Archive for the ‘Mobile Learning’ Category

It’s Easier to Learn What You Already Know: Using Facebook in Class Discussions

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Social media poses an interesting challenge to online educators.  As educators, it is imperative that we understand the potential uses and implications of including social media in our pedagogy, but oftentimes, our own students know more than we do about what’s out there, what’s working, how, and why. Our task, then, has become two-fold: Harness the positive and collaborative aspects of social media in online learning while still effectively teaching and preparing our students for life outside the virtual classroom.

In Dr. John Beckham’s section of the Diversity in the Workplace course, we are piloting the use of Facebook in student discussions. Using their course email, students are asked to “friend” other students taking the course. Providing a live stream in the course via Facebook (below) allows students to communicate with each other while also seamlessly participating in class discussions. Their discussion posts are also sent to their Facebook wall, which effectively acts as an electronic portfolio of their discussion posts.

A Screenshot of the Facebook Live Stream Box

Integrating the Facebook live stream with course discussion offers several unexpected advantages. Because of its popularity, most students are familiar with the Facebook interface. Students can readily and easily harness the powerful interactivity of the Facebook platform and effortlessly create a virtual e-portfolio of their own discussion participation throughout the course. Another benefit is the mobile accessibility of Facebook accounts, which make it easy for students to access their own profile, and thus, the activity taking place in the course discussions, via their cell phones and/or other mobile devices.

Ready, Set, Go! Next Gen Learning Goes Mobile

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

T-Mobile HTC G2 (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)In response to the growing use of mobile technology, CDL has several projects underway that focus on increasing mobile accessibility to our online courses. Discovering Math Across Generations, a course in which math partners work together on learning activities, utilizes available mobile math applications and podcasts to increase convenience and flexibility of course content delivery. In addition, revised activities will incorporate use of popular mobile devices, such as iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and Androids.

Our new course, American Popular Music of the 20th Century (first offered this fall), will feature integrated mobile technology applications that allow students to access course content and participate in online discussions while on the go. The ability to instantly upload audio, video and images to the course will expand students’ learning environment and allow them to connect with their classmates from almost anywhere!

e-Reader (AP Media)Other projects include exploring the potential benefits of e-readers, such as the Amazon Kindle, in literature studies. In particular, students could take advantage of pre-1923 titles, thousands of which are available in digital format from Project Gutenberg, Open Library and others.

But we understand mobile technology’s practical and logistical value as well, and consistently strive to make our adult students’ lives a little more manageable. Currently, those enrolled in GPS and the New Geography are able to access their course schedule via smart phone, to keep up with assignments and due dates.

The Mobile Learning Task Force, a collaborative committee with members from the CDL faculty, Curriculum & Instructional Group and the Office of Academic Technology. The committee will participate in a panel discussion at the 2011 Empire State All-College Conference (March 23-25) and the CDL Conference (April 29-30). Stay tuned!

CDL Creates Mobile Learning Task Force

Monday, February 7th, 2011

SmartphonesIn 2010, the Center for Distance Learning (CDL) Mobile Learning Task Force was formed as a collaborative effort between the Curriculum and Design Team, CDL faculty and the Office of Academic Technologies. The purpose of this group is to explore how mobile technology can aid learning opportunities and provide CDL students with additional technology tools to create meaningful learning experiences.

Mobile technologies are a familiar part of our daily lives. The technology allows us to talk to other people at any time from wherever we may be. We can take photographs and share them with our friends, family or the wider world with the touch of a button. Furthermore, smartphones permit easy internet and multimedia access and are quickly moving toward widespread videoconferencing. Many see the smartphone replacing the computer for many online tasks. Opportunities for social networking abound. The implications for online education are many.

The members of the Mobile Learning Task Force are as follows: from Curriculum and Instruction Design: Audeliz Matias (Chair), Lisa Snyder and David Wolf; Faculty representatives: Sheila Aird, Bidhan Chandra, Betty Lawrence, Nicola Martinez; Academic Technologies Representative: Jeremy Stone; CDL Systems Project Manager Brian Levin also serves as a member, and Hope Adams serves as liaison to the Graduate Studies’ Mobile Learning Committee.