Mobile Future

Mobile comes to the classroom

This is Teacher Appreciation Week so it seems fitting to reflect not only on the teacher herself but also her indispensable aids: rulers, protractors, chalk, and – you guessed it – mobile service.

Virginia has become a leader in exploring ways to adapt mobile service to education. Two years ago, the state’s Department of Education launched an initiative called Learning without Boundaries [Link] in cooperation with Virginia Tech and Radford University. The program is examining the potential benefits of wireless hand-held technologies in schools.

School across the state have already picked up the challenge. For example, several elementary schools in Richmond are using handheld mobile devices since 2006 to help children learn phonics, spelling, letter recognition and writing. High school students use them to watch videos that complement classroom instruction.

Meanwhile, the school board in Chesterfield County near Richmond recently approved a five-year technology plan that includes $3 million for a mobile technology pilot program. Also moving forward in this area is the school district in Henrico County. As its school superintendent Patrick Russo told The Richmond Times-Dispatch [Link 2] earlier this year:

“As technology evolves, I think you will see [mobile devices] be part of the teaching process as well as a communication process between teachers and students.”