3 Steps to Getting Started with Mobile Learning

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The dramatic proliferation of mobile devices, especially Apple iPads and Android tablets, on college campuses has not translated to widespread adoption or innovation in teaching and learning.  In recent years, mobile device ownership among college students is near ubiquitous.  However, most college faculty have yet to embrace mobile devices as relevant and engaging teaching and learning tools. There are legitimate reasons why faculty may be resistant to adopting mobile technology in their teaching.  Like anything new or unfamiliar, getting started with mobile learning can seem overwhelming, if not intimidating.  This teaching tip provides faculty three practical suggestions for how to get get started.

1) Gain confidence using the mobile device.  To gain proficiency using a mobile device, the first, and arguably the most important step, is to spend time learning how to operate the device.  Faculty can learn how to operate their device with confidence by using the user guide provided, watching tutorial videos online, and/or asking a seasoned colleague or an instructional technologist.  A faculty is considered proficient when he/she is able to properly setup the device, use basic functions, download apps, navigate between apps, connect device to classroom projector, and manage device during class.

2) Integrate mobile learning into curriculum.  As with any technology integration, faculty should start with the student learning outcomes to guide his/her use of mobile technology.  Bloom’s Taxonomy and the SAMR Model provide good starting points for approaching mobile learning integration.  Both models distinguish lower-order skills/integration from higher-order ones, and faculty can determine where he/she wants to begin integrating mobile learning.

3) Find relevant educational apps. Once the learning outcomes are identified, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of educational apps in the Apple Apps Store or Google Play Store that can help meet those outcomes.  Each app store has curated apps collections, organized into different categories.  Faculty not sure where to start can explore the educational collections (e.g., Apple’s Teacher Starter Kit or Android’s Apps for Teachers).  Educational apps are available for various disciplines and grade levels.  It is recommended that a faculty start with one or two apps and get proficient with them before adding more apps.

References:

Article written by Mike Truong, Executive Director, Office of Innovative Teaching & Technology, Azusa Pacific University.

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