Archive for the ‘Mobile Devices’ Category

Using Games for Learning: Practical Steps to Get Started | MindShift

By now, you’ve probably read enough to be convinced that it’s worth trying games in your classroom. You understand that games are not meant to be robot teachers, replacing the human-to-human relationship. Games are a tool that teachers can use to do their jobs more effectively and more efficiently. Games provide a different approach to developing metacognitive skills through persistent self-reflection and iteration of particular skill sets. Games offer experiential contextualized learning through virtual simulation. Games can also offer an especially engaging interdisciplinary learning space.

Read More: Using Games for Learning: Practical Steps to Get Started | MindShift.

Are We headed Towards Different School Structures in the Future?

Educators are constantly referencing the importance of instilling 21st century skills and preparing students for the future workplace, meanwhile our schools look like they did over 100 years ago.  Are we missing the point?  Why can’t classrooms be adapted to look more like a workplace with modern technology and collaborative work spaces?  These and many other questions are driving a change in the way that we look at the physical side of education.  Changing the way our schools and classrooms look might contribute a great deal to the way that we teach and learn, and to the profession as a whole.  That being said, district and school decision makers can look at modern teaching practices as a basis for  planning and upgrading existing schools.  Just as the instructional practices change from one class to another, so should the physical nature of the classroom.  Teaching is modular and the teaching and learning surroundings should be as well.

 

Read more here:

Could the School of the Future be Modular?

Mobile Devices Level the Global Educational Playing Field

Ghana Training

by Coby Enteen

Mobile devices are slowly transforming the educational landscape for teachers on a global scale.  In a recent trip to Africa I had the opportunity to work with local K-12 teachers on utilizing and incorporating digital tools into the classroom.

This program took place in Ghana, which is a country with approximately 20 million people, of which 90% complete primary school grades and only a very small percentage move on to finish a twelfth grade education, and even fewer achieve a post secondary education.

A majority of the schools in Ghana lack the technological resources and facilities that we have become accustomed to in the western world.  In the larger cities, some schools have computer labs and teachers use their own laptops where available.  Another issue is the lack of internet access and instability of the electrical system, which is often times overloaded and causes blackouts.

The one aspect “leveling the field” is the increased access to mobile devices.  It is very common to see individuals walking around with two mobile devices; one for work and one for personal use.  These devices offer tremendous opportunities for the advancement of the field of education, particularly as related to the ability to teach 21st century skills and to provide easy access to information commonly available to individuals throughout the western world.

A number of barriers still remain to the effective incorporation of  these devices into the classroom:

  • High cost of data – In many developing countries where food and health care are still a main concern, individuals are unable to afford  the high cost of data, which is buoyed by little competition within the cellular communication market.
  • Breaking the traditional teaching model – Although digital education has become a commonplace term throughout the western world, the concept of educational transformation and 21st century skills is still a foreign concept to a majority of educators throughout the developing world.
  • Opening the eyes of educators to the possibilities of technology in education – Teachers throughout the developing world often times lack the basic skills required for utilizing the technology for teaching and for guiding student work.

Mobile devices are slowly flattening the world in terms of bringing technology into the classroom.  The lack of computers and other technologies within the educational arena in the developing world is being supplemented by the widespread availability of mobile devices.  We must overcome a number of obstacles in order to meet this challenge and support educational change.

 

The Modern Student Learning Life Infographic

Student Inforgraph

Some highlights that should be noticed are:

  • 93% of students use study apps
  • 70% of students study solo during exams
  • 59% of students use a mobile phone to study
  • 42% of students have as favorite place to study their bedroom30% of students prefer to use Google Drive.

via The Modern Student Learning Life Infographic.

Report: Middle School Students Using Smartphones More Interested in STEM — THE Journal

Middle school students who use mobile devices for school work are more likely to express an interest in STEM subjects, yet there’s a large gap in the number of students using the devices at home and those using them in school, according to a new survey from MIT’s Center for Mobile Learning at the Media Lab and the Verizon Foundation.

via Report: Middle School Students Using Smartphones More Interested in STEM — THE Journal.

Top 5 Reasons Tablets are the Best Solution for Education

by Coby Enteen

Tablets are quickly becoming the ideal solution for school 1-to-1 programs.  They provide a simple, lightweight, low-cost option for seamlessly incorporating technology into the classroom.  Here are reasons why:

1.  Simple, Lightweight Solution – The deployment of laptops into classrooms brought with it a great deal of physical constraints ranging from the weight of the device to the complications with charging and electricity.  The tablet weighs very little and provides virtually all of the same learning resources.

2.  Battery Capacity – Laptops used in the past would continuously need to be recharged, often during a lesson.  This was a cause of frustration for many teachers and students and severely inhibited learning.

3.  Low Maintenance  – Most schools and educational organizations are dependent on large IT departments with significant budgets to run  and maintain a server-client environment.  Most tablets rely on cloud-storage solutions.  Moreover, tablet operating systems are very solid, hardly ever get “stuck”, and are not as susceptible to computer viruses.  The tablets themselves require very little technical care and maintenance, thus freeing up funding spent on IT support for other educational initiatives.

4.  The Low Cost/Personal Device – The average cost of a tablet is much lower than a laptop or desktop offering schools with more flexibility and the ability to step closer to a true 1-to-1 learning solution.  Tablets also enable learning experiences outside of school when provided as a personal device.

5.  Apps, Apps and more Apps – Mobile device applications are slowly becoming the most popular form of software development.  Every day more and more applications are being released and many of them are suitable for education.

An additional article on the subject from Digital Trends:

How tablets are invading the classroom | Digital Trends.

Why Nearpod for iPad Works so Well

By Coby Enteen

I  recently attended an iPad event where Nearpod was showcased as a classroom collaboration tool, and more recently introduced it into middle school classrooms.  It provided the teachers with the much needed control and focus that they were lacking, and allowed them to plan their lessons more effectively and to create real student interaction.  Nearpod has helped bring them closer to the goal of delivering relevant student centered learning.

 

Read more about Nearpod in the following article:

How The Nearpod iPad App Changed An Entire School – Edudemic.

List of Free iPad Apps for children with Special Needs: Part 1

The TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) is dedicated to the improvement of teaching and learning through the use of computers and technology. Nice mission statement I can say. The awesome thing about TCEA was the iPad Apps and Resources for Teachers, where I found an amazing list with iPad Apps for children with special needs.

 

via List of Free iPad Apps for children with Special Needs: Part 1.

List of Free iPad Apps for children with Special Needs: Part 2

At the List of Free iPad Apps for children with Special Needs: Part 2 you will find 14 more Free iPad Apps for students with Special Needs and 4 for Teachers!

via List of Free iPad Apps for children with Special Needs: Part 2.

Tablets, But No Teachers – Digital Education – Education Week

Yesterday, I saw this article in the MIT Technology Review about a solar-powered tablet experiment in Ethiopia that seems to contradict some of what are widely considered by U.S. educators the key steps to successful implementation of a new technology: the devices are being handed out to children with absolutely no instruction or teachers.

via Tablets, But No Teachers – Digital Education – Education Week.