Mobile Technology in the Classroom

The days of teachers banning the use of mobile technology in the classroom are over.  If I were to police the use of mobile devices in my classroom regularly, I would spend, in my best estimation, 25% of the time set aside for instruction.  In my classroom, I found students are more engaged and motivated when I invite them to use their mobile devices.  The biggest difference mobile technology has made in my classroom is students are actually reading their textbooks.  They are using their e-readers, phones, tablets and laptops to read their textbooks.  Prior, to this being available, the faculty at my university struggles with students not reading.  Even with the books being available in electronic versions, some students still don’t read; however, the number of students reading has increased.  I have instructed the students how to highlight important passages from their reading to copy to notes, annotate and cite.  Additionally, some students are learning better just because the books are less expensive.  They are saving money and not having as many money worries.  Amazon is currently selling 180 Kindle editions of their books for every 100 traditional copies. (http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3754742)

One of my favorite methods of utilizing mobile technology is by connecting my students with Harvard University. “Harvard open courses at Harvard Extension School Videos for the following free Harvard courses are made available by the Harvard Extension School’s Open Learning Initiative. Featuring Harvard faculty, the noncredit courses are open to the public. You do not need to register to view the lecture videos” (http://www.extension.harvard.edu/open-learning-initiative).  Students are able to participate in discussion and watch lectures by faculty members of Harvard.  Many of my remedial reading students have never been part of the class for a college lecture.  We watch a lecture and discuss strategies for note taking, question organization, preparation and reflection.  I will also give the students to attend a lecture on our campus by one of our faculty members.

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3 Responses to Mobile Technology in the Classroom

  1. Jennifer says:

    I would have to agree with you when you say learners are not reading even with the books being online. The way that you are utilizing the features of online books are great and from this learners can learn how easy it is to use online books to meet the requirements of their courses. I know the first time I got an E-book I was like man I want a paperback, however after I played with the features I was able to highlight and print only the sections that I really needed for assignments. From a student perspective and educator, learners can benefit from mobile technology. Currently, the school I work for uses electronic books as well and I use the same features you refer to as well, to help learners get comfortable with using electronic books and to show them the benefits.

  2. I have to agree that it is easier to include the mobile technologies versus trying to police them. I am a counselor for children and I find that I am actually able to get them much more engaged in a session when I allow the use of mobile devices (especially by teaching them apps that they can use that will help them) in sessions versus trying to keep them from using them. I also like the use of electronic books because I think it is much better for students and decreases what they have to carry around.

  3. bvdavis says:

    That sounds like a wonderful idea to be able to access a Harvard lecture.and discussion. There are so many perks to technology,as Kindles have opened the avenue for many to read electronically. Thanks for posting.

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