Colette Cassinelli's visionary use of information literacy and educational technology

Embracing Mobile Devices

iPad AppsThe Common Core State Standards call for students to develop digital media and technology skills. One way to help them reach that goal: incorporate gadgets they’re already familiar with — cell phones, tablets, and smartphones — into their learning environment.

There are, understandably, some concerns about mobile devices in the classroom. The biggest is that they distract from schoolwork. Educators, however, need to take advantage of their ability to engage students in a classroom setting and provide opportunities for collaboration.

Early research supports the notion that these devices can lead to measurable learning benefits.   Lucy Gray, project director of the Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) Leadership for Mobile Learning initiative discussed North Carolina’s Project K-Nect in a recent Edutopia article.  K-Nect is a pilot program assessing whether mobile devices can effectively boost learning and math test scores.  Teachers report that Project K-Nect students “are demonstrating a greater responsibility for their learning and developing more collaborative learning skills.”

Because of their mobility, mobile devices in the classroom lend themselves well for collaboration.  Students can take the devices anywhere to take photos or video, work together on projects, interact with others using communication tools.  Some apps are specifically designed so multiple students can work on projects at the same time (Google Drive, Subtext, Prezi, etc).  Oftentimes using mobile devices as a student publishing tool allows students to share or present knowledge with one another in a creative manner or with an authentic audience.

iBooks Author is a Mac app that allows anyone to create beautiful iBooks textbooks for iPad and Mac. Teachers and/or students can work on various chapters and include galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, mathematical expressions to create original textbooks.

With so many Apps out there, it can be challenging to find which ones to use in the classroom.  Browse through the links below for information about mobile devices in the classroom.

General Apps listings – many are organized by subject or grade level

Early Learners

English / LA

Math

Modern Languages

Music

PE

Religion

Science

Social Studies

Special Ed

Visual Arts

Evaluation Rubric for Educational Apps

Resources

Robledo, S.J. (2013).  Edutopia:  Mobile devices for learning – what you need to know. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/mobile-devices-learning-resource-guide.



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