How to Empower Your Faculty in an M-learning Environment
It’s a brave, new world. Educators are facing some of their biggest challenges ever. But at the same time, we’re teetering on the edge of most significant, most exciting revolution; m-learning. If you’re responsible for making it safely to the other side, pay attention to the following.
1. Involve your faculty in design and purchasing decisions
Want to know the single most significant success indicators of an m-learning program? It’s whether the educators were involved from the start. Sure, management has a strategy and budget, and vendors know their products, but nobody knows the kids better than their educators.
Make your faculty part of the decision and implementation process. It will allow them to have their questions addressed before a costly mistake is made. Moreover, you’ll get their buy-in.
2. Provide for professional development
The m-learning environment requires educators to learn new skills. What if educators have grown up in the digital age, you may ask? Well, you can’t assume they know how to turn previously social tools, like Twitter, into professional development tools.
Additionally, this generation struggles more than others to distinguish “fake news” from fact – a critical skill for an educator. Other mobile teaching skills include app-specific knowledge, general technical literacy, digital citizenship and familiarity with communication tools.
3. Allow time for learning
Professional development opportunities only have value if educators have time to benefit from them. Make time for faculty members by freeing them of administrative tasks. There are many time-saving apps and tools for educators to assist with lesson planning and parent correspondence.
4. Enable community collaboration
Learner success has been positively linked to school community collaboration and peer observation. With the transparency provided by tech, educators need support from colleagues more than ever.
A Learning Management System (LMS) like Pedagogue allows educators to learn and grow. It’s a safe space where they can share advice, strategies, tools, hacks, resources, etc., and work together to improve their teaching skills and the academic performance of the learners in their charge.
5. Don’t be prescriptive or restrictive
At the minimum, educators should have the same flexibility on an m-learning platform that they have in their classrooms. Tech provides excellent oversight opportunities, but your educators don’t want to feel like Big Brother is watching them.
Get comfortable with knowing that a thriving m-learning environment won’t happen overnight. Your faculty must feel free to make mistakes and learn from them. If faculty members are scared to try things to break the system, they will bypass it. Remember, an educator’s job and passion is to teach.
6. Ensure stable and efficient infrastructure
Last but not least, educators need to have confidence in the m-learning infrastructure. A system that crashes and forces them to switch between mobile and manual modes of instruction will exhaust and frustrate them.
Infrastructure requirements for m-learning platforms will depend on the LMS and other tools selected. Watch out for concurrent user limits and make an offline/disaster plan part of the implementation requirement.