On Friday March 16, Hamilton hosted the first Mobile Learning Summit. This new annual event was a product of the partnership between Hamilton and NYSCATE (The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education). NYSCATE is a non-profit professional organization representing technology using educators and administrators in New York State. "[NYSCATE is] dedicated to insuring that every child receives a “world class” education." The goals for this event were to provide opportunities for participants to gain a clearer understanding of mobile technologies, begin thinking about mobile experiments, and bring awareness of and practical applications of mobile technology in the K-20 educational continuum.
This one day event was developed by members of Hamilton, NYSCATE, New Hartford and Oneida Central Schools. The event attracted over 270 attendees, with 22 exhibitors and three corporate sponsors. There were 32 presentation sessions spanning a wide variety of topics:
Our keynote speaker was Richard Culatta, Deputy Director, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education. Mr. Culatta began his presentation by cautioning educators to not replicate existing forms of teaching and learning with mobile technology. He emphasized the importance of recognizing the unique opportunities that mobile devices offer, and how these devices impact the classroom instructor-pupil dynamic. He concentrated on four types of learning interactions: learner/content, learner/expert, learner/learner, and learner/context. The context he described relates to students interacting with the world around them, in order to deepen personal understanding and meaning. Students can use mobile devices to capture images, video and interact with smart objects (e.g. QR codes), and share them with others.
We received many positive comments about the event, facilities, presentations, presenters and the variety of sessions offered. Participants from higher education remarked on the usefulness of networking with and hearing the perspectives from K-12 educators. President Stewart observed that there was "an excellent turnout with positive energy."
Keep your eye out for our next event, slated to happen in March 2013.
If you have any questions, comments or ideas in regards to mobile technology, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).