Learning Is Personal
Stories of Android Tablet Use In the 5th Grade
Marie Bjerede & Tzaddi Bondi
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This report describes the implementation, results, and observations from a 1:1 implementation of Android tablets enabled with 3G mobile broadband in a 5th grade classroom. The project was an informal collaboration focused on unresolved questions in the field of wireless educaction technology, including:
- Can Android devices serve as a realistic alternative to the popular iOS devices?
- Can tablets serve as a realistic alternative to laptops for writing long papers or working with multimedia?
- Can young students appropriately handle responsibility for mobile devices and Internet access?
- How do personal, connected mobile devices shift teaching and learning when placed in the hands of educators and students?
Our approach was non-traditional: a collaborative exploration rather than formal research (we call it "guerilla research"). Our results were counterintuitive: 10-year-olds are not automatically fans of mobile devices, nor do they instinctively know how to navigate all things digital, but the process of exploring with technology led them to unexpected levels of independence, agency, and competence. Our report is informal: we share the good, the bad, and the ugly of implementing a mobile 1:1 program and we discuss our opinions and insights based on suggestive evidence as well as facts and conclusions that are more rigorous.
We spend a lot of ink communicating the context and "feel" of our experiences - in that way we hope to communicate not only our explicit learnings, but perhaps some of the tacit knowledge that we gained through this experience. In our results, we focus largely on those things that we found to be surprising or counterintuitive as they catalyzed the greatest learning for us.
We hope that our experiences of this past year will be of some benefit to others who are contemplating mobile 1:1 projects.