Dr David Parsons, Associate Professor Massey University, is writing a paper investigating the BYOD initiative at Orewa College to integrate one-to-one ICTs into the learning process. He explains how integrating electronic support into learning in every context - not just in the classroom but out in the world measuring things, analysing things, communicating things between students - really opens up whole new worlds of learning.
Defining e-learning is an increasing interesting question in a sense because perhaps there’s a historical idea that e-learning often means um not very interesting learning, sitting in front fo the computer just going through the motions. That’s partly to do with the fact that in the early days of the technology we didn’t really have the opportunity to much else but increasing what we’re seeing is not so much e-learning but blended e-learning. So what we’re seeing is the electronic resources being blended into a wider approach to teaching and of course the more mobile the devices are the more they can be fully integrated into the lives of the students. So it’s not just about going into a room that’s got some machines in it. It’s about being everywhere where you normally are but having the support of those devices with you. So now that the school’s increasingly like Orewa College have these Internet access wireless networks across the whole school campus there’s no point having those if we don’t use them so we can now take advantage of those. We can integrate electronic support into learning in every context not just in the classroom but out in the world measuring things, analysing things, communicating things between students. The really exciting over the last, well I suppose two or three years is we’ve suddenly seen devices that do great things very readily available and of course they are still quite expensive but that’s not really going to be the case for much longer. They’re increasing accessible so we can now do really great teaching stuff with equipment that’s not too expensive but really opens up whole new worlds of learning.