The Digital Learning Revolution

September 17, 2012

With the new school year under way, it’s safe to say that when you see students walking to school, hopping off a bus or studying in a coffee shop, most of their heads are down. Before the information age, we might have wondered why these students were looking down. But as the world approaches the launch of yet another mobile device, we all are very aware that these students are looking at their phones or tablets; they are researching information or chatting with classmates about an assignment. These students are “digital natives” and they are mobile learners. Digital learning is here to stay and for many schools and teachers it’s becoming increasingly difficult to know what technology to use, how to use it, when to use it and most importantly, where to find money to purchase it.

Educating and empowering youth towards positive growth is the mission of OtterCares and a great way for us to work toward achieving our mission is by collaborating with people in education. During the summer break, we were fortunate to spend time with an organization embarking on a “Digital Learning Revolution.”

iSchool Initiative, a student-led, “for-purpose” organization, is working with teachers to help bridge the technology gaps and make mobile learning in the classroom a reality for many schools across the country. They offer Professional Development Workshops such as the “iPad Boot Camp,” ”Learning in Motion” and “Social Media in the Classroom” to help get schools and teachers started using technology. They also package educational applications like “Cramberry” and “GoodReader” in order to provide easy access to reading tools for teachers and students alike. Best of all, nearly all of the education applications recommended by iSchool Initiative are free so anyone on any budget can utilize these applications.

We spoke with several teachers this summer who recognize the value in learning about technology and appreciate the reminder that their students are “natives” to technology. They are excited to focus on the educational value of technology and want to incorporate mobile learning in their classes.

As the school year progresses, both students and teachers continue to explore new educational possibilities. The “Digital Learning Revolution” organizations like iSchool Initiative are creating provides the opportunity for anyone with a mobile device, to learn, anytime, anywhere, any place.