Discussions about mobile learning often center on the
technology and its capabilities — which, to be sure, are impressive. But
treating mobile devices as simply a novel tactic for classroom engagement is to
overlook the golden egg: mobile technology’s incredible potential for developing
kids’ cognitive skills.
“Mobile devices offer access to many tools that can help with the production,
construction and creation process,” said educational technologist and ISTE board
member Kathy Schrock. “The ease of searching for and installing apps from the
various app stores can support students as they find niche products at their
point of need.”
By choosing and applying mobile apps using
Bloom’s Taxonomy as a guide, teachers can help students progress through
lower- to higher-order thinking skills.
“There are many pedagogical models that can be used to support mobile
teaching and learning,” Schrock said. “Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy (2000) is one
that focuses on the development of a cognitive skillset rather than the use of
technology. The development of the cognitive skills at each level of Bloom’s —
remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating — can
be used across the curriculum and in real life, too.”
She offered the following suggestions for selecting apps that help students
move toward higher-order thinking strategies:
Apply the research other educators have done.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, especially if you’re just getting
started with your mobile learning initiative. Plenty of educators have compiled
lists of apps appropriate for each cognitive skill level. For starters, check
out Schrock’s guide
to apps that support Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.
Critically evaluate new apps.
As you discover new apps for classroom use, take the time to evaluate their
suitability for developing the cognitive skills you want to target. There are
learning evaluation tools available to help you identify which Bloom’s
levels an app supports and whether it has the features you need to accomplish
your students’ learning goals.
Look for opportunities to create.
Seek out apps that allow students to create and share their own products.
With the diversity of apps now available, the sky’s the limit as far as what
types of digital content students can create.
“There are all types of ways students can create digital products that
showcase their mastery of content acquisition,” Schrock said. “Besides blogging
and videos, students can create a podcast, a digital cartoon or puppet show, an
infographic, a database, an app of their own, a screencast of a process, an
instructional song, a labeled diagram, and many more.”
Want to find out more about transforming mobile technology into a powerful
learning platform? Apply for our free Verizon
Mobile Learning Academy.
Image: The Cogs of the
Cognitive Process by Kathy Schrock