Improving Learning with Mobile Technology

A couple of months ago I was asked to contribute to an eBook about mobile learning and changes in attitudes and technology …  “what are the most effective uses of technology in online and mobile education?” Along with 34 leading educators and mobile learning ‘celebrities’ our answers have been included in a new eBook that has the sub-title “Move Over Teachers: The Students Are in Control”.

I find myself listed among friends and colleagues who I look to and respect in the community of learning, including (but not limited to):

  • Joyce Seitzinger
  • Grainne Conole
  • Alec Couros
  • Lisa Dawley
  • Jackie Gerstein
  • Sidneyeve Matrix
  • Lisa Nielsen
  • Pati Shank
  • Shelly Sanches Terrell
  • Tony Vincent

Each essay/response has come together, independently, to form a common theme around the advances in technology and how we choose to use it; devices, networks, content, teaching, collaboration, etc. 

“Education is at a tipping point. From the rising cost of a college education and the financial pressures upon local districts and state agencies to fund K-12 schools and programs, to the questions of how to employ mobile technologies and leverage social platforms to support the growing trend toward mobile, collaborative learning models, educators face an almost overwhelming set of challenges.”

Here’s what I said – “Plugged In and Turned On: Encouraging Students to Use Facebook, Twitter and Texts to Learn”:

Plugged In and Turned On: Encouraging Students to Use Facebook, Twitter and Texts to Learn

“Look around you: Everyone is connected—on the bus, the train, in front of the TV, with friends, at sport matches, in your classroom. If children are spending more and more time connected online, then it stands to reason that some of this time will be in class. In your class?

“What are you doing about it?

“Don’t complain that students are on Facebook when they should be reading your book. Don’t moan that your students would rather spend time tweeting photos of their breakfast than about your assignment. Don’t despair that group work ends up with everyone playing Angry Birds and comparing scores. Engage these students; give them a reason to use their smart phones or tablets. Use the power of the connection; use the “always-on” mentality. Use their network of connected friends to find out about your class subject. Use their need to tweet or send messages to each other to bring resources or people from outside the classroom in. Give them a reason to use the technology, give them a reason to engage with each other—and you—and the results will be amazing.

“Professor Stephen Heppell says that “every turned-off device is a turned-off child.” Don’t be that teacher.”

You can see the full eBook on SlideShare or in the embedded version below:

Mobile Education – Lessons from 35 Education Experts on
Improving Learning with Mobile Technology

PS. I am not, nor have I been, at Kentucky University. I don’t know where that came from, but everything else in my bio is correct.