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The Mobile Learning Dilemma (and a few cool tools)

Well the end of the year is fast approaching, only 7 weeks left of school for the year for me but already I’m thinking about next year. Lately Ive been stumbling across a range of mobile learning tools that are really exciting and although its not too late to trial some of them in my classes I think that my goal for next year is to get  these tools up and running. So here is a few of the things Ive found/been told about/read about, that could be useful to you.

  1. www.quillpill.com This site allows you to write stories using 140 characters at a time (very similar to twitter). The cool part about it is that you use SMS to send your information and it is then added your page. A great way to digitally collect ideas, reflections or just to micro blog on a topic.
  2. www.mobiode.comThis allows you to create polls and surveys that can be completed on a mobile phone. It supports simple “fill-in-the-blank” questions, multiple choice questions, and polls and can be distributed via SMS, mobile portals or WAP. Once people have responded you can view a breakdown of the results which could be perfect for all sorts of classroom activities. I’m thinking I’ll use it to create a unit evaluation for the subjects I’ve taught.
  3. http://www.studycell.com/ This site lets you create flash cards that can be downloaded onto a phone and used for studying. Test prep study materials, quizzes, flashcards, and short course outlines are natural fits for the technology.
  4. http://www.readthewords.com/ This site has numerous applications across heaps of areas. It lets you upload a document, webpage, RSS feed or more that is then converted to spoken word. You then have the option to download the MP3, podcast it or stream Live. Could be useful for vison impaired students, those with poor reading skills or for a different spin on an activity. Its also useful to hear how your own written work sounds.Worth a look.
  5. www.milkit.com.auThe Mobile Learning Kit “offers a new way to connect students, curriculum and everyday environments using simple web and mobile technologies”. I am currently investigating this further and looking at purchasing my own MiLK for use within my classes.

My efforts to introduce mobile learning tools in my classroom has been boosted by Stephen Heppell’s various mentions of the powers of today’s mobile phones. If you were to compare the total computer power (processing,storage etc) of a school 10 years ago with the phones of today, the phones would exceed them. So technically student’s are walking through the door with entire school’s of technology in their pockets (and the rest) and we’re confiscating them. How ridiculous are we? Now you may argue that they are more distraction than learning tool but of course kid’s are going to find ways to use them incorrectly when no one has ever showed them how to use them properly.

So whats the Mobile policy at your school? Would like to hear how school’s are dealing with this controversial issue.

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8 Responses

  1. Thanks for the mention (!) – i think phones are a bit like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan – every time a school says they don’t believe in them, somewhere a child’s engagement dies….

    …and itt helps in staff meetings sometimes to say that “every tuned off device is potentially a turned off child…”

    good luck with it all.

  2. [...] service that I’ve come across lately (thanks to Mr. Robb’s blog post) is ReadtheWords.com.  While the site requires teachers or students to create a free account, it [...]

  3. Jarrod, how great is the comment from Stephen Heppell?! We are currently “re-examining” our mobile devices policy and I couldn’t be happier! I have been asked to gather and test ways of using mobile devices in education. Thanks to amazing educators like you and @Steve_Collis, I have learnt so much and been inspired to keep pushing something I truly believe is of benefit to our students.

  4. [...] The Mobile Learning Dilemma (and a few cool tools) « Mr Robbo – The P.E Geek (tags: web2.0 learning2.0 mobilelearning) [...]

  5. Yeap, it’s a really nice blog and the readtheword app is not bad, but there is another text to speech app i strongly recommend to you and your readers, it’s ispeech developed by ispeech company and it supports as many as 36 different languages. You can also customized your voice as you prefer, tried the iobama and ibush which are really interesting software for free. You may experience the best text to speech app ever.

  6. Is it really 4 years? Gosh – just saw your tweet and of course mobiles are a lot more widely used now – see http://www.cloudlear.net – but as a self confessed PE geek I thought you might be interested in this:
    http://www.heppell.net/sport

    • Cloudlearn.net sorry about the typo!

    • Stephen, thanks immensely for the original comment which inspired me to pursue mobile learning which has not only improved my students learning but progressed my career in ways I never could of imagined. I saw you in person at ICTEV the other day but missed the chance to say hello. Thanks again

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