Mobile Devices vs. Laptops
Students these days are carrying a wide variety of connected devices, but are they using these different tools to access textbooks and learning resources differently? After studying the habits of business students, ACU’s Brent Reeves says the answer is a clear “yes.”
Classrooms morph as technology becomes more mobile. At ACU, Ian Shepherd has discovered that laptops are not quite as portable as once thought. Incorporating 21st century technology learning skills, students are now experiencing a new dimension of mobility with Apple iPads.
An important step in the process of learning is the opportunity to reflect upon both the obstacle and opportunities for growth. ACU’s Greg Straughn discusses how our freshmen are using their mobile devices to capture audio reflections during the semester.
A Culture of Sharing
If you have a mobile phone, you’re likely using it not only to call and text, but also to snap and forward your favorite pics. ACU’s Nil Santana talks about how students in his photography classes are using their mobile devices to collaborate -- to share and critique communal content in a way that takes learning to a whole new level outside the classroom.
Resources for Teachers
Teachers aren’t just born; they’re taught how to teach. ACU’s Cynthia Powell says podcasting not only reinforces classroom instruction for her student teachers. It also provides a resource they’ll be able to draw from later when they end up leading their own classes.
“OK, class. Any questions?” Teachers who ask their students for feedback during class are often met with stony silence. ACU’s Jason Holland, an admitted skeptic when it comes to the incorporation of mobile devices in education, says he’s a now believer. Mobile tools let him receive feedback from students that helps him course-correct what and how he teaches in real time.
Welcoming Student Voices
ACU’s Houston says podcasting provides him an effective way to communicate with students beyond the classroom. Now he's giving his students the opportunity to contribute their voices to the class, a valuable experience in the future when they become teachers themselves.
ACU’s Cornerstone classes for freshman are meant to provoke deep thought, discussion and debate. Assistant Provost Greg Straughn looks at how blogging “on the fly” with mobile devices is letting students engage and interact in a virtual space that expands the classroom environment.
Leveraging Learning Opportunities
One way ACU is beginning to scale local solutions to a broader audience is through funds like the Next Generation Learning Challenges grant. Chemistry professor Cynthia Powell talks about how she’s bringing colleagues together from other universities to begin to change the way we teach STEM classes.
Setting the Tone
Whether a student comes to class or not is up to the individual; they’re the one paying for the course... or so ACU’s Brent Reeves will tell you. He has found, however, that using his mobile device to stay on top of attendance is altering behavior, changing the level of engagement in his classes, and improving overall student performance.
The ACU Theatre Department's embrace of mobile technology moves to the next level as student director Emily Rankin shares design photos with her cast before production begins. Rankin's actors are later able to access recordings of scenes they've rehearsed, which in turn allows them to consider anew how future audience members will react to the finished work.
What better way to teach the next generation of teachers about the value of mobility than to get them out into a real classroom, where they can learn by doing. At ACU, Dana Hood is helping her teacher candidates create digital stories with kindergarten students at a nearby school. The kids and their student-teachers are learning to think about mobile devices as tools, not toys.
New Tools, New Language
"OK, class; now repeat after me." If you've ever studied a foreign language, you know a significant chunk of class time is spent parroting the professor's instruction. At ACU, Spanish professor Paul Roggendorff is using blogs and video to let his students master the performance aspects of learning a new tongue. Mobility allows his class to produce language that leads to meaningful communication and interaction in the here and now.
Mobilizing the Classroom
Stephen Baldridge talks about how he's using mobile devices to mobilize his students -- to get them out of the classroom so they can experience the concepts he's taught them. Students are posting their pictures, video, podcasts, and comments as a means of facilitating group discussion in the field. It's a way to have class without having to be in class.