Smartphone Project FAQ
Q: How can one learn vocabulary and writing with a smartphone?
A: The smartphone is used a tool for tasking and technology knowledge acquisition. The learning takes place based on the output. Learners use the smartphone to create assignments and when complete present those assignments in learning workshops.
Q: What is the difference between a tutor, a mentor, and an instructor in adult literacy?
A: An Instructors has a degree that qualifies them to teach, a tutor can be anyone that has advanced knowledge of a specific subject. A mentor is sort of like the academic advisor. A mentor maintains communication with each learner and supports their efforts through helpful review and feedback on a regular basis. They serve to motivate the learner and track the learners progress. Mentors are chosen based on their ability to relate to the learner and help the learner make discoveries about themselves and their abilities. A mentor may have a degree in social work, or psychology, speak a foreign language, and have a compassionate and supportive nature, but also knows when to push the learner and remind them of where they want to be, based on the goals they have set for themselves. They must also have the correct demeanor to work with literacy seeking adults.
Q: What if a person wants to learn but does not have a smartphone?
A: That is one of our dilemmas. I hope to present this project to obtain grant funding to help buy inexpensive cell phones and data plans for some students. These students will be selected carefully and criteria for providing the phone will be established.
Q: Have you conducted any studies? How do you know this will really help learners to read, write, and use technology effectively?
A: I have conducted no studies so far. There are only two studies that I am aware of. One was conducted in Africa and the other in aboriginal Australia. There are a great deal of articles and studies on the use of cell phones in secondary classrooms and there are articles on adult use of technology in literacy classes, however, none of the articles and studies I located dealt with incorporating smartphone technology on the level that this project proposes.
Q: Do you plan on conducting a research study?
Q: Have you incorporated TESOL into this program?
A: Not at present. I believe that there needs to be a different kind of method for teaching English as a second language. This project would require that all participants be speakers of a native language other than English. That would present some difficulties, however, it is an option for the future.