What is true mobile independent learning?

5 teaching classics I won’t be using next year. 

1. Classroom Projection

Have you ever been to the cinema to watch a kids movie? A multi-million dollar Hollywood budget is not enough to keep every eye on the screen! So why would I bother to use this form of delivery with 30 teenagers? If they all need to see something then like “real” people do in the “real” world, I issue the link and they watch in their own time. Independent learners find it frustrating to be told to stop their schedule for something. Dropbox sharing and Twitter/Facebook Groups have replaced the need for me to project anything except, ironically Hollywood Film clips (copyright) but many can be found on Youtube and your school system might stream video files to the mobile devices…maybe? I don’t use film clips.

2. Homework

Homework is proven to damage family life but really there’s no such thing for mobile learners who manage their own work schedule. My results have been much better and of higher quality since I offered “Flexitime” to all my students. Learning objectives are set and a timeframe issued, end of story. Students enjoy the freedom and feel far more obligation to get the work done. It is now after all their work, not mine.

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3. Worksheets

One-size-fits-all content delivery allows for no creative thought and makes no sense in a mobile world where information is everywhere, anytime. Worksheets as a control mechanism also only made sense in the factory model of education in the 20th century. If the content of 6 worksheets can be covered in a 3 minute documentary, directed and written by the students then…worksheets…really?

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4. Textbooks

RestrictIng and not conducive to either creative or collaborative thought and process so….no textbooks. All school material is available online, so no need for them either.
Online, It’s also often more recent, relevant and entertaining too.

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5. Whole Class discussion / teaching

Talking content or concept to a whole class never includes or engages everyone in the room regardless of class age, intellect of character so ….no. All content delivery done through Flipped classroom setup to ensure 24/7 availability. I already have students watching lesson videos at midnight because…”that’s the way I roll, sir!” A discussion should be meaningful and to be so, needs to be with a small groups or one-to-one only. Flipping the classroom immediately gives the teacher and student a more meaningful learning environment.
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I have discussed these ideas with colleagues and often when they try to argue, for example, that class discussion can work, we do eventually have to agree that there’s always one not listening and to say that most benefit is just not good enough. We are not employed to teach “most” of the students. In general, the overall idea that because we were bored and controlled at school, then current young people will be ok just isn’t going to work. Lets all start to learn and collaborate in the ‘real’ world we actually live in.

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