Just step out into the school hallway during a passing period and observe how many students saunter to their next class with ear buds dangling from their heads as they listen to their iPod. Watch the student who texts and walks absent-mindedly into another student doing the same thing. Notice the student who uses a flash card app like StudyBlue to review vocabulary or who collaborates on his group project using GoogleDrive. Mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, media players, e-readers) are an integral part of students daily lives and can be a great tool to motivate, engage, and create excitement for student learning in and outside the classroom. Mobile learning doesn’t mean the students move from place to place. It’s actually the learning that goes wherever the student goes.
Creating a Mobile Lesson
Creating your first mobile lesson can be a bit intimidating. That is why planning is important. To begin the planning process, you need to start at the end of the lesson and work your way back to the beginning. Start by answering a few questions about your lesson.
- What do I want the end result to be?
- Do I want students to show mastery of a concept?
- Do I want the students to publish a project or share results?
- Do I want students to collaborate with one another?
Choosing the Best Device
For the lesson to be successful, you have to know about your students and the devices they have.
- Do most of them have smart phones? Tablets?
- What about the student who doesn’t have a phone? Do enough of your students have devices that would allow you to pair students who don’t have devices with those that do?
- Are the parents on board?
Give the Students Lesson Ownership
Allow the students to help you plan the lesson. Ask them about their favorite apps. Generate a discussion (even online!) about how they would like to see their devices used. Students will feel as if they have ownership in the lesson and will be excited to contribute. Plus you and your students might learn about something you didn't know about before.
Plan and Collaborate with Others
Don’t’ plan alone! Your instructional technology specialist can help you plan and offer a variety of resources for mobile integration. For more information, check out Mobile Devices for Learning Resource Guide at Eduptopia.org. This 10-page downloadable resource provides the tools to get you going mobile.
Website of the Week: Catch!
Catch is a fun site which allows the user to capture anything on a website: text, photos, audio and more. The information is easily shared with others. This is a great tool for use with mobile devices.