Learning on the go!

Tablets

kid-reading-book-on-tablet

A tablet is a mobile device that is comparable to a computer. Tablets offer the ability to connect to the Internet, download apps, play music, play movies, record audio and video, as well as create, organize, and edit documents and other files. Tablets come in a variety of sizes and offer varying abilities based on what the individual wants. Tablets can have attachments such as stands and keyboards. Individuals can connect via wireless Internet or pay for a data plan.

Tablets are becoming very popular in education and learning. Tablets offer learning from anywhere and at any time. Tablets can make up for a lack of supplies in the classroom, allow students to conduct experiments through an app, obtain access to hundreds and even thousands of e-books, view and create videos, manage assignments, communicate, take virtual field trips, and collaborate (Fabian & Maclean, 2014). Students can display their assignments, projects, and portfolios to their class or instructor (Hahn & Bussell, 2012).

Tablets ability to impact informal learning is significant! Instructors can create tools such as flashcards to aid in their students learning (Miller, 2012). Students are able to explore far beyond the classroom, download their own educational apps, and create study notes. Students can also communicate with each other and form virtual study groups or connect with an expert from their field of study.  Who would not want to communicate with a great such as Stephen Hawking or another expert?!

Getting started requires the purchase or rental of a tablet device. There are several to choose from and can be selected through research or discussion with tablet experts. Once you have your tablet, simply turn it on and let the learning begin! You can search for educational apps, go to your school’s homepage, download podcasts, watch educational videos, create assignments, and so much more! Tablets can take a little time to get used to; but once you start using it you will find that it becomes easier to use and the possibilities really are endless!

To learn more about the use of tablets in education visit:

DeNeen, J. (2012). 21 reasons to use tablets in the 21st century classroom. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/reasons-to-use-tablets-in-the-21st-century-classroom/

Ramey, K. (2014). How to use tablets-23 creative ways of using tablets today. Retrieved from http://www.useoftechnology.com/how-to-use-tablets/

Virginia Tech. (2015). The benefits of using a tablet. Retrieved from http://www.eng.vt.edu/it/tabletbenefits

References

Fabian, K., & Maclean, D. (2014). Keep taking the tablets? assessing the use of tablet devices in learning and teaching activities in the further education sector. Research in Learning Technology, 22 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.22648

Hahn, J., & Bussell, H. (2012). Curricular use of the iPad 2 by a first-year undergraduate learning community. Library Technology Reports, 48(8), 42-47.

Miller, W. (2012). iTeaching and learning. Library Technology Reports, 48(8), 54-59.

MP3 Devices

mp3-player5

MP3 players or devices are quite similar to cellular phone devices in that they offer many of the same abilities; however they do not offer constant data connection or voice and text capabilities. MP3 players are designed for playback of music and sounds. Many of these devices offer the ability to download applications, videos, and e-books as well when connected to a computer or wireless Internet.

This tool is effective for learning since it allows students the ability to listen to podcasts, hear lectures, view assignments, and read e-books (Greenfield, 2011). A major benefit to this type of device is that it does not require a data plan and is likely less of a distraction in classrooms since students cannot message or gain access to the Internet. MP3 devices can be used in nearly every class.

In formal learning, MP3 players can offer a whole new perspective on learning. Instructors can record their lectures for playback and reference. They can also record additional lectures or podcasts for their students to listen to outside of the classroom. Students can record assignments and receive feedback from their peers and instructor (Cuthrell, Fogarty, Smith, & Ledford, 2013). Students have found that spoken or audio feedback and discussion actually leads to less misunderstanding and misinterpretation (Middleton, 2016).

To use an MP3 player, one must first obtain a device. Devices can be purchased at nearly every electronics and department store. Typically, software is required for use which can be downloaded from the manufactures website to the individuals computer. From there individuals can begin searching, downloading, and recording their own audio and video files and placing them on their device. Devices are mobile and can be taken to school or anyplace the individual desires to learn!

To learn more about MP3 devices in education visit:

Jackson, L. (2011). Sites to see: iPods in the classroom. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/sites/sites070.shtml

Open Education Database. (2008). 100 ways to use your iPod to learn and study better. Retrieved from http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/100-ways-to-use-your-ipod-to-learn-and-study-better/

TeachingHistory.org. (n.d.) MP3 players. Retrieved from http://teachinghistory.org/digital-classroom/tech-for-teachers/24119

References

Cuthrell, K., Fogarty, E., Smith, J., & Ledford, C. (2013). Implications of using peer audio feedback for the college learner: Enhancing instruction. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 79(4), 13-21.

Greenfield, S. (2011). Podcasting: A new tool for student retention? Journal of Nursing Education, 50(2), 112-114. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20101230-06

Middleton, A. (2016). Reconsidering the role of recorded audio as a rich, flexible and engaging learning space. Research in Learning Technology, 24 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v24.28035

Cellular Phones

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Most of us know what a cellular “cell” phone is, for those who may not, it is a wireless device that allows us to call and speak to other individuals. Some cell phones are far more technologically advanced than others. More advanced phones allow text messaging, which is the sending of a short message direct to another individual or group of individuals. Even further advanced phones, commonly referred to as “smartphones” offer data capabilities and connections to the Internet, the downloading of applications, and the recording of photos and video.

In the past cell phones were considered a distraction and disturbance. Educators now look to embrace the use of cell phones in learning. Utilizing the various applications and abilities on a smartphones opens the world up wide for learning. Students can use their phones for placing assignment reminders, sending messages, looking up questions, timing experiments, recording photos, recording voice notes, the abilities really are endless! Communications between students and each other, and students and teachers only adds to the benefits. While concerns exist regarding outside the classroom distractions and possible cheating, teachers can remedy these concerns in a few different ways. Students can take virtual tours of museums, respond to quizzes, or surveys. The ultimate goal is increased student involvement and learning (Marcoux, E, 2011)!

With cellular phones, learning can literally take place at any time and from any place! Cell phones offer the ability for informal learning through searches and communication. Individuals can record ideas, thoughts, and interviews for future learning (Santos & Ali, 2012). Students can also get tutoring outside of the classroom from subject-matter experts around the globe on subjects they may struggle with or subjects they just want to learn more about (Keengwe, Schnellert, & Jonas, 2014).

Cellular phones are easy to use. Individuals can go to a store and purchase a phone and a data plan that meets their needs. From there, all they need to do is turn it on and begin learning about the functions. Individuals can also talk to the salesman, who has vast knowledge on the use of phones.  Individuals can download applications for personal, professional, or educational use.

To learn more about cell phones in education check out these sites:

Graham, E. (2015). Using smartphones in the classroom. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/tools/56274.htm

Kulowiec, G. (2016). Cell phones as classroom tools. Retrieved from http://teachinghistory.org/digital-classroom/tech-for-teachers/25273

Sorrentino, J. (2014). Cell phones: 21st century learning tools? Retrieved from http://www.education.com/magazine/article/cell_phone_learning/

References

Keengwe, J., Schnellert, G., & Jonas, D. (2014). Mobile phones in education: Challenges and opportunities for learning. Education and Information Technologies, 19(2), 441-450. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10639-012-9235-7

Marcoux, E. (2011). Technotes. Teacher Librarian, 39(2), 69.

Santos, I. M., & Ali, N. (2012). Exploring the uses of mobile phones to support informal learning. Education and Information Technologies, 17(2), 187-203. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10639-011-9151-2

Wrap-Up

      Tablets, MP3 players, and cellular phones offer the ability to learn from anywhere! You can use one or all of these devices to learn from home, school, work, and at anytime. Understanding the various benefits to each type of device will allow you to select the device that is right for you. Each device offers different levels of connectivity and capabilities.  Take a look at the learning more sites and learn more!

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