Here is the first installment of my mini-series regarding what I learned at WestCAST:
Peggy Jubien (U of A) and Brad McDiarmid (Red Deer College) co-presented on pocket technospaces. They emphasized that when a student is using his/her iPod, cell phone, etc., to listen to music or play games, he/she is in his/her own world. Listening music and playing games alters four important factors for engagement: sense of place (altered perception of the outside world), sense of others (altered perception of who you are interacting with and who is around you), sense of time (altered perception of time), and sense of body (altered perception of your physical state).
Such engagement can actually work to teachers’ benefit. How? First off, if a student is so intensely focused on a game, why not bring that came into the classroom. For a quick example, many math teachers are experimenting with using Angry Birds in the classroom. Students love Angry Birds, and teachers love teaching tangent lines in calculus. Voila! A match made in heaven.
Teachers can also use this with a more traditional educational sense by having students listen to podcasts, audio books, or other audio resources. This got me thinking about the flipped classroom — why not do a podcast sometimes, instead of a video, or have the videos in a format that can be downloaded on to an iPod?
I want to leave you with a surprising fact from their presentation that stuck out to me.
Did you know that 53% of mobile gamers (i.e. people who play games on their cell phone or iPod) are female?