TAFE Queensland is a smart educator blending technology with teaching by leading the way in what will be the first Apple Watch™ classroom in Queensland and potentially the world.
TAFE Queensland English Language and Literacy Services (TELLS) will pilot the smart watch classroom early next year in Brisbane and Townsville to help migrants and other English speaking students of the Adult Migrant English Program and Skills for Education and Employment programme to develop their skills in reading, writing and technology.
The new Apple Watch™ was announced on September 12 by Apple CEO Tim Cook and will allow the wearer fast access to files and messages, calendar alerts, maps, and the ability to use voice messages and send preset replies.
TELLS Director Helen Murphy said TELLS had long been a pioneer of integrating technology into the education environment by using mobile technology to improve the literacy skills of students across Queensland to give them to best chance of succeeding in the workplace.
“Last year we delivered the Cherbourg Mojo program which allowed students to learn professional mobile journalism skills of planning, shooting and publishing stories using an iPhone,” said Mrs Murphy.
“The Apple Watch™ classroom pilot will allow our students to learn a new language of communication which can be tailored to suit the student’s individual needs.
“Students will have the ability to receive messages or feedback from their teacher while on campus and the watch can be used as a walkie-talkie. Many of our students find speaking easier than writing English so this will help with communicating ideas.
“The Apple Watch™ classroom will connect to the mobile devices that TELLS students are already using in classrooms throughout Queensland, allowing them to improve their learning and gain new skills to become workplace ready.”
The watch has the function to send small targeted silent buzzes to the wearer’s wrist and each different buzz can be programmed to represent a message or reminder. The Apple Watch™ is an efficient micro-communication tool which allows the wearer to glance and go and receive messages with fewer interruptions, and is particularly handy for meetings or when you need to be discreet.
TELLS Digital Learning Coordinator and mobile learning pioneer Jonathan Nalder explained that the Personal Computer or Laptop was once the ‘hub’ device around which our digital lives revolved but this role is now being filled by smart phones, tablets, and a host of new Bluetooth and internet-connected devices like smart watches.
“As our students gain employment in workplaces that explore the mobility and productivity gains of these new breed of devices, it is imperative that training organisations like ours learn how to integrate these tools into our curriculum,” said Mr Nalder.
“The pilot project will map the smart watch capabilities against the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) model to see how successfully it integrates into existing teaching practices in the classroom to meet student needs.”
A consultation and planning stage will commence in October before training with a less advanced smart watch, followed by distribution of the new Apple Watch™ around March 2015.
Education Technology Solutions has been created to inspire and encourage the use of technology in education. Through its content, Education Technology Solutions seeks to showcase cutting edge products and practices with a view to expanding the boundaries and raising the standards of education curricula. It introduces teachers and IT staff to the latest products, services and developments in education technology with a view to providing practical how-to guidance designed to facilitate the integration of those products and services into the school environment in the most productive and beneficial manner possible.
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