Thoughts on the state of mobile learning

So much about the way we teach, learn and communicate is up for grabs. Educators are using new tools and technologies to reach their students … but what does the future hold? How will we get there? Hear from various experts in the fields of business, education and technology who gathered on the campus of Abilene Christian University for ACU’s Connected Summit 2011. Listen as these thought leaders share their perspectives.

A Classroom in Your Pocket: Mobile Teaching and Learning

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With mobile technologies like smartphones and tablets, students can access course materials from anywhere and engage in learning activities while on the go. The new capabilities of mobile devices make it possible for faculty to create new learning experiences that empower students to leverage the mobile devices they are using every day.

On June 1, 2012, NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center offered the 6th annual Teaching with Technology Institute, this year devoted to mobile teaching and learning. The goal of this institute was to help faculty better understand the capabilities and pedagogical potential for incorporating mobile devices in their teaching. A mobile device was not required, but faculty were encouraged to bring their devices.

David & JohnThis institute featured a morning session led by David Gagnon, Instructional Designer with the ENGAGE program and John Martin, Learning Consultant, both at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In their presentation, they provided an introduction to mobile teaching and learning, discussed where mobile learning is headed, and showcased what other schools are doing regarding mobile teaching and learning. They then led a guided brainstorming session with participants to consider potential uses of mobile technology in the classroom.

During the afternoon session, led by Faculty Development staff, participants received a hands-on introduction to the capabilities and unique characteristics of mobile devices. Participants experienced taking photos, shooting video, and recording audio on mobile devices, among other mobile activities. Participants worked in groups to identify potential mobile teaching and learning strategies based on the capabilities introduced, designed a learning activity based on a selected mobile strategy, and then shared a sample product of what their students might create.

More photos from the institute are posted here.

A mobile agenda and handout for the institute is here.

In leading the afternoon guided hands-on activities, I prepared this prezi presentation.

Mobile Internet Use Increasing Rapidly

“An April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that 56% of adult Americans have accessed the Internet by wireless means, such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player. The most prevalent way people get online using a wireless network is with a laptop computer; 39% of adults have done this.”

“The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the internet on a mobile handset. One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the Internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking. This level of mobile internet is up by one-third since December 2007, when 24% of Americans had ever used the internet on a mobile device. On the typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the Internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007. That’s a growth of 73% in the 16 month interval between surveys.” . . .

Wireless internet access using other devices, though much less common than with laptops or handhelds, has a foothold among some Americans. The April 2009 survey found that:

  • 45% of adults have iPods or MP3 players and 5% of all adults have used such a device to go online.
  • 41% of adults have game consoles and 9% of adults have used it to access the Internet.
  • 14% of adults have a personal digital assistant (PDA), and 7% of adults have used it for online access.
  • 2% of adults have an e-book (i.e., a Kindle or Sony reader) and 1% of adults have used it to get online.

The complete study is available at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/12-Wireless-Internet-Use.aspx

What opportunities does an increased access to the Internet on mobile devices afford teaching and learning in higher education? Leave a comment with your ideas!

Mobile Learning Project

This is the official “Mobile Learning” project site for in-depth research of mobile web technologies used to enhance learning domains for academic and corporate training.

Research is currently underway to benchmark technologies, applications, and environments that are using handheld devices for education and training. Such devices under study include cell phones, PDA’s, hand held PC’s, and other proprietary portable devices.

The goal of the Mobile Learning project is to discover how mobile devices can deliver ehancements to already employed media and various technology applications that are used in face-to-face classroom instruction, as well as virtual learning domains

http://mobile.thetraininglab.net/