19 September 2020

MAKING THE MOST OF MOBILE

Our—the editors’— job in putting together these stories is to share a common sense of purpose among them, to help you to see them for their similarities and importance. What I see in this book is a cross section of the sort of grassroots action Papert described emerging around Logo three decades ago. Our authors use these tools not to gain simple efficiencies within the existing system but to find new ways to organize and think about learning. This activity is made possible through the existence of robust software, the availability of appropriate hardware, and a cultural awareness that change is possible and can be effected by those on the ground floor.

I hope this book can be a part of spreading that awareness and inspiration. Within each discipline or grade level at a single school, there are likely not enough of us to make a dent in the status quo, but together across these contexts, we start to look a bit more substantial. This is important because as students, teachers, and researchers—participants with each other in relation to School—we have our own choices to make. As Papert maintains, it is the progressives themselves who have thus far been too timid in realizing their vision (1993, We are too often willing to stay in our silos or subjugate promises for substantial change to co-option by the status quo by interpreting them as mere instruments of instruction.

Researchers should recognize that meaningful change in School is about development work, not imposing new standards (p. 41). And what can hold teachers back is too tight a focus on what their students are supposed to learn while being inhibited to learn themselves (p. 72). The success or failure of mobile media learning to transform learning will be measured not in individual trials, but through our willingness to create with one another to make learning fly.

Identify desired results. Should students merely remember and understand concepts? Or use your design to take on the roles of professionals? If so, are they actually contributing to the field, like with citizen science data collection type activities, or does their mimicry have other motivations, like being able to see the world from a new perspective? Should they apply and analyze concepts by reviewing and evaluating each others’ examples? Should they know more about a building or park? Should they have ‘met’ a historical character? Observed something in the world? Or should they struggle with creating artifacts to teach peers? Some results are best met with MML, some may not be. This is an area to look for a good match between affordances of MML to create an experience and what learning you’d like to see happen.

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