’m hoping to get some insights on two things:
A huge thank you to Amy Burvall, Honoria Starbuck and Sean Ziebarth for volunteering their time. But what I most value in them is their wilingness to try on ideas, pretty much sight unseen. They put me in my mind of Anthony Burrill:
If you’re at SXSWedu–heck even if your not–join us on the Mix