Mobile Devices TSTT Students

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Mobile Devices in the Classroom


Contact Information: Doreen Pietrantoni
Doreen's Blog -

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 for an example of a project based iPad learning experience or view ABC123 iPads in the Primary Classroomfor a centers based learning experience.

Media-Rich Cone of Learning

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.


NYS Teacher and Technology Standards

ISTE Nets Standards detail learning standards regarding technology usage by students and educators.

Nets for Students (click here for a detailed PDF)
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

There are essential conditions to regard when using technology in the classroom. Click here to learn more.
Ideas such as Student-Centered learning, empowered leaders, and Curriculum Framework are essential to effectively leverage technology for learning.

Nets For Teachers (click here for a detailed PDF)

  • Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
  • Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
  • Model Digital Age Work and Learning
  • Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
  • Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Common Core Standards
Note: The first letter represents the strand (or “area”—reading, writing, etc.), the following number the grade level, and the last number the standard number. Bold text added for emphasis. Resources: Exactly What the Common Core Standards Say about Technology By: Terry Heick 2013.
W= Writing RI= Reading: Informational SL= Speaking and Listening

  • W.4.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
  • RI.8.7. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
  • SL.11-12.2. Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
  • SL.11-12.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Thinking Verbs

  • Publishing requires deep consideration of audience, purpose, structure, text features, and format. Whether text blogging via WordPress, photo blogging via tumblr or Instagram, or video blogging through vimeo or YouTube, the demand for students to actually publish their writing is a significant leap.
  • Collaboration forces students to plan, adopt, adapt, rethink, and revise, all higher-level practices. Whether through apps, social media platforms, or in person, collaboration is not new for most K-12 learners in modern settings. But collaborating in pursuit of publishing and sharing thinking online is.
  • Evaluation is near the top of Bloom’s taxonomy for a reason, necessitating that students make critical judgment calls about how information is presented and shared. In many ways, this standard represents the most important—and perhaps least-understood—of the new Common Core ELA standards, asking learners not just to prefer facebook to twitter, but to deeply evaluate the pros and cons of each for different purposes. Powerful!
  • Integration is a matter of design, and produces considerable cognitive load on a learner. And in light of APIs, social media, and an array of smart mobile devices, is a kind of digital strategy. When the standard says “digital media,” it might as well say social media as it continues “to add interest,” a side-effect of making something non-social, social.

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?
Before you venture into the world of Apps, you may want to learn how other educators are evaluating them prior to using in the classroom: App evaluation rubric #1 or App evaluation rubric #2



  • Project-based learning
  • Differentiation
  • Center Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Students with Special Needs
  • Media Creation
  • Change a task from traditional to NOW!
  • Content Creation such as video, images, narrated projects
  • Digital Textbook
  • eReading Capabilities
  • Research
  • Discovery
  • Organization of thoughts, research, projects, collaboration
  • Journal writing


There are several projects that can utilize mobile devices.

Project Resource Websites:

Science Example:
This article discusses a recent project in which iPads were used for an Environment Project - 5th Grade Project The classroom used: Notability (Evernote is Free), Easy Bib, Internet, Voice Thread, iPads camera

Social Studies Example:
“The Alternate History Project” was showcased at a poster session at ISTE 2011 What If History Project. Integrating social studies apps such US History Tools or On This Day as well as a graphic organizer app like Popplet and a digital media app such as Discovery Ed Streaming ( can help ELLs meet the goals of this project successfully.

Social Studies/History Example:
QR codes are used everywhere! Here is an example of creating a project using a city's QR code. Students can create their own QR codes to create a webquest or like this project QR Footprints In Time

ELA Example:
Ever thought of creating a book specific to what you are teaching in your classroom? iBooks Author App is free and great for educators and students to create a book about anything! Here is an example of a project with an instructional video on how to do this on your own! iBooks Author Project

I Wonder Project:
This project is a great way to have students use inquiry to create a multimedia project. Voice Thread would be a great way to create this project. This can be used for all curricular areas. I Wonder Project Details

Book Reviews/Trailers:
Students can use the iPad to read a book and create a review or trailer from images search on the iPad, notes written in EverNote, and a video created with the video camera in the iPad or using Voice Thread! Book Trailer/Review Project Details

Photography Project:
The built in camera on the iPad 2 and iPad 3 make it a great tool to use to capture original images. Here is a project to create original projects using the iPad Camera, DarkRoom App, and Edmodo App to share the images. [ Photography Project Details]

Library Devices

Libraries are a great place to use iPads and other mobile devices. There are several reading apps and ways for students to discuss reading.

For Library Apps visit the following websites:

Social Networking and the Library

Social Networking works well on a mobile device. There are safe resources in which students can network. Apps such as Edmodo, Goodreads, and Subtext bring discussion and reading together. This website discusses Goodreads in the classroom - Goodreads in the Classroom

Classroom Ideas:

Creating App Like Icons

Librarians can create a shortcut to databases and other resource sites.

  • Open the Safari App
  • Type in the URL of the desired site
  • Click the icon near the web address that is a box with a right arrow
  • Select "Save to Home Page"
  • You can alter the name you wish to appear below the App Icon
  • Select Add
  • You now have an App that is a shortcut to a website

Suggestions for using this feature:

  • BiblioNasium - GoodReads for students
  • Easy Bib - there is an app, however you can't use the app for websites or magazines
  • Library Databases that do not have an app

Students with Special Needs

Consider the following list of pedagogical goals in order to identify how this device can help promote equitable educational opportunity for ELLs.
• For Intervention (RtI)
• For Enrichment
• For Assistive Technology
• For Digital Literacy
• For Reading
• For Organizing Resources

Where to find Apps

Mobile 1 688.jpg
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).

Additional Resources

Highly Recommended iPad Lessons (in Pinterest)

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