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Mobile Learning continued from page 7

As school districts embrace mobile learning, it is important to consider four areas: infrastructure, management, integration, and professional development. Key questions to ask as your district incorporates mobile devices are:


School buildings are ‘wired’ to handle wireless access, but are they ready for a few hundred devices to be turned on all at once at the beginning of the school day rather than in just a select few labs or classrooms?

Is the wireless access filtered to meet federal requirements?

Will your district allow students to bring personal mobile devices? If so, how will they access wireless infrastructure?


Are the applications (apps) managed in an efficient manner to meet licensing requirements and ease of access?

Interview continued from page 7

users, 56 million active Twitter users and LinkedIn boasting over 120 million members in over 200 countries, social media is the front line for information sharing and should be treated as such for any organization or business looking to connect with their audience.

Q: What’s your biggest challenge in working as MACUL’s social media coordinator?

A: By far the hardest things to do in any community that is as saturated with information as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn is stand out. There are social media accounts for most businesses and organizations, individuals, cities, entertainers and artists, and I’ve even seen accounts for people’s pets or characters from popular culture. What helps to stand out is having a community that is willing to amplify our message, and MACUL members are great at this. Especially when social media communities tend to favor egalitarianism, information sharing, and activism, our members help provide credibility and sustainability to our social media messaging.

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Q: What’s the most fun about working as MACUL’s social media coordinator?

A: MACUL Space, our Ning powered online community, is an exciting aspect of MACUL’s social media family. Before I started working with the site 8 months ago, over 3,000 people were members on the site and over 1,000 people have joined from around the world since then. The most recent months have seen the most rapid growth. All signs point to MACUL Space as being a future hot spot for educational technology in Michigan or wherever else our members decide to take it. And that’s the truth! MACUL Space is user powered and user directed. Members are in the drivers’ seat and I’m just here to help navigate where they want to go. This next year, we’ll be integrating a MACUL blog, video, podcasts, more mixed media, webinars, expert-led forums and more into MACUL Space. It’s our goal to make the site everything our members want and expect it to be in a professional learning network.

Winter 2011-12 |

Q: Anything you’d like to say to the MACUL membership?

A: Our social media channels are not only our way of delivering our message to you, as members, but also your way of delivering your message to us. Let us know how you are using educational technology to enhance learning and we will share it with the 5,000+ MACUL members in our network. Ask us questions and you’ll have the power of a worldwide community giving you answers. As a group MACUL can reach thousands but as a professional network we have the power to reach millions, yes, millions!

Have you signed up yet for MACUL on Facebook, Twitter and MACUL Space?

Are the central points of contact for purchasing apps in the district identified and are they communicating the process with others?


Regardless of the device, are the ‘apps’ being used educationally appropriate and aligned to the curriculum?

Rather than reinventing the wheel, are mobile resources available at MACUL’s MI Learning being utilized by teachers/ students?

Professional Development: If we want students to learn using mobile technology tools, teachers and administrators need to be as well. Ongoing professional development must be provided if we as educators are going to empower our students to succeed. Are professional development opportunities encouraged that are currently available through ISDs/RESAs, REMC Association of Michigan, and MACUL’s conferences and Special Interest Groups?

Is there adequate district funding to send staff to professional development opportunities?

This month’s MACUL Journal is focused on iPads in Learning. Whether you are well down the road to adoption of any mobile device, or just starting, I encourage you to keep these questions in mind and use these articles to facilitate discussions in your district on how your district will use mobile learning, regardless of the device used, as a key learning tool for students and educators.

New Media Consortium. (2011). The NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition. 20 May, 2011 from pdf/2011-Horizon-Report-K12.pdf.

Mike Oswalt is the Assistant Superintendent for Regional Technology Services at Calhoun ISD and is the 2011/12 MACUL Board



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