By Dr. Eileen Dittmar firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile Learning! Don’t Leave Home Without It!
This page provides information for Integrating Mobile Learning Technologies to Positively Impact Learning and Productivity presentations.
* 2012 Capella presentation .pptx titled: m-Learning Don’t Leave Home Without it!
With the increased demand for mobile devices, educators have numerous opportunities to integrate mobile technologies into daily activities and the curriculum. Educators and students can use mobile devices for increased productivity and learning, but oftentimes need integration ideas. This paper discusses ideas about integration to maximize learning and productivity. Specifically, software applications (apps) are continuously invented and upgraded, which invite new opportunities to enhance curricula, increase productivity, and maximize learning outcomes. Further, “the cloud” offers software suites, virtual storage, and productivity tools, which are exciting for students when the classroom offers ways to use them. Learning “on the go” can be harnessed in today’s busy lifestyles. This paper discusses a customized mobile learning blog that provides access to the latest tools as well as pedagogical considerations that reveal instructional activities with mobile technologies for education.
Mobile learning encompasses a range of interpretations including “using mobile devices for learning” and “learning when using a mobile device.” The mobile student learns while in different environments and likely with an array of different technologies. Ultimately, mobile is the adjective for student and for devices. Today’s educators are teaching mobile students who are using mobile devices/technologies. Consider the following:
Is “learn at school” and/or “learn at home” (i.e. one-stop shop) viable today as it was ten years ago?
Does the fast growth of mobile devices impact the way people work and learn?
Do mobile devices (i.e. Smartphone, tablet, netbook, global position system (GPS), digital audio/video recorder, and music player (mp3), replace the desktop or laptop computer?
Specifically notable, when Apple launched the i-Pad, they expressed that it offered a different experience that will not replace the personal computer. Whereas, over the years, laptops have evolved into robust workstations that offer a workable solution to replace a desktop. However, 2013 consumer electronics show featured mobile devices indicating a HOT market for ultrabooks, tablets, and Smartphones, but that netbooks and laptops are “slowing down” in new models and purchases.
In November 2011, the Summit on Future of Online Education, hosted by University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA, 2011), indicated mobile learning is the fastest segment of learning. Specifically, mobile technologies need to be integrated in online learning as well as traditional learning. In addition, early reaction from educators indicated lack of understanding how mobile learning fits within teaching and some are negative about the relevance.
However, mobile learning enthusiasts suggest that educators and students can use mobile devices in the classroom and for learning when on the go. If harnessed properly, supporters say, these devices can open new educational opportunities for educators and students. With the advent of the cloud, Smartphones, and tablets, learning no longer requires one place with one computer. Therefore according to supporters, educators need to find ways to integrate mobile learning, to adjust their course assignments, and update their communications accordingly.
Most likely, many students have somewhat figured out how to adapt learning with their devices and adventurous faculty have already started to integrate mobile technologies. However, the trend and adaptation for faculty has been slower than for students in most instances. Notably, even the most tech savvy student can benefit from faculty or school communications that suggest ways to use mobile devices for the class work. Specifically, mobile is not an add-on, but requires infusion throughout the student experience. Nevertheless, educators have new delivery options that can increase learning and impact productivity. More detail about class integration follows resources about mobile technologies, which are explained next.
Resources about Mobile Technologies
Mobile Learning Blog (http://mobilelearningtips.wordpress.com) offers ideas about how to integrate mobile technology into learning and how to learn “when on the go.” The blog offers ideas to advance computer and mobile technical skills, such as working “in the cloud” instead of remaining static — only working with one computer in one location. Tip: The blog is a resource for faculty and students.
Dr. Dittmar’s Mobile Learning Resources
Integrating Mobile into Learning (paper.li) http://bit.ly/tpiZl0
Mobile Learning Blog http://mobilelearningtips.wordpress.com/
Dr. Dittmar’s Mobile Learning https://eileendittmar.wordpress.com/mobile
Mobile Learning Livebinder http://livebinders.com/play/play/224967
Mobile Resources. Few faculty or students need to know about every mobile technology. However to jump start the process of integrating mobile into learning, here are a few ideas to help educators and students gain an understanding of mobile technologies pertinent to learning and productivity. Tip: Most mobile devices come with free tutorials and hands-on learning sessions offered by the vendor and/or provider (i.e. Google, AT&T, Verizon, Apple, etc.).
Android App Market https://market.android.com/apps?hl=en
Apple Mobile Learning http://www.apple.com/education/mobile-learning/
Mobile Learning Tips and Resources http://blog.simplek12.com/education/effective-mobile-learning/
Texting to Learn [Video] CNN Report http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2010/08/25/pkg.feyerick.text.to.learn.cnn#/video/us/2010/08/25/pkg.feyerick.text.to.learn.cnn
The Best Texters Tend To Be The Best Spellers: Breaking Down Texting Myths [VIDEO] http://blog.swiftkickonline.com/2010/07/the-best-texters-tend-to-be-the-best-spellers-breaking-down-texting-myths-video.html
Mobile technologies can be a time saver and offer productivity. However, it is a good idea to invest enough time to gain an understanding of hardware basics, software applications, and operating systems for your computer(s) and mobile devices.
For example, know where the files that are saved or downloaded get placed on your computer or mobile device. If the user cannot find a file to upload into a course website, the process is daunting. If the user downloads a file but cannot find it, the process is also daunting. Therefore, here is an organization hint: Have a folder named with something easy to see (such as the name of your class). Place files for the class in the folder to make it easy to find them. In addition, it is a good idea to study the computer and device browser’s features to see where the download will go. For more mobile browser information, see http://livebinders.com/play/play/224967.
It is important to know file types. For instance, Microsoft Word creates .doc files (prior to 2007 versions) or .docx files (versions 2007 and later). Microsoft Word alternatives can be used in most educational situations if the user performs “save as” .doc or .docx. Users can also perform file conversions (see FREE File Converters later on this page).
Computer and Technical Tutorials (free)
http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computers (numerous free lessons)
http://www.techtutorials.net/ (numerous free lessons)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdfv7SvQeX (when in YouTube, search for any technical topic you want to learn)
Seven Reasons You Should Be Using Google Apps http://www.nirmaltv.com/2007/08/09/7-reasons-why-you-should-be-using-google-apps/
Microsoft.com’s tutorials for their Office suite (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Free File Converters
File converters, such as Zamzar or Go2Convert, are web tools to maximize learning on multiple devices and avoid the hassle of trying to open files that will not open. Neither web tool requires a login or registration to obtain a free file conversion. A quick submit of the current file type will quickly convert to another file type. Many educators and students indicate “must have” because the user can obtain the file type required for most devices and suitable for most class work by asking ZamZar or Go2Convert to convert it.
ZamZar returns the requested file to the user’s email address. Go2Convert returns the requested file directly inside their website. If you desire more conversion options, visit http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/File+converters.
Zamzar (http://zamzar.com/). Additional Information: ZamZar provides more free services when you open a free account. While you will see mention of fee-based services (i.e. cloud storage and enterprise features), you do not need to pay a fee for file conversions. No software required.
Go2Convert (http://go2convert.com). Additional Information: Go2Convert provides “Knowledge Base” that gives you file type information. No software required.
Early internet users oftentimes added websites to their browser “favorites” or “bookmarks.” When a user only has one computer and one browser, that system worked. However with multiple devices and browsers, social bookmarking makes it possible to get to your websites no matter which device or browser. Most social bookmark sites offer the choice to keep the bookmark private or public; and oftentimes tag identifiers can assist with quickly finding sites stored and additional similar sites stored by other users.
There are several social bookmarking sites, shown at http://www.social-bookmarking-sites-list.com/. Choose one that best fits your needs and study its tutorials to quickly master social bookmarking to save you time and productivity. Create a lesson for your students to compare and contrast these social bookmarking sites. Provide a way for students to share updates to the features as the sites are continuously changing/updating features and new sites regularly appear.
Alison Topper (2011) created this presentation http://www.slideshare.net/alisontopper/a-comparison-of-2-social-bookmarking-sites, which compares Delicious (http://delicious.com) and Diigo (http:/diigo.com). The presentation also provides basic information about social bookmarking.
OpenOffice is full suite of office software available as a download “free” (donations are accepted) which offers an office suite that includes word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. At OpenOffice.org (http://about.openoffice.org/index.html) it says “OpenOffice.org is both a product and an open-source project. Both have been in existence since October 2000 and OpenOffice.org 1.0 was released on April 30, 2002 (OpenOffice, n.d.).
OpenOffice.org’s mission statement was drafted by the community, “To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format” (OpenOffice, n.d.).
OpenOffice’s Word Processing Software. The Word Processing software offered by OpenOffice is similar to Microsoft Word’s SkyDrive, which offers a slimmed down version from its robust full Word program; and Google Docs word processor, which offers simple tasks such as create, edit, and format course papers. Full software features, such as macros, merge, or other advanced features, are not included; but for basics, OpenOffice is a good Word alternative.
OpenOffice’s Spreadsheet Software. The Spreadsheet software offered by OpenOffice is similar to Microsoft’s Excel’s SkyDrive, which offers slimmed down version from its robust full Excel program; and Google Docs spreadsheets, which offers simple tasks such as create and edit tables and spreadsheets. Full software features, such as macros, merge, or other advanced features, are not included; but for basics OpenOffice is a good Excel alternative.
OpenOffice’s Presentation Software. The Presentation software offered by OpenOffice is similar to Microsoft Excel’s PowerPoint SkyDrive, which offers slimmed down version from its robust full PowerPoint program; and Google Docs presentations, which offers simple tasks such as create and edit presentation slides. Full software features, such as macros or other advanced features are not included, but for basics, OpenOffice is a good PowerPoint alternative.
OpenOffice Resources. The following resources help users master OpenOffice software:
Download OpenOffice http://download.openoffice.org/
For download help http://www.ehow.com/how_2107649_download-openoffice.html
OpenOffice Tutorials http://www.tutorialsforopenoffice.org/
Cloud Office Software Suites
Arguably, the most popular cloud office software suites for students and faculty are Google Docs and Microsoft SkyDrive, which are detailed next. Notable is that Zoho, EditGrid, and other cloud suites offer various features worthy of a student contrast/comparison assignment applicable for certain academic disciplines.
Google Docs (http://docs.google.com) Overview. Upload documents or create them; either way you can easily complete your school work and submit a document with the file type required — without actually having the software on the computer or mobile device. When using Google docs, the user is “working in the cloud.”
Once you log into your Google account, your home page of all your Google docs will be https://docs.google.com/. Reminder, be sure to bookmark the URL; see Social Bookmarking section of this paper for more information.
Create an Account. If you do not have a Google account, go to https://docs.google.com/#all and follow the prompts to create an account.
Login. Once you have an account, go to https://docs.google.com and enter you login/password.
Basic instructions for uploading Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents so that you can read them “on the go” from any computer or mobile device: Log into your account. Upload the document(s); you can now read “in the cloud.” HINT: the mobile device needs to have the Google doc app installed.
Basic instructions for uploading a Microsoft Word document (i.e. course template) so you can perform the compositions on it and save as .doc: Log into your account. Upload the Microsoft Word template document. Update the document to have your assignment’s compositions. Export as .doc file. You can now go into your online course and submit the .doc file.
Google Docs Tutorials. The following resources offer tutorials for using Google Docs:
Google’s HELP table of contents http://docs.google.com/support/?hl=en_US
How to Sync Documents to Google Docs http://www.ehow.com/how_6777024_sync-documents-google-docs.html
How to Sync Office Documents to Google Docs on a Mac
YouTube Video – Google Docs in Plain English http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRqUE6IHTEA
How to use Google Docs offline http://www.ehow.com/how_2313180_use-google-docs-offline.html
Google Keyboard Shortcuts http://www.keyxl.com/aaa1f23/75/Google-Docs-word-processing-software-keyboard-shortcuts.htm
How Stuff Works: Google Docs http://communication.howstuffworks.com/google-docs.htm
35 Video Tutorials on How to Use Google Docs http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/4204_google-documents.htm
Seven Reasons You Should Be Using Google Apps http://www.nirmaltv.com/2007/08/09/7-reasons-why-you-should-be-using-google-apps/
309 Templates for Google Docs http://docs.google.com/templates
Discussion Forums http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Docs?hl=en
Important. Keep in mind that student users of Google Docs may prefer to set documents as private. When users publicly share information, it changes the way the service works. Unless the document is a collaboration requirement, sharing can hinder school success/progress. For example, non authors will attempt to pirate other author’s compositions and submit as his/her own. Know when to keep it private and avoid security issues.
Microsoft Live SkyDrive
Description. You can use Microsoft Office Live, a cloud-based version of Microsoft’s office suite including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The versions are simplified but with basics provided (not all the bells and whistles of the full desktop software). However, it is sufficient for most school coursework.
Getting Started. First if the user does not have a Windows Live ID, create one by logging into OfficeLive, and choose create an account. Next, upload documents, such as templates or a previously created document that is in need of editing. SkyDrive makes it easy to create new documents and save them in the user’s online account. Documents can be exported to another device or to a different website. SkyDrive users need an understand about a few basic technical items such as saving, file-naming, downloading, uploading, etc. However, within an hour, the user will be working in the cloud and not dependent on one computer and its software.
Important. Keep in mind that student users of SkyDrive may prefer to set documents as private. When users publicly share information, it changes the way the service works. Unless the document is a collaboration requirement, sharing can hinder school success/progress. For example, non authors will attempt to pirate other author’s compositions and submit as his/her own. Know when to keep it private and avoid security issues.
Microsoft Resources. The following resources may help users get acclimated to SkyDrive:
SkyDrive sign up page http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowslive/skydrive/ or SkyDrive tutorials http://explore.live.com/skydrive?form=HMEMCNA&publ=WLEXP&crea=HTML_CIMS017579_Hotmail_EN-US_0X0_124451
And Much More!
This paper offered only a handful of technologies available for learning on the go. Smartphones and tablet users can choose from an array of document creators and readers of which some are free and others are fee-based. Faculty can provide a place where students can share their device options with the class. Furthermore, use a blog or wiki for ease in updating and sharing; this is a fast evolving arena that is exciting for many students.
Class Integration Ideas.
Most likely, every class has an activity or two that could instantly offer students a way to integrate mobile learning. Here are some examples that can be completed, at home, at school, and on the go.
Internet searching, capturing ideas from the search, and recording the information
Active learning projects using global positioning services (GPS) for locations and distance
Finding or listening to mp3 files
Creating audio or video with digital audio/video recorders (i.e. interviewing people for their thoughts on a topic related to a course assignment)
Drafting an outline and many compositions related to course assignments
Preparing budget information including tracking expenses
Consumer skills with comparison shopping and cost configurations
Brainstorming ideas for events
Discipline-related readings and studies
Obviously, the level of detail of the class integration depends upon the grade level, students’ previous experiences, and academic program.
Going mobile for learning requires technical basics, hardware knowledge, software applications, and using various operating systems, while integrating them with performing certain class activities. With the increased demand for mobile devices, such as Smartphones, tablets, netbooks, GPS systems, digital audio/video recorders, and mp3 players, educators have unique opportunities to integrate mobile technologies into their classes that can impact learning and productivity. This paper offered cloud software suites, web-based software and applications and suggestions for how to use them to maximize learning and productivity. Along with the impeding competition in the Tablet and Smartphone market, software applications (apps) are continuously invented and upgraded, which invite opportunities to enhance them into the curriculum.
Cloud software suites, virtual storage, and productivity tools are exciting for students when the classroom offers ways to use them. This paper discusses a customized mobile learning blog that provides access to the latest of tools as well as pedagogical considerations and reveals instructional activities utilizing mobile technologies for education.
Mobile learning encompasses a range of interpretations including using mobile devices for learning and learning when using a mobile device. The mobile student learns while in different environments and likely with different technologies. Further mobile learning is the fastest segment of learning (UPCEA, 2011). Specifically, mobile technologies need to be integrated in online learning as well as traditional learning. However, early reaction from educators indicated lack of understanding how mobile learning fits within teaching and some are negative about the possibility. Therefore, the ideas in this paper offer tips and getting started ideas that invite the use of web tools and mobile learning “on the go.”
OpenOffice. (n.d.). OpenOffice.org retrieved October 31, 2011, from http://about.openoffice.org/index.html
Topper, A. (2011). Comparison of Two Social Bookmarking Sites. Retrieved December 23, 2011, from http://www.slideshare.net/alisontopper/a-comparison-of-2-social-bookmarking-sites
University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). 2011. Summit on Future of Online Education. Retrieved December 23, 2011, from http://upcea.edu/summit-online-learning/about-upcea.html