Mobile Learning in and out of the K-12 Classroom

Mobile Learning in and out of the K-12 Classroom

Pena L. Bedesem (Kent State University, USA) and Tracy Arner (Kent State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch555
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Background

The processes involved in student learning are now as never before. Delivery of information is more various, instantaneous, and itinerant and thus new ways of information delivery and instructional models are necessary to meet the needs of 21st Century learners. One method of meeting these needs is by using mobile technologies. Mobile technologies are digital devices that include tablets, personal digital devices, Chromebooks, and mobile phones. The use of these technologies in the classroom is commonly referred to as mobile learning. This chapter will focus on the use of mobile technology to engage students, enhance instruction, and support non-traditional students including those with disabilities and students who are non-native English speakers.

In today’s society mobile devices have become a ubiquitous technology. For example, 88% of adults (Zickuhr, 2011) and 77% of teens (Lenhart, 2012) own a mobile phone. The most recent Speak Up Survey by Project Tomorrow found that over 80% of secondary students have their own device to use for learning. Further, more and more schools are purchasing tablets, Chromebooks, and mobile media players to augment classroom instruction (Herold, 2016). In spite of the increasing availability of mobile technology in learning environments, deliberate integration into daily instruction, by teachers, is not as prevalent. Teachers cite numerous concerns with the use of technology including readiness, lack of training, classroom disruption, cheating, and access to inappropriate content as barriers to consistent integration into instruction (Kim, Kim, Lee, Spector, & DeMeester, 2012; O’Bannon & Thomas, 2014; Thomas & O’Bannon, 2013; Thomas, O’Bannon, & Bolton, 2013). Despite these barriers, the constantly increasing functionality and decreasing cost of mobile devices is making them both accessible and valuable learning tools both in and out of the classroom (Thomas, O’Bannon, & Bolton, 2013). Moreover, researchers have shown increases in student motivation (Brown, 2008), and active participation (Kinsella, 2009) when technology is used in the classroom. Given the promise of mobile devices as instructional tools in K-12 education, it is important to discuss (a) pioneering work that has led to the use of mobile technologies, (b) stakeholder perceptions of using technology in the classroom, (c) how mobile technologies are being used, and (d) future research directions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Augmented Reality: The blending of physical and digital worlds, often with a virtual overlay on a physical item.

Mobile Phones: A telephone that uses cellular towers so that it can be used anywhere.

Assistive Technology: Any type of equipment that can be used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of student with disabilities.

Mobile Technology: Any portable electronic device that accepts, processes, and stores data at high speeds (e.g., smart phone, tablet computer).

Simulation: A technologically based reproduction of a real world event in which variables can be manipulated by the user.

Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities are students who have been identified, assessed, and determined to be eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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