When I was in school, cell phone use in the classroom was a big no-no. Yes, we had cell phones back then, but they were nowhere near as cool as today’s smartphones. And yet, despite the power and presence of smartphones in our everyday lives, many teachers still see them as distractions.
However, the perception of mobile devics as distractions in the classroom is being challenged. Mobile learning, or the practice of using mobile devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones) to facilitate education rather than entertainment, is on the rise. We’ve already covered the reasons to institute mobile learning. Now we’ll show you how it’s done.
5 Steps to a Mobile Learning Switch:
Step 1: Make the Transition
Teachers can start by replacing traditional and cumbersome resources with their digital counterparts. Textbooks are a perfect starting point because they can easily be swapped with e-books. Beyond that, smartphones can take the place of classroom staples such as calculators, rulers and notebooks.
Step 2: Take Advantage of Technology
Using QR (quick response) codes is a swift way to up the interactivity in your classroom. By providing direct links to websites, teachers can bypass the use of search engines and keep the focus on education. Podcasts, for example, can infuse lectures with some life. Having students consume educational podcasts can enhance classroom collaboration and encourage responsible yet engaging use of mobile devices.
Step 3: Promote Digital Communication
Cloud-based services like OneDrive allow students to share important information, SharePoint offers instant access to student grades and Yammer keeps the conversation going after the bell rings. These communication tools are essential to a mobile learning environment.
Step 4: Think Outside of the Box
Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to encourage your students to think outside of the box. Instagram can be used for an impromptu art project or to encourage fledgling photographers to document their trips, while apps like Periscope can stream guest speakers from around the world.
Step 5: Bring It All Together
At the end of the day, mobile learning is all about making school exciting again. It repurposes the digital solutions students are already using to increase productivity, improve collaboration and enhance student engagement.
To best facilitate mobile learning, teachers can use LiveTiles Mosaic to create a digital classroom that integrates many of these aforementioned digital solutions. Mosaic is a no code UI design tool that works with any K-12 classroom with an Office 365 tenant. Below is a screen shot of what a digital classroom could look like.
With Mosaic, teachers can create mobile-friendly classrooms that can be instantly accessible to students. Regardless of mobile device, Mosaic is touch-screen compatible and allows students to take the classroom with them when the bell rings.
Let’s face it: Students are going to use their mobile devices in class and we can’t do much to stop it. The best we can do is encourage them to be responsible users. By instituting mobile learning, teachers can prepare students for future success.