Mobiles in the 1 device classroom and beyond

Everywhere you look mobiles are having a dramatic impact on the world around us. Ask yourself…how have you used your “phone” in the last week? I sure your answers are varied and will amaze you.

But what about the classroom…teachers are realizing the potential for the anyplace, anywhere, anytime aspect of mobile devices as an powerful resource for learning, creating and sharing.

“In addition, since the fourth quarter of 2010, smartphone and tablet sales have exceeded PC sales – and the growth trends continue to favor these newer devices. Mobile devices now account for 13% of global Internet traffic – and rising.”

Source: http://readwrite.com/2013/05/13/mobile-is-taking-over-the-world

Here are 3 examples of sample activities for teachers in the one device classroom.

1. Use your phone to record (i.e. oral assessments, collaborations and for multimedia projects) I use Evernote, VoiceThread and an app called  Recorder Pro)
2. Take pictures as Assessment as Learning (i.e. spreadsheet with check boxes or take photos for reviewing, sequencing and reflecting)
3. Access and edit critical files (schedules, team lists, check lists, PDFs )through apps like Skydrive, Dropbox and Google Drive (in the last one, up to 50 people can collaborate on one doc, spreadsheet or presentation)

My examples are from the Apple App Store but if that specific app is not available, there are many similar alternatives in other app stores (most are free too!)

With mobile technology (phones and tablets), learning is now anytime and the “classroom” anywhere. Many people are using apps to learn, create, communicate and share in new and exciting ways. However, I believe it is a mistake to focus on the apps themselves. Instead, perhaps the focus should be on how mobile tech. creates new and engaging learning opportunities for ourselves and students. Dr. Puentedura’s research examines how we use the technology to transform and redefine learning experiences for students. See my blog post on Puentedura’s SAMR model which has been a great influence on my integrated approach to educational technology. How can we use this technology to provide new pedagogies to prepare them for the future? As for apps…as the iPad ad says: “there is an app for that!”

Here are some learning opportunities for mobile devices and some example apps.

  1. Read (and discuss) Professional Development articles on your subject or interest (i.e. Zite, Flipboard, Twitter…)
  2. Collect and curate articles, graphics, videos… for sharing (i.e. Delicious, Diigo, Pinterest…)
  3. Scan, display and analyze student work (i.e. HD Scanner, Camera app,)
  4. Create a digital notebook of student work for assessment and sharing (i.e. Evernote, Good Reader)
  5. Transform text into audio (i.e. Qwiki, Speak! or adjust assessability settings in an iPad)
  6. Create a collaborative digital poster (i.e. Padlet, Lino it)
  7. Create a collaborative graphic organizer (i.e. Popplet)
  8. Create, edit and share a slideshow or movie (i.e. iMovie, VoiceThread, Animoto)
  9. Connect your class with experts, teachers  or other classes (i.e. Google Hangouts, Skype etc.)
  10. Write, record, sketch your notes (i.e. Penultimate, Notability)
  11. Compute complex calculations (i.e. Calculator, Numbers etc.)
  12. Organize, share and manage your school calendar (i.e. ITeacher Book, Google Calendars etc.)
  13. Quickly contact groups of students or teachers through text messaging (i.e.  Remind 101)
  14. Make sketches to teach and share (i.e. Educreations, Explain Everything, Show Me)
  15. Sign or annotate and return a .pdf without printing (i.e. Acrobat Reader, Good Reader)

This is list is far from exhaustive and I hope not too overwhelming.

Hopefully, you have had at least one takeaway tip. I have enjoyed sharing my research and ideas from colleagues to help you and your students. Thanks for reading the final tip before summer. (Yippee!)

Anthony

My Twitter handle for questions and further discussion – @anthonychuter
F
or further discussion of this topic check out my group project and research on mobile technology in the class.

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Creating and sharing graphic organizers using Popplet

digital popplet2
Popplet is a great mind-mapping and graphic organizer tool to aid planning and writing. Not only can you add text to your graphic organizer but you can also add a variety of sketches, graphics and multimedia. Collaborating with multiple authors is easy through a shared link as your file is stored in the cloud. (The hidden notes page is great for assessment or feedback from you!) Finally, the presentation mode allows you to create and navigate through a path of views from one “popple” (box) to another through your arrow keys.

Here are a few screencasts I made, that you are welcome to use in your classes. Lots more available on YouTube.(without my squeeky voice through:P)

Creating an account in Popplet

Getting started in Popplet

Student sample –Gr.4 Canadian physical region http://popplet.com/app/#/311851
Gr.4 Muslim Influence on the Medieval Europe – http://popplet.com/app/#/812393
Diversity of Living Things – Educator sample http://popplet.com/app/#/901161

This software is available in Windows and iOS and recommended for students from Grade 4 and up.

My Top 3 Social Bookmarking Sites

Surfing the web for resources for your students is great but is pretty time consuming! How do you keep track and remember that awesome site you found for your students 2 weeks ago?! And which computer/device did I use?!

Thankfully, there are a number of web-based tools that can help you select, collect and share great sites on topics important to you and your students. All these below tools are accessible on a number of browsers (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari…) and devices (like smartphones or tablets like IPads).

delicious

1. Delicious – An oldie but a goodie that was sorely neglected but recently acquired by the YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen so it is more actively support and updated. You can save (and tag) websites so you can visit and access later. I have been using this site for a quite a while and use it often when reading online on the web or (more likely on the IPad with hot beverage at the ready.) Here is a link to my delicious account. Feel free to search through the tags for useful sites. I collect links on this site after browsing through Apps like Zite, HuffPost, TrapIt and the ever popular Flipboard. While reading on IPad, I collect links on my topics of interest for everyday teaching practice or sites to share with colleagues. As for browser support there are a number on Chrome extensions or add-ons for Firefox and Internet Explorer.

diigo

2. Diigo – is similar to Delicious for saving sites with the additional options to highlight and add notes to specific pages.  See this video for more information on getting started.

pinterest

3.  Pinterest – It is impossible to ignore the fastest growing  (and 3rd most popular now) social media site behind Facebook and Twitter. Finding resources is as easy as visiting the site and searching under Education. Many of our kindergarten and primary teachers have accounts (One told me she was the “queen of Pinterest” but I am not saying who) and have been collecting excellent ideas and “Pin” ideas regularly for their classrooms and beyond.

Thanks to everyone for their ideas and advice for this tip and others too. Honourable mention should definitely go to Instapaper too as an excellent app that I use to collect and read articles for specific offline use. Personally, I use Instapaper for a quick and easy and not “internet reliant” way to access articles on detailed instructions on how to do something with a quite a few steps  i.e. A teacher’s guide to using Evernote for portfolios etc.

My top 3 Cloud Storage Apps

If you have ever asked…where IS that file!? Cloud storage sites are an excellent way to store and access your important files on multiple devices like tablets, smartphones  or multiple computers. All provide FREE space and are a perfect alternative to the increasingly unreliable and easily lost USB drives.

My favourites are:

  1. Dropbox: The most popular and user-friendly app; available in the widest variety of apps; storage; great for collaboration and sharing folders with friends and  starts at 2 GB with lots of ways to earn free space
  2. Microsoft SkyDrive: allows you to access your files from any computer; 7 GB of free storage (25GB for Hotmail/MSN users)
  3. Google Drive: Integrates well with Gmail and can display an excellent variety of file types; My favourite for sharing “one-off” files quickly; 5 GB of free storage

All these applications are excellent for sharing files like photos or videos and handy for collaborating on projects with multiple editors and writers. Files and projects can be stored in an online folder rather than having multiple versions emailed back and forth. In all of the above sites, each file becomes a link that is easy to share in messages or posts.

For more information and a pretty comprehensive review of cloud storage options, please feel free to visit the below article.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/24/2954960/google-drive-dropbox-skydrive-sugarsync-cloud-storage-competition

My top 3 graphic organizers for students

We have found Inspiration and Kidspiration useful at our school but recently there has been a substantial growth of web-based (and free!) mind-mapping and graphic organizer tools. Here are a few tools to aid writing, planning, organization and the development of 21st Century skills.

1. Popplet – a Prezi-like graphic organizer and mind-mapping tool that is an excellent platform for students to demonstrate their learning. The presentation mode is similar to Prezi and useful for students to present their ideas in larger maps. Students must create an account to save their maps. Files can be shared as images files (.jpg or .gif) or embedded into a website or wiki.

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My 2 favourite web reading apps

http://www.tagbanger.com/archives/gifts/Sorry bookshelves, (and all the books, DVD’s, magazines…) 2009 seems to be your year of obsolescence! The  iPad has very quickly become my ultimate reading device. With access to content to books, articles, magazines and web sites, it has replaced paper versions of all of them. Apps like Flipboard and Zite are also an excellent way to “consume” articles, tweets, RSS feeds and a variety of posts on specific topics that interest me.
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