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The technological progress has changed tremendously the structure in which we perform our daily chores. It is imperative that the role of educational institutions is to equip their learners with the right technological skills indispensable when assimilating with the wider community (Broadly, 2007). Schools, universities and organizations have been actively examining the emerging technologies for their potential impact on teaching and learning (Fritsch & Wolf, 2012; Johnson et al, 2012; Victoria DEECD, n.d; ACU, 2012). The i-Pad/tablet has been exceptionally well received by both teachers and learners as its integration into the curriculum proved to increase engagement and enhance learning experiences (Johnson et al, 2012).
The prevalence of combining e-learning with the f2f has impacted on curriculum delivery probing educational institutions and organizations to look at the quality of learning with positive gains. In order to continue our successful programmes, Navitas will need to widen the windows of opportunities available in educational technology. This is the right time to delve and embrace more innovative, versatile and empowering tools supporting the way the future education system should be today and in the future (Victoria DEECD*, n.d).
The paper explores the necessity of incorporation of m -learning technology for teaching and learning at Navitas. Navitas has vital roles to act upon in order to meet individuals, government, community and industry’s needs (Navitas English, 2012). The English Programme serves over 25,000 students a year (Navitas English, 2012) and, the number is growing. The current migrant learners are technology oriented, and they have high expectation on what they will receive at Navitas. The organization’s mission is to create opportunities for lifelong learning and guarantee relevant training and learning significant to the 21st century education (Navitas, 2012). For this, it has a strong commitment and dedication to enhancing students’ learning experience by tapping on the current technology tools available.
Students coming to class are already immersed in using new devices. They download apps, use social network and play online games. Therefore when they enter a formal learning they expect similar interactions in the classroom.
Further, the plenty of resources and interactions that have been readily available through the internet ever more confront us to re-examine our responsibilities as educationalist. The education paradigm shift is changing to utilize all the available resources and models. Therefore, incorporating the i-pad/tablet technology in the AMEP/LLNP classroom will provide the right choice of challenge based and active learning. Tablet interaction allows students engagement. It also meets the needs of varied groupings of learners. The various component features such as portability, sustainability, compactness, large display, and touch screen make tablets ideal devices for teaching and learning. The ipad/tablet was primarily designed with the interest of adult individuals. Thus, its user-friendly applications packages suit all learners even if they have no prior engagement with innovative tools. My personal experience, in the AMEP/LLNP, highlighted that adult learners interact better with tablet/ipad than computer or laptops. Couple of my elderly adult learners have never approached a personal computer/ laptop but used i-pad with ease. This is formidable finding, is an indicative to consider the provision of tablets in the AMEP/LLNP classroom.
The student population that Navitas admits is considerably large. At present, the population stands at 25 000 students per year (Navitas English, 2012) and there is the anticipation that the number will grow in the future. The computers currently available are not sufficient to cater for the population. Furthermore, the computers available do not have in built multimedia features such as the webcam. This limits the interactions between learners, learner’s instructors, and the instructor. The lab cubby trolley used is heavy and bulky, and there is time wastage in setting the equipments for a lecture. Thus, Tablets are ideal replacement to the current cumbersome computer laboratory equipments(Johnson et al, 2012, p.14).
The use of tablet in teaching is possible. Extensive studies have been undertaking to measure the benefits associated with the integration of ipads acquired them a listing in the 2012 Horizon Report, as one of the top five emerging technologies with one or less year ‘time– to– adoption’ (Johnson et al, 2012, p.14). The DEECD of Victoria has dedicated an entire ‘i-pad for Education’ website for parties interested in using i-pads. The department highlights the combination of the device’s compact size and multiple computer capabilities and interactivity is significant to teaching and learning.
Source: Fox and Trinidad structural framework (Broadly, 2007).
Fox and Trinidad framework (Broadly, 2007) adopted describes three crucial components in developing m- technology for learning. The resources provide the learning content and delivered to student via a variety of forms with the use of m-technology. Pedagogical issues are to engage the learners. It determines how the environment develops to cater for the learners’ needs and allows collaboration and learner centered environment. The adopted technology is rich with diverse features. The delivery section is how the learning environment is reliable and accessible to the learner. The design should factor in the geographic allocations of different learners. The instruction might be covering a wide range of audiences. The m-technology is flexible and will adequately provide for this. (Boradly, 2007, p.2).
Source: CSU* Educational Technology plan 2011-2013
The parts of the plan adopted should be included in Navitas strategic plan, and given a priority to be implemented in accordance with Navitas’ mission and visionin creating opportunities for lifelong learning and providing relevant training and learning significant to the 21st century education (Navitas, 2012). The m-technology plan should encompass the following:
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