We're Goin' Mobile
Mobile technology plays a key role in the everyday lives of the people we serve. Ask your students how many own laptops or computers. Then ask how many own cell phones. You will likely find more have cell phones. And what about smartphones? Early on we realized the educational potential for smartphones. When we first examined the prospect of integrating mobile technology into instruction, smart phone technology was in its infancy and few students or teachers had them. This has been rapidly changing. We recently completed a survey of some classrooms in Boston. We found that 38% of adult learners surveyed own smartphones. Now add to these ipads and tablets, and it is easy to see that mobile technology is clearly part of our learners’ lives. Why not leverage the tool they use on a regular basis for the purpose of increasing literacy!
Why mobile learning?
If you are not yet convinced of the educational value of mobile technology, consider the following:
Mobile learning applications
What are we doing?
One of our current projects is to develop and pilot two apps (for use on standard feature phones and smartphones) that accelerate learning of academic and health career-related vocabulary and concepts for adults preparing to enter postsecondary education and technical training.
We are planning on adopting a flipped classroom approach. During class time, we expect teachers to work to deepen students’ understanding by giving them any needed support. Using this approach, teachers will also have more time to provide opportunities to extend and apply what students have previously learned from the app. Students are given five words at each session through the apps developed for this project. The apps will be designed to provide students multiple exposures to each word or concept in different formats to optimize learning. Reports of student activity and progress can be accessed by the teachers from a web-based platform. We’ll also investigate if with training teachers can learn to create their own learning activities in the apps.
Steve Quann is Senior Advisor for Technology in Education at World Education, Inc. In his role as instructional technologist, he designs, develops, and evaluates e-learning projects. He taught English language learners for many years and co-authored books on integrating technology with English language learning.
|Related Project: Words2Learn Mobile Learning Project (2013)|