Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Mobile technologies in the classroom…
July 5th, 2010

Mobile technologies in the classroom. Well, that is a bit of a misnomer. Mobile technologies should take one out of the classroom of course. I am conducting a presentation on this topic

This year the school at which I teach took delivery of about 120 iPod Touches. They are maintained in these secure cases not unlike a camera bag within foam that was cut to hold 20 of the devices. Teachers can collect the case and then distribute the iPods to the students. They can access the Internet wirelessly. I have observed students using literacy apps. The students sit on stairs, the floor, at desks, anywhere. Inside. Outside. Walls have no meaning. After all, the students are portable.

The school has also obtained two iPads and I have been working with two of our disabled students. Each student has found the iPad to be a worthwhile tool. It is still early days. They have worked with WritePad and Brushes and found the tools accessible. WritePad incorporates hand writing recognition software which I find is quite useful. The iPad is proving to be a remarkable device.

Personally I think the school should sell all the iPod Touches to the students and purchase iPads with the proceeds.

There is much to consider when deploying mobile technologies in teaching and learning. All of the usual suspects apply of course: curriculum integration, suitability, accessibility, staff training, privacy, cost. Then there are the pedagogical considerations… constructivist, situated, collaborative, informal and so on. Read this and this for more ideas.

I have been building a mindmap with some of the ideas that have crossed my mind. I began this mindmap on the MRT between Tiong Bahru and Boon Lay here in Singapore. I used Mindnode on the iPhone. After lunch on Sunday. It was quite easy actually. I emailed to myself and completed it on the Mac. Have a look. I should make it shareable so others can add and subtract. Let me look into that. What do you think?

Mobile Technologies MindMap

This is a work in progress. If you wish to explore more on this topic you may like to consult the excellent references linked to below.

Educause ~ Mobile and Handheld Computing
Educause ~ Cloud Computing
Educause ~ Mobile Learning
New Media Consortium ~ Horizon Reports: 2009 and 2010
Futurelab ~ Mobile technologies and learning
Educause ~ Seven Things You Should Know About…

Cloud Computing
Mobile Apps for Learning
QR Codes
Multi-touch Interfaces
Augmented Reality

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8 Responses to “Mobile technologies in the classroom…”

  1. Shamini Says:

    Thank you very much for the insightful talk, John. Appreciate the information and am going to start looking into some of the tools you shared :)

    We spoke very briefly during makan and if you are keen to explore an open-source virtual world, here you go

    I used open-wonderland during my previous employment and am looking into it again.

  2. John Larkin Says:

    Hi Shamini,

    Thank you very much for coming along, I was happy to see all the people that had arrived for the talk. I hope that it helped you in some ways. I shall check out the Wonderland site. Stay in touch! Perhaps we can meet up at a workshop in future.



  3. JY Says:

    Hi John

    Thanks for sharing such cool tools. I went to the magazine for iphone apps today and spotted many of the apps you mentioned there. I will surely explore and incorporate such tools in the near future to my teaching program. I am most impressed by the ipad u brought along and of course the wonderful Augmented Reality technologies that u share.


  4. Christopher Tan Says:

    Hi John,

    Good to see you again in Singapore.

    Do check out a newly launched official blog

    Also, I hope you will consider the conference I mentioned to you:

  5. Christopher Tan Says:

    I noticed that you are conducting a class today on podcasting.

    I would like to share a podcast which I have been running for about 1.5 years now. It’s my own piano playing of public domain hymns.

    I have about 300+ subscribers. It’s not incredibly much but it is encouraging. I also get comments and requests from around the world.

  6. Langwitches Blog » links for 2010-07-09 Says:

    [...] Mobile technologies in the classroom… Mobile technologies in the classroom. Well, that is a bit of a misnomer. Mobile technologies should take one out of the classroom of course. (tags: iPad ipod_touch mobile) [...]

  7. South University Columbia Says:

    your students are really lucky to have access in such technologies. i believe they greatly help in getting the students attention as well as increases their creativity. it minimizes the “i can’ts”. i remember children saying that they don’t know how to draw or write legibly. With these tools, they will have lesser stress and more room for them to grow.

  8. Twitter Programs Says:

    I’ve only been out of college for seven years, and the differences in technologies that were available to me and are now available to today’s students are vast! Although, I’m not sure I would be more productive if I were a student today. Blame it on the short attention span!