Monday, 23 April 2012

Mobile use cases inside & outside the classroom 1/4

Over the next four weeks, we'll explore some unique use cases from inside and outside of the classroom. To kick-off this week's post, our guest blog is presented by Jon Eby, from our mobile software dev team. 

There's a question I frequently find myself dealing with that I'm not a very big fan of:
 "Where do you see mobile in the classroom going?"

This is usually followed by a discussion or at least a few comments about texting in class, poor attention spans, people being more comfortable messaging each other than actually talking to each other, and so on.

This, I feel, is missing the point. My goal as a software developer in this field is not to get more mobile technology into the classroom, but to use this technology to make the classroom more mobile.

Where I see that going is fairly different from where I see mobile in the classroom going.

The Mobile Classroom that I envision enables students to access and interact with content for their courses not just when they're at a computer, but when they're sitting at a café, standing in line, riding on the bus, waiting for friends, or any other time they want, from whatever device they feel like using.

The possibilities here go beyond reading course content as well.  We can take mobile course content further by providing tools for students to highlight, annotate, and discuss content right inside the app they're using to read the content, keeping it all in one accessible, organized place, instead of (if the students are anything like me) sprawled across a few different messy, disorganized notebooks.

With the capabilities of today's mobile devices, ePortfolio lends itself especially well to this Mobile Classroom concept. Mobile ePortfolio access opens up a lot of interesting and exciting possibilities, allowing students to share quick reflections whenever & wherever something worth posting strikes them, take tagged and geo-tagged pictures and video clips with their phone when they see something that they want to archive for themselves or share with people from school, and interact with ePortfolio content shared by other students on the go.

By sending out notifications to students' mobile devices we can provide tools to engage them in "whenever, wherever" terms, letting them know as soon as new content is available, or a classmate shares an ePortfolio item with them, or even when their latest assignment has been graded just to cite a few examples.

This is the sort of thing I'm really excited about and would love to discuss further, as well as see more people thinking about. Not how mobile tech fits into the classroom, but how we can use mobile tech to expand the classroom to anywhere there's an internet connection.


Seven more days left in our Edge Challenge contest.If you have an idea to transform education and mobile learning we'd like to here from. Submission will be accepted until April 30th, 12pm EST. See contest details for T's and C's
Next week we'll continue our series: exploring mobile uses cases inside and outside the classroom.



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