I learned about mobile learning in MDL4000! Let’s incorporate students' phones to add an immersive technology aspect in lesson plans! Students are glued to their phones so, educating them through a medium that they enjoy will keep them engaged while expanding their learning at the same time. But is this a good idea? Sharples, Taylor, and Vavoula (2005) in “Towards a Theory of Mobile Learning” suggest that there is a need to re-evaluate the concept of learning in today's day and age (Sharples, Taylor & Vavoula, 2005, p. 1). In the article, they stress that people need to recognize the inherent function of mobile capabilities and mobile communication in the learning of individuals today (Sharples, Taylor & Vavoula, 2005, p. 1). They suggest that students should be taught through the medium of mobile devices in order to incorporate and adapt to the inherent virtual community age and culture of today's' society (Sharples, Taylor, & Vavoula, 2005, p. 1).
"There is a need to re-conceptualise learning for the mobile age, to recognize the essential role of mobility and communication in the process of learning, and also to indicate the importance of context in establishing meaning, and the transformative effect of digital networks in supporting virtual communities that transcend barriers of age and culture” (Sharples, Taylor, & Vavoula, 2005, p. 1).
So here is my question I propose to you, “Where might you integrate media and digital literacies when using mobile learning tools?” (DeWard, “7.1 Mobile and Learning,” 2017, para. 2).
Click on the buttons below for awesome resources of potential lessons that integrate mobile applications!
Having the students use their own phones in a lesson is a great way to incorporate engaging mobile learning into the classroom. ChatterPix is an awesome recording/photo taking/animation application available for download on a mobile device. You can take pictures of people, animals, objects, images, drawings, you can record your voice, and make the image speak your voice recording. It would be a great app for students to use to create an interactive commercial or advertisement.
Click on the buttons below to find out more about ChatterPix or to download it onto your Apple tablet or mobile device!
If you want to check out any other voice recording apps that are available for download on your mobile device or tablet, click on these buttons below!
Google Expeditions is a mobile app that allows users to take virtual reality tours of Mars, the Burj Khalifa the Space Station, Antarctica, the Great Barrier Reef, and many more! The website shows how the user can create an optional cardboard VR headset and also includes a link to where the user can purchase an actual VR headset is they prefer. However, these add-ons are not necessary to immerse into the app. Students can virtually roam around in an endless amount of destinations. Students can learn more about Science by exploring, space, animals, ocean life, and the terrain/climate of a particular area.
Watch these videos below of students virtually traveling to the Burj Khalifa and the Great Barrier Reef through Google Expeditions!
Experience Google Expeditions for yourself! Download it onto your Apple or Android device!
BioDigital is an application that can be accessed and used across all devices (computers, tablets, phones). This website/application provides users with a truly immersive VR experience. Users can virtually enter the human body and explore a human’s biological components. This is a great tool for teaching students Science concepts as BioDigital takes learning about the circulatory, respiratory, digestive and nervous systems to a whole new level. Students will be able to actually experience the bodily components/functions that operate these systems.
Virtual reality mobile apps such as Google Expedition and BioDigital, engage students in a tour around the world and inside the human body in a realistic immersive and in-depth view. Students interactively explore the inner-workings and functions of these locations and are left with a memorable understanding of them. For these reasons, I will most definitely incorporate virtual reality mobile apps in my future lesson planning.
Click on the buttons below to learn about other educational virtual reality apps!
Cassy Cooper brought my attention to a wide range of plant/animal/insect cataloguing mobile apps on the Science and Technology Google Classroom resource stream.
One of these apps is called iNaturalist. iNaturalist is an app that students can use to take pictures of plants, animals or insects, and catalogue them in the iNaturalist database where they can be accessed at anytime, anywhere! Even more, there is a social and collaborative aspect that allows students to share and discuss their findings with other students/iNaturalist users. Also, by adding these findings to the database, students are contributing to actual studies/research in scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
Start cataloguing! Click on the buttons below to download iNaturalist on your Apple or Android device!
Want to try Nature's Notebook? Click on the buttons bellow to download the app on your Apple or Android device!
Another plant related app, Leafsnap, is a series of electronic field guides that contain visual recognition software which allows users to take a picture of leaves, flowers, fruits, petioles, seeds, and bark and have them instantly identified by matching them with catalogued high-resolution photographs of the plant material and information in regards to the plant material and the tree that the plant material originated from. The database currently includes data on trees in the Northeastern United States and Canada, but plans to expand to other geographical areas. Students can use this app to identify plant materials that come across in their own geographical area and is an engaging method to have students lean about trees.
A mobile app that particularly interested me was Marine Debris Tracker. This app allows students to take pictures of marine debris they have found and log the types of debris and its GPS coordinates, adding the information to your own collection profile or, if you choose, to the Marine Debris Tracker database. The app also allows students to share their marine debris findings on Twitter, Facebook, or Google. The goal of Marine Debris Tracker is to encourage people to pick up marine debris and generate awareness of the impact marine debris has on marine life and the marine environment.
The only limitation of this app is that, only users that live near coastal regions will be able to log information in the app. However, teaching students about the premise of Marine Debris Tracker could instill an awareness in students about the impact littering and pollution in general has on the global environment and their local environment. Informing students about this app could be a great prompt to encourage the class to log litter they find in their own community, and dispose of it appropriately. From this experience, students would become aware of the pollution in their community, become active citizens in their community, and help to reduce pollution in their community.
The next time your in a coastal region, try using Marine Debris Tracker to catalogue debris and increase awareness! Click on the buttons below to download Marine Debris Tracker on your Apple or Android device!
These scientific cataloguing apps, not only allow students experience with technology, but also encourages students to get OUTSIDE! With all the capabilities of new technology in this generation, students often stay inside and forget where the real environmental science happens – outside. I would, for sure, use these types of mobile apps to teach Science concepts as it provides students with a technological experience, outdoor experience, the opportunity to be active citizens.
Also, these apps can provide students with the fulfilling experience of being actual scientists, make them feel good that they are a part of the scientific society and that their findings impact scientific society.
Applications can also be used to help teach students a second language. Duolingo is another application that can be accessed and used across all devices (computers, tablets, phones). Students can create a Duolingo account for free and learn to speak a multiplicity of languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Students slowly learn to read, write and speak the language that they are learning, one day at a time. Duolingo tracks your progress and increases difficulty as you become more fluent in the language you are mastering. Another aspect of the app is that students can connect with other students by adding them onto their profile. From then, students can participate in healthy competition by competing against their peers’ progress in the app.
I have personally witnessed this app being used in the classroom! While volunteering as a Simcoe County School in Barrie, a French teacher incorporated Duolingo into her lesson! Students would log into their Duolingo account (on laptops, iPads, and on their own mobile device) and translate and speak French. The teacher was able to monitor the students’ progress by adding them all to her own account. Students would be required to complete a certain number of modules and would be encouraged to further their own learning outside of class. While the students did this individually, the French teacher was able to direct her attention to students who needed particular assistance in their progress through the app. I went around the classroom to observe all of the students’ participation in the lesson and noticed something particularly rare and peculiar … ALL of the students were completely engaged and on task! This was a major change in my conception about the incorporation of apps in the classroom. My first understanding was that technology could only just be a side piece in a lesson, such as a minds-on component, as it would just engage students and not have the ability to teach them much. After watching the students’ complete immersion and learning development as they engaged in Duolingo, made me realize that learning applications, such as Duolingo, could be the main focus of a lesson and provide students with immeasurable success in their learning development.
Try it out for yourselves! Click below to try Prodigy on either the Prodigy website or by downloading it onto your Apple device!.
"Using Prodigy in the classroom will have the students heads out of a boring textbook and into a captivating virtual math world.." - Megan Glass
Students’ enjoyment in a lesson is directly correlated to their learning. When students are interested and intrigued, they are able to enter into a higher learning development. Lessons should be fun and meaningful to students as these types of lessons provide the potential for greater student success. Incorporating mobile apps into lesson plans will accomplish this. We are in a generation where mobile device ownership is becoming increasingly more common. As teachers, let's show students how to use these devices in a way to increase their learning potential. As teachers, let's teach students valuable mobile technical skills the students can use in the future. As teachers, let's teach students through a medium they thoroughly enjoy. As teachers, let's allow students to become the guides and experts in their own learning by having the students in control of mobile apps. The outcomes of their learning success, skills and creativity, will be limitless.
Now, after reading my post, I’ll ask again, “Where might you integrate media and digital literacies when using mobile learning tools?” (DeWard, “7.1 Mobile and Learning,” 2017, para. 2). Comment with some of your ideas below! I’d love to hear from you!
“Bring your lessons to life.” Google Expeditions, Google. Retrieved from https://edu.google.com/expeditions/#about
“ChatterPix.” Duck Duck Moose. Retrieved from www.duckduckmoose.com/educational-iphone-itouch-apps-for-kids/chatterpix/
H DeWard. (2017). 7.1 Mobile and learning. In MDL4000 – Media and Digital Literacy. Retrieved from http://mdl4000.weebly.com/71-mobile--learning.html
“How it works.” iNaturalist. Retrieved from https://www.inaturalist.org/
“Leafsnap: An electronic field guide.” Leafsnap. Retrieved from http://leafsnap.com/
“Learn Spanish, French and other languages for free.” Duolingo. Retrieved from https://www.duolingo.com/
“Natures notebook.” USANational Phenology Network. Retrieved from https://www.usanpn.org/natures_notebook
“Recent debris activity.” Marine Debris Tracker. Retrieved from http://www.marinedebris.engr.uga.edu/
Sharples, M., Taylor, J., Vavoula, G. (2005). Towards a theory of mobile learning. Retrieved from http://www.compassproject.net/sadhana/teaching/readings/sharplesmobile.pdf
“The most engaging math platform in the world.” Prodigy. Retrieved from https://www.prodigygame.com/
“The world’s first human visualization platform.” BioDigital. Retrieved from https://www.biodigital.com/