A Gaping Need to Design Mobile-Ready Learning

A Gaping Need to Design Mobile-Ready Learning

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  • The results of this research are encouraging: Majority of both teachers and students (a) have mobile devices–no need for institutions to worry about acquiring the tools; (b) desire to use mobile teaching/learning.
    What remains is for instructors (teachers) and instructional designers to design mobile-ready learning. If this research is a reflection of wider perceptions both in high schools and higher education, it means that there is a real potential for mobile technology to leap-frog some of Africa’s problems of poor electricity and low bandwidth. This is because mobile devices require less power to run and less bandwidth for access.
    What is your take?



    The power of mobile technologies and what we can do with it in or schools is still underutilised. Most educators think too much of the vices that these technologies can promote. From our presentation, you will notice that Ghana’s ban on the use of mobile device in our senior high schools was without critical look at how the benefits which obviously outweighs the problems. We are faced with a lot of technological challenges when indeed mobile devices can support the teaching and learning processes in terms of research culture, homework activities, submission of assignments and many others.

    As you mentioned earlier on, mobile devices require less power and less bandwidth access. In a situation where our country is now faced with serious electricity crises, most people still find the ways and means to keep their mobile devices running through the use of power banks when there are no supplies from the national grid. With these developments, one can conclude that being in a remote area of the country may not hinder you so much from accessing quality educational materials as someone in the city. We hope our research and the research of others will help communicate the need for mobile technology integration in our curricula for countries like ours where we profess to be training students to be internationally competitive in terms of technology use.

    If the argument is about vices, does the ban on the use of mobile devices in high schools prevent learners from using them? Does it make learners morally more pure? I read a recent article from Ghana on the related subject of social media. I will attach it here. Why can’t we utilize what learners have in their hands, what they (not us or government) have learned to use, to extend the possibilities of learning?

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    Hi everyone. It is exciting to be part of a programme like this for the first time in my life.I have to thank Jerome especially for sending the link to me. I teach medical microbiology to medical students at the College of Medicine in the University of Calabar, Nigeria. This involves both theoretical/didactic lectures and practical/bedside teaching. All my students have mobile devices. But I use my laptop to prepare my lectures and the students collect them by connecting to the laptop and sharing it among themselves. Sometimes I send my lecture notes/slides to them via e-mail. So, how can I prepare my lectures and send them to my students using mobile apps? How can I use mobile technology to improve practical/bedside teaching? Please am looking forward to your responses.

    Thank you for the post Okokon, and the question. I am sure the community will provide useful suggestions. In the meantime, regarding the use of mobile technology, one source, the Conversation Africa Pilot observed that simply using mobile technology in the classroom does not guarantee a rise in comprehension or even the attention of students. It suggested that the following typses of mobile technology use would make sense:
    • E-readers. Part of the issue with traditional textbooks is that they’re so quickly outdated, both regarding subject matter and which formats best reach readers. E-readers eliminate that issue and allow real-time updates that are useful to students and teachers immediately, not the next school year when the new textbook is released.
    • Individual mobile modules. Within educational apps and games are options for individual student logins. This gives students the chance to work at their own pace, taking extra time in the areas where they need it most.
    • Text-response programs. Websites that allow teachers to send homework or test questions to students via text, and then ask for responses, do result in a more interactive approach to learning. Most of the programs that facilitate this technology allow for real-time feedback on the answers, allowing students to learn from mistakes and put it all in context in the moment. Pew Research found that American teens send an average of 60 text messages per day, making this an effective way to reach students in a medium that is close to universally used. The OneVille Project has tracked teachers and their experiences with texting high school students and has found that students become more motivated to come to school and to complete work on time when they have text message access to teachers.
    • Seamless cloud learning. Using mobile technology that is connected to the cloud means that students can transition from working in the classroom to working at home — or anywhere else — easily, as long as they have access to a phone, tablet or computer. This saves time and improves organizational skills for students. Source: The Conversation Africa Pilot http://theconversation.com/do-mobile-devices-in-the-classroom-really-improve-learning-outcomes-38740

    I think teacher training colleges need to be targeted too. Teachers should not just be taught about the use of PCs in teaching but also mobile devices so that by the time they are offloaded into schools they are familiar with them. But that’s a big change that requires a lot of courage and careful management of change.

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