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technology in the classroom. For example, Asian developing market countries are using technology to overcome challenges around literacy and distance learning – where the use of mobile is helping with a very specifi c need. This rate of growth is not being replicated in the UK because of the diff erent nature of our infrastructure and education system, we’re not as reliant on the devices to deliver education. However, there are also examples of developed

countries in the Asian market making huge advances in edtech implementation, which the UK could potentially mirror. Not only are these countries actively promoting the use of technology through their education policies but they’re also advocates of self-directed learning and continuous development. In South Korea for example, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology announced the Promotion Strategy for Smart Education in 2011 – a customised learning system that supports fl exible learning with technology. Through the use of mobile and other technological tools, students are engaging in collaborative, creative and critical thinking. There has also been talk of a ‘Smart Campus’ from South Korean offi cials. Currently in development with IT companies across the region, the aim of the campus is to provide a wireless, cloud-based infrastructure so students can access learning materials via smartphones. The Malaysian government is also focusing on

integrating technology into its educational policies, recently launching Smart Education – a programme which aims to prepare learners for a knowledge based society through the use of ICT.

“At the moment both sides aren't meeting in the middle, you have school children using one set of tools and devices and teachers using others”

DS: There are pockets in the UK that are leading the use of mobile tech in schools. But as with other nations, there are those that are behind. What succeeds in one situation often depends on the scale involved and the at itude of all stakeholders. More importantly, the leadership at the specifi c school level will often determine success. If there is one constant that all successful models have, it’s stakeholder involvement – from all aspects of a school – at the beginning of plan development. Too often, silo-ed groups don’t come together until issues arise. Too often, schools work through things in isolation, often making the same errors that pioneering schools went through year before. Sending teams with stakeholders from all areas to visit and investigate successful models will lead to vicarious learning.

JS: It can be said that the UK does lag behind in implementing mobile tech in schools, however using this to their advantage they have the opportunity to now benchmark and learn from the impacts of mobile learning before implementing it within the learning environment. In the 2010 mobile learning market, the US was the top mobile

learning buying country, followed by Japan, South Korea, the UK, China and Taiwan. As you can see the

UK is far towards the end of this and it is forecasted that by 2015 the top buying countries will be the US, China, India, Japan, Indonesia and Brazil, respectively; the UK not even listed. The diff erence identifi ed is

that Western Europe focuses more on ‘apps’ and ‘handhelds’ whereas other regions including Asia are focusing and evolving quickly in the ‘subscription based service’. Therefore in terms of learning from the regions that have already successfully implemented mobile technology into the education system it is important to identify the success factors and factors which have negatively impacted them.

In your opinion, what’s the next step for mobile tech in education?

BVC: Increased penetration of mobile devices in schools should be a focus in the coming years as institutions start to realise the potential of this platform to deliver education. We also expect to see the combination of mobile deployment, with the emerging trend of adaptive learning – programmes which are constructed in a way to interact with the user, provide greater feedback to aid learning and adapt itself to ensure ultimate performance from the user. These two trends working in parallel will off er a truly disruptive force for the education market. Of course, this will still need to be recognised by the education sector as a valuable teaching method and adopted by teachers, so it could still face some challenges before complete adoption. We’d also expect to see the adoption of this method of teaching in other areas of education such as vocational learning and apprenticeships. Finland, for example, is a country currently making great strides in this respect.

HJ: There is no doubt that the mobile tablet off ers an amazing route to engaging with school children and students and many companies are creating fantastic apps and modules to help learning. So content and materials are not the issue but educators have to look at ensuring deeper engagement levels and building relationships with learners. The best content is one thing; steering students in the right way down the right channel to access this and really enhance their learning potential will be key.

DS: It’s to move beyond the implementation – to focus on the use of technology and to evaluate the change of instructional practice. We also need a greater focus on those teachers that are not the early adopters. Too often, new technologies are designed and implemented with the pioneering teachers, but fail when at empted to scale across a school.

JS: The advance of technology will in result drive change and open new doors into learning. Therefore, concluding what is compelling to the students and has proved to be a success it will be easier to identify the next step. This could therefore mean the increase of personalisation and individualising the student, their progress and goals. Developing on this aspect will do what a teacher

simply cannot within the working hours of a school day. In result continuous learning outside of school will increase, alongside encouraging students to work bet er by interactivity. ET

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