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Mobile Devices in the Classroom

We are all familiar with the phenomenon of mobile devices as a personal device, but what about its use in the classroom?
Mobile Devices in the Classroom

Using Mobile devices such as the Android Tablets, iPad, iPhone, and iPod in the classroom can allow for:

  • Differentiation
  • Mobile Learning
  • Learners choose learning content
  • Expands learning outside the classroom walls

    The Media-Rich Cone of Learning illustrates student retention in regards to receiving information. The interactive nature of mobile devices allows for students to physically engage with the devices.


    Why Use Mobile Devices?

    200Mobile learning is...

  • on-the-go- Learners have the ability to carry the device with them wherever they go.
  • handheld- Learners can hold these devices in their hands. The trend is for mobile devices to become easier to carry around.
  • portable- Learners can carry the devices in a bag or pocket and recharge the device at various locations.
  • lightweight- Learners find the device light in weight and not very heavy.

    With these traits in mind, we can include cellphones, smartphones, iPods, iPads, tablets, gaming consoles, PDAs, handheld computers, media players, e-book readers and more.

    Mobile learning is effective when...
  • Tip 1. Learners choose the learning content.
  • Tip 2. Learners are integrating artifacts, realia, objects, and experiences that surround their daily lives (real world learning).
  • Tip 3. Learners are moving around with the device.
  • Tip 4. Learners are motivated to expand the learning outside the classroom walls.
  • Tip 5. Learners work collaboratively to explore the world around them.
  • Tip 6. Learners are motivated to search for several possible options, solutions, and answers to problems.
  • Tip 7. Learners are presented with problems in which they must find many possible solutions and are able to test out these solutions.

    These are just some of the ideas behind what constitutes effective mobile learning. You may notice that this list is very similar to what constitutes overall effective learning. (Effective Mobile Learning, Shelly Sanchez Terrell) To extend learning about Mobile Devices, please visit this page Mobile Devices in the Classroom]

    Things to Consider

    Mobile devices pose a specific problems in regards to educational use. Should a district become a BYOD or BYOT (bring your own device/bring your own technology) environment? If so, how is equality of devices created? Does the district provide 3G/4G access? Does the district provide wireless for all devices? As you can see, there are many considerations when using mobile devices in education.


    A few items to consider:

  • Create a code of conduct
  • Establish the devices is for educational use when in school
  • Use Free resources/apps
  • Have parent consent and buy in
  • Establish a school/district policy regarding mobile devices

    Now What?

    There is certainly a lot of reasons why to use mobile devices, but how do you go about using them in the classroom?


    • Project-based learning
    • Differentiation
    • Center Learning
    • Collaboration
    • Students with Special Needs
    • Change a task from traditional to NOW!
    • Content Creation such as video, images, narrated projects

    Where to find Apps

    There are over 500,000 apps - this is both a good and bad number. There are a great variety of resources, however searching for specific apps can be time consuming. There are numerous resources to help guide you to apps (free and costs).

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