Each year faculty are invited to participate as part of a mobile learning cohort. The 1.0 cohort consists of faculty ready to experiment with mobile learning, while the 2.0 cohort consists of faculty who have some experience teaching with mobile technologies. (For many in the 2.0 cohort, that experience was gained by participating in a prior year’s 1.0 cohort.) While all participants assess impacts, the 2.0 cohort is especially focused on asking specific research questions and answering them by gathering data.
Mobile Scholars 1.0
When Elizabeth Barnes decided to participate in the mobile scholars program, she couldn’t figure out how to submit her application using the Google form. Instead, she printed the form and delivered it to the IDEA Shop. She wasn’t sure what apps were and didn’t own a tablet or smartphone. Through the program, Elizabeth learned to check her email, her grades, and calendar using cloud technology. This success increased Elizabeth’s confidence and her sense of adventure in regards to technology.
As an educator, Marisa felt that she had been stuck in a rut for years, using Blackboard reluctantly. Much of her caution stemmed from the quick introduction, integration, and then extinction of technology. She was reluctant to learn about new technologies because she was afraid that by the time I became proficient, the technology would be obsolete. After the cohort, she still believe that may be true. However, she has discovered that she is willing to learn and try new technology in the classroom because the adaptability to and familiarity with technology is the skill, not the apps or devices themselves.
Marisa summarized that the benefits of technology outweighed the problems we encountered. Her students were excited to try new things. The use of apps for presentation aids allowed students to move towards the creation mode of learning and teaching. Marisa states that we learn best when we teach someone — Now they’re creating in order to teach. She found that they apps they tried in class helped them arrange their thoughts and think of their audience. Two of the most important things she tries to teach in public speaking.
Mobile Scholars 2.0
Adjunct Faculty, Communication
Christine Moore used mobile technology in her Campaigns course, which is a public relations course. The main purpose for the Campaigns course is to provide public relations students with a hands-on learning opportunity. Participating in Mobile Learning 2.0 supported that objective. All of Christine’s public relations courses involve the following: explanation of concepts, question/answer sessions, and group activities or projects. She needed apps that worked well with her standard methods while encouraging even more student participation during class. The apps she decided to use were Nearpod, Adobe Slate, Keynote, Thinglink, Padlet, GroupMe and WhatsApp. Christine believes that using mobile technology created a dynamic, interactive learning environment. She saw students transition from considering their iPads entertainment to realizing they are useful, professional learning tools. Overall, student feedback on this experience was very positive.