The attendees at the recent Summer Faculty Technology Institute, Mobile Evolution: Learning on the go, learned a number of ways to engage their students using mobile devices, primarily with iPads and smartphones. Nowadays mobile devices are ubiquitous and their ability to retrieve and share information is too powerful to ignore. New apps are being developed everyday to help increase productivity and communication. Apps are available that give you full editing capability for word processing and spreadsheet files. There are apps that allow you to sync your files across a number of devices and computers. We are also seeing many text book publishers making books available for digital download for mobile devices. Some models are allowing students to purchase individual chapters opposed to the entire book. I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the idea. Finding ways to incorporate and/or supplement your teaching might be a daunting task, especially if you are not a mobile device user yourself. The Teaching, Learning and Technology department has iPads and iPod touches available for checkout if you would like to experiment with such devices. Your Instructional Technologist can also discuss with you ways to incorporate into your subject matter. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Below is a bit that I found on The Chronicle where a faculty member talks about his experience with mobile devices in the classroom.

Ronald Yaros, an assistant professor specializing in mobile journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park has put smartphones into action. He is making smartphones and mobile devices a primary tool, not just a secondary supplement, to his courses. He’ll have students go out into the field and capture photos and videos, interviews, etc. that relate to fields of interest and come back into the course and share with the class to generate discussion. Ronald finds it important that students learn how to use mobile devices, especially smartphones, in a number of ways so that they are competitive upon graduation.
Listen to the The Chronicle’s Tech Therapy podcast to hear more.