Mobile Learning is Inevitable

SHAILA on December 05, 2012

Mindshift and Spotlight on Digital Media & Learning co-produced a 4 part series that intrinsically examines the usage of mobile devices in class room learning and the paradigm shift in the teaching process and school policies. 

In the first part of the series, Tina Barseghian in her article - How Teachers Make Cell Phones Work in the Classroom - states that mobile gadgets are not standalone devices, but that they are like any other class room tool aiding effective learning. Drawing upon the experiences of three different teachers she elucidates how mobile devices can be integrated into class room teaching and the associated benefits and flaws of this process.  

Ramsey Musallam

Ramsey, a Chemistry Teacher at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco, begins his class by texting a question pertaining to the day’s topic on Remind 101 and encourages his students to text back their answers. His pupils who sit in groups of four call him when they have a questions or doubt. He answers them by recording a voice response and typing his reply on an iPad, both of which he immediately uploads to the class room website for the benefit of the entire class.

This method, which he calls a form of flip teaching, dispels the process of repeating answers to the other groups thus saving time. He has also implemented other time-saving methods by asking students to refer to the online tutorial for answers to common questions and access the explanatory videos he creates.  

Ramsey feels that visual impact augments learning; hence he quizzes his students on multiple choice questions and displays the texted answers on a projected screen. Seeing answers that gets the utmost votes makes a big visual impact, and this maximises learning.

Ramsey’s method of implementing mobile devices in education is highly successful, for he keeps his students interested with the inquiry-based and peer-instruction-dependent learning methods. He uses mobile gadgets for polls, videos and for receiving anonymous feedback. Having said that, he believes that though these are valuable tutoring aids, they only play a supporting role.    

James Sanders

A Seventh-grade History Teacher at Kipp San Francisco Bay Academy, James teaches subjective topics, yet he manages to implement cell phones in class room learning.

At the end of the class James uses Socrative to conduct a multiple choice and short answer quiz to get a better perspective of how far his students understood the lesson.  He further states that making them give a single or double lined answer in a subjective topic like history enhances knowledge.    

During class hours, James questions all his 30 students and receives simultaneous answers. He says using cell phone in class speeds up the teaching process, for this is much faster than awaiting 30 individual responses.   

Moreover, this procedure allows the class to read the answers from everyone else, thus they understand the subject better when compared to the traditional method of reviewing individual answers and highlighting a few good ones. 

Implementing Mobile Learning – Is it Worth the Effort?

Paul Barnwell

An English and Digital Media teacher at Fern Creek Traditional High School in Louisville, Kentucky,

Paul decided to stop using cell phone in his class. The reason being 3/4th of his students had a cell phone and he felt uncomfortable excluding the rest who did not possess one. 

Paul initially used Poll Everywhere for multiple choice and open ended exit poll and says students engaged more in the class since their answers started popping up on the projected screen. However, he also says that some class clowns texted inappropriate answers in the garb of polling anonymity.

However, Paul hasn’t given up completely on mobile learning devices. He will implement it if he can plan a lesson that’s engaging and ensures high-level thinking. Meanwhile, his students use the 10 desktop computers available in the class for conducting online research.

Creating Digital Citizens

Children when given a cell phone may misuse it, in all likelihood. The role of the teacher assumes significance here, he has to step in and educate his students about the digital footprints they leave. We at Mobicip are ardent believers in mobile learning and trust that with a few checks and balances in place, mobile learning will transform education in the near future.