Posts Tagged ‘Mobilelearner’

Here is a follow-up to the first two mobile learning reading lists:  The first one is here and the second one is here.

1) 7 Things You Should Know About Augmented Reality – An EDUCASE learning article about this newest of learning technologies and the implications of Augmented Reality to teaching and learning.

2) Augmented Reality Reaveals Histroy to Tourists: A short article demonstrating what is possible with mobile devices and what the future has in store.

3) Smartphones: The Ultimate Conversation Killer – A Globe and Mail newspaper article arguing that smartphones, rather than connecting people, actually kill conversation.

4) Teens and Mobile Over the Past Five Years – A PEW Internet article looking how mobile use amoung teens had evolved over the past five years.

5) How to Create Rapid and Cheap Mobile Learning – Text Messaging – A blog post filled with practical ideas in using text messaging to enhance learning.

6) Back to School: 10 iPhone Apps for Students–  A Mashable blog post.  The title says it all.

7) 100 Free iPhone Apps That Will Make You Smarter – This truly is a subjective list but I present it here as it is a long list and you will likely be able to find a few jems.

8) 50 Fun iPhone Apps to Get Kids Reading and Learning – The iPhone and iPod Touch can be both a entertainment and learning device.  This list provides a list of apps to help support and encourage reading and learning.

9) Why Cloud Computing is the Future of Mobile – A ReadWriteWeb article delving into how continuous connection to the Internet through a mobile device will lead to more reliance and acceptance of web apps.

10) Are Cellphones the Next Paper and Pencil – a user forum where educators and other interested parties discuss the implications and the future of cell phones in learning.


Based on the popularity of my previous mobile learning reading list blog post, I decided to post another reading list with some of the more recent items I’ve read or seen around the topic of mobile learning.  All of these articles and more can be found under the mobile learning tag in my bookmarks.

1. Mobile Phones and Computers Debate: Educational Technology Debate exploring ICT and learning in developing countries.  The debate is relevant to teaching and learning in developed countries as well.

2. iTouch Learning: iPhone and iPod Touch: A compilation of articles posted by the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies on using Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPod Touch in learning.

3. School Matters: Mobile Phones, Mobile Minds: A video series on young people, their mobile phones, and the impacts on their schools and education.

4. 10 Disruptions that Could Transform your Classroom: A Dean Shareski presentation.  The CoolIris browser plug-in is required to view the presentation.

5. 8 Mobile Technologies to Watch in 2009, 2010: A ReadWriteWeb article on future trends in the continued development of mobile technologies.

6. 20 Best Websites to Download Free eBooks: This is pretty self-explanatory.

7. Personalized Learning With the iPod Touch – iPod Touch Apps: A list of apps that an Australian teacher/blogger uses with students to personalize their learning experiences.  The entire blog is definitely worth perusing as well.

8. Are You Ready for Mobile Learning?: An Educase article investigating the readiness of both students and teachers in using mobile devices in learning.

9. Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training: A book of articles published by Athabasca University.  While the physical book can be purchased, the eBook can be downloaded for free.

10. Opera Reports Explosive Mobile Web Growth Worldwide: Another ReadWriteWeb article.  This one links to and summarizes a report by Opera, the maker of the Opera, Opera Mobile and Opera Mini web browsers, on the explosive growth of mobile web browsing worldwide.

When I began writing this blog a little over one year ago, the major focus of my thoughts were around using the iPod to help kids learn.  At that time, I began a series of blog posts titled “iPod in Education”.  In these posts, I try to offer practical ideas in integrating this popular mobile technology into classroom instruction to help kids learn and to help motivate students to want to learn.  I have completed 10 posts in this series to date and these continue to be my most popular posts.

While an iPod is one mobile device that can help kids learn, it is definitely not the only one.  As a result, while I will continue with the iPod series, I want to begin a new series that profiles another mobile device and offer practical ideas in using that device to help kids learn.   That device is the cell phone. I see this series as a little more problematic than the iPod series for at least two reasons.  Firstly, using cell phones in schools is a highly controversial political issue in today’s climate.  Secondly, unlike the iPod, cell phones range widely in type, form, and functionality.  However, I view these challenges as an opportunity to discuss the issues and to overcome challenges and biases.

Keep an eye out for the first post in this series.  I look forward to the discussion.

I recently came across this 1989 cell phone commercial on YouTube:

It’s very interesting to see how much has changed since 1989 – a mere 19 years as of this writing.  In those 19 years, those massive bricks have become so slim and compact that tucking one away in ones pocket is less intrusive than tucking a wallet into ones pocket. In addition, those number keys have become smaller and high quality colour screens have filled the void.

That’s just the physical differences.  However, while the physical attributes of today’s cell phones have improved so much, the growth in functionality is mind-boggling.  From a mere voice communication device with questionable reception to high quality mini computers, today’s phones are not just for the rich adults profiled in this ad but for kids as well.  Cell phones are not longer just tools used for mobile voice communication.  Now they are devices with operating systems containing text messengers and are, email-enabled, Internet-connected, microporcessing computing machines with built in cameras, and in some cases Wi-Fi, 3G and memory slots.

It’s interesting to see how different our tools have become.  I guess when over 50% of the global population has a cell phone (with some countries in Europe having a cell phone penetration rate of over 100%), there is big economic incentives to spend more or research and development and to turn a cell phone into a truly mobile, handheld computer.

In this new reality where kids have cell phones and will be using them in their adult lives, we need to accept digital communication devices as being as necessary in tomorrow’s world as the paper and pen were in yesterday’s world.  It will be interesting to see what the next 19 years will bring…

So the time has come for me to expand from my humble beginnings and to delve into new and exciting places.  I began blogging exactly a year ago as a way of experimenting with online publishing.  My first blog, which can be found at, is about helping history teachers incorporate Web 2.0 tools in the History classroom.  While I am still very interested in this area and will continue to publish on that blog, I find myself publishing more and more material there that has less to do with history per say and more to to with teaching tools and teaching techniques.  As a result, I find that I have begun to explore different areas and different themes that are not necessarily suited for that blog.  Therefore, I am starting a new blog here.

So what will this be about?  I am very interested in Web 2.0 and new social organization but find that there are plenty of others blogging on this topic and what I may say here may be no different than what others have written on their blogs.  As a result, I decided to engage in a conversation about an emerging area that is not without its share of controversy – namely – mobile learning.  There are plenty of well-educated and well-meaning people who maintain a belief that handheld devices are detrimental to education when they are used in the classroom and I think it’s time that an alternative view be presented.  While I do have my brands of preference, and I’m sure these biases will reveal themselves, this blog is ultimately about learning and not about the gadgets themselves.

So why bother?  Well, I feel that we in education need to do a better job of reaching students on their level and to address student needs.  I also think that we in education need to do a better job of making learning attractive to today’s youth.  Today’s youth are connected, social, digital and mobile while our classrooms are disconnected, isolating, paper-based and static.  To make learning relevant, we need to make it dynamic and relevant.  I want to start a conversation about reconnecting students and education with the goals of student improvement.  Ultimately, it is student learning that matters most so if a cell phone or an iPod can be utilized to make that improvement happen, the so be it.

So let us begin this conversation…together…