It is often said that our students – so, our sons and daughters- do not know anything at all. We used to be better students at their age, it is often heard. It is often commented- with great concern- that our students need extra-motivation, that they don’t seem to like learning as what they do at school is a bore. And, believe or not, I don’t agree with those statements. What happens with our students is just that they interact with the world in a new dimension we don’t seem to understand; they see what is around them with a different perspective from the one we tend to have; they live life at a peculiar pace: it’s the rhythm of a world which is not static anymore. It is a mobile world! Welcome, then, to the 21st century!
On this new basis, on Wednesday 25th March, the students of 4th ESO at Ronda Secondary School carried out a treasure-hunt game around Lleida. What’s new about this? – You may be wondering. Well, they did it by using their mobile phones as the only device at their reach so as to both seek information and creation. They worked in groups, they wandered around their hometown, they visited special places they had never been to, and they learned weird things about our history… And they did all this with their usual happiness, their deep hunger for knowledge, their astonishing motivation for new things and their thirst for an unusual interaction with the people around. And what did they learn?, one may ask. They learnt how to work in teams, sharing and discussing different viewpoints; they learnt about the rich history of our town; they learnt to reach agreements by taking the right choices. All this has entailed great consequences as we now seem to understand that technologies are leading us to a new concept of learning, as this process can now take place at any time and place. The learning process has also become mobile!
This 3rd edition of the Mobile Learning Day was called “Dispositiu Mòbil”, enhancing the idea that mobiles are a positive tool and also that they bring about a new concept when learning: mobility. And in this short trip of three years, the teachers at Ins. Ronda feel deeply grateful towards two of the pillars in our town: Mr. Pep Tort, director of Seu Vella, who has always welcomed us to enjoy and live our iconic monument; and, last but not least, Lleida.net, a local enterprise which is open to the world in a way that is inspiring to all of us. Lleida.net has generously been the main sponsor in this adventure: they have provided us with awards for the winners but also with their service of Stamphoto, which certifies the photo taken by each group at the end of the game providing evidence of the moment when each group finished the game. It is indeed a pleasure to be able to count with such fantastic mates on our trip to innovation and creativity as they are a role model to us all.
And our next step? We want to keep on moving forward and see what the future holds for us all. But to be so daring, so bold, we will always need extraordinary companions as Mr. Pep Tort and Lleida.net; amazing students like the ones this year; and a huge amount of courage to grasp the pace of this technological, mobile world.
BA in English and Law, Anna Aznar is an English teacher at Ronda Secondary School, Lleida (Spain) where she also teaches Chinese. Her project Daring Reporters won the first prize in the Elearning Awards (Paris, 2005). She also received the Irene Prize: Peace Begins at home (Madrid, 2008) for When Love Kills, a didactic unit on domestic violence awarded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport .