Thursday, March 6, 2014

And this week, I went mobile...

Aloha All - 
This week, we were tasked with the exploration of mobile learning and how we personally use mobile technologies. Identified in the 2012 Horizon Report with a near-term horizon of one year or less, mobile apps and their use have become pervasive and almost commonplace in society.   Most of my family and friends use their devices for communication - phone, text, email and to access social media - Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In my own personal experience, I have used my own mobile devices (iPhone and iPad) as an alternate way of collaborating with team members through the use of various apps including Google Hangouts, Skype and Collaborate.  In fact, just last week, I was returning from Oahu to the Big Island and landed just as class was starting.  I logged into Collaborate as I exited the plane and was able to attend class, meet with my group members, while viewing our shared Google Doc on Google Drive all while walking to the curb while waiting for my ride.  That alone showcases the advances in technology and mobile learning that have occurred within the last decade. 

Mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets enable mobility and allow teaching and learning to extend beyond traditional classroom walls. It helps to provide anywhere, anytime learning, allowing accessibility of resources at a student's convenience.  No longer are students tethered to a desktop and a landline as the use of mobile technologies allow increased flexibility, the lessening of geographic limitations and the facilitation of collaboration among students in various locations. 

Although, I think the potential of mobile learning is great, I also feel that currently, most people use their devices as an anytime, anywhere means of communication rather than a true tool to enhance learning.  I do feel, however, that we are moving towards truly incorporating mobile devices and apps as significant factors in enhancing learning whether through the use of apps that help you to network and collaborate with others in your field and share information or apps that help students with content creation or curation.  

I think the example using mobile inquiry-based learning that we read about in the SMILE project is a good one of how mobile technology can be integrated into learning.  Having students create and share questions amongst their peers helps them to contribute to knowledge creation, stimulate their own recall and understanding of the particular topics.  This can serve as a mobile means of assessment as well, with teachers having the ability to add to the question back as well as monitor progress and success of students.  As we move toward more effective integration into education, mobile devices has the potential to become true tools of connected learning.

As far as my three favorite apps, I have to say that it would have to be the following:

Pinterest: A social media content curation site that allows users to organize and share images and information to different boards.  I love curating various information and resources whether it be recipes, quotes, ed tech tools or bucket list vacations.  My problem is that sometimes, I spend way too long on the site.

Find My Friends:  Allows you to easily locate friends and family using your iPhone.  Okay, I admit, I do call it the stalker app, but it's an agreed stalking, right? It saves time as we can use it to see if someone is on their way home or how long it will be till someone will be there to pick you up.  It gives me some piece of mind as a parent, but I try to use it only as needed, not to be the stalker Mom. 

Pandora:  Listen to free internet radio based on your preferences.  I use this app when I want to listen to music on the go.  I'd rather listen this way because I get to hear a wide variety of music rather than the same ones in my music library.  Good to use at the beach, while exercising or on the go.  

What's your favorite apps?

A hui hou, 

Buckner, E. & Kim, P. (2012, February) A Pedagogical Paradigm Shift:
The Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment Project (SMILE). Retrieved from

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. pp. 10-13. Retrieved from


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