Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thing 12 - Mobile Learning

The use of mobile learning devices (cell phones) in the classroom is an interesting concept. I believe that with most schools having a strict policy restricting these devices, it could be difficult for teachers to implement the tool as a requirement. There may be ways to allow students who do own cell phones to use them outside the classroom such as using the Google Voice app to text or call the teacher to ask a question or to obtain homework help or assignments. I can also see the QR codes being a fun way to pique the interest of some students who may have access to a cell phone outside of school. The QR codes could be created and posted to a website or wiki that parents and students could use to access homework answers or information promoting school events or units of study.

I teach in a middle school setting in which most of my students do not have cell phones (a disadvantage). I can definitely see cell phones being more applicable for classroom/learning use at the high school level in which cell phones could be used as a research tool within the classroom. Not all schools can implement the 1:1 laptop/iPad initiative into their schools just yet, but most high school students have their own cell phones which would put a research tool readily available into their hands. I do believe that they could be a distraction for some students, and that it could be difficult for teachers to be sure students are using them for the task at hand. Another disadvantage to these mobile learning devices (including tablets, iPads, and cell phones) is that they are not really productivity tools. Not yet, anyway. The laptop still offers students the ability to create and produce assignments/projects that other “new” mobile learning devices are still not capable of at this time. Someday I would love to implement these mobile learning devices into my curriculum, but for now I will wait until all the kinks of these fairly new devices are all worked out. I am, however, confident that these tools will be more common in schools in the near future!

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