Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Mobile Learning on The Horizon of K-12 Education – Part II (#mlearning)

(Continued from Mobile Learning on The Horizon of K-12 Education – Part I (#mlearning))

A sampling of mobile learning applications across disciplines includes the following:

Mathematics. Year four students at St Leonard’s College, a primary school in Australia, are using tablets loaded with math apps and e-textbooks to access information, receive instruction, record measurements, and conduct research:

Music. Students at Institut International de Lancy in Switzerland use their tablets to create music in the school’s first iPad Orchestra. The iPads have provided
opportunities for students with little or no musical training to create their own music with classmates:

Storytelling. Ringwood North Primary School in Australia participated in “The Epic Citadel Challenge.” Teachers and students collaborated to write a digital story based on the Epic Citadel environment, which they turned into an app that can be accessed via iOS mobile device:

Mobile Learning in Practice

The following links provide examples of mobile learning in use in K-12 education settings:

BYOD Lessons (

At South Middle School in Kentucky, students must take an online course about Internet safety before they are able to use their own devices in class. One way that students use their mobiles is to text answers to multiple choice questions posed during a lesson, giving teachers instant insight into whether extra time is needed for a topic.

The Global Enterprise Mobile Alliance (

Multi-media service (MMS) provider Navita launched the Global Enterprise Mobile Alliance, a coalition of seven MMS providers who are working together to make
BYOD a reality for Brazilian businesses and students.

iPads in Australian Special Education (

The use of iPads for special education has been tested in various locations across Australia, most significantly in Victoria at Warringa Park School. Results indicate
the devices were useful in facilitating individualized learning both within the classroom and out in the community. Apps led students through exercises that
helped develop fine motor control, vocabulary, speech, and design skills.

iPads at ZIS International School (

Students at ZIS International School in Switzerland use iPads as video cameras, audio recorders, and multimedia notebooks to capture learning experiences for their
personal blogs and digital portfolios.

Mobile Learning at Lee’s Summit (

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District in Missouri created a web page with mobile learning resources, including apps, to promote the creative use of mobile devices for
in-classroom and on-the-go learning.

New Trier’s Mobile Learning Initiative (

New Trier Township High School District in Illinois launched the Mobile Learning Initiative to evaluate the effectiveness of tablets for teaching and learning. Early
reports cite improved student organization.

For Further Reading

The following articles and resources are recommended for those who wish to learn more about mobile learning:

17 Ways iPads Will be Used in Schools in 2013 (

(Roger Riddell, Education Dive, 12 February 2013.) Education Dive explores iPad pilots that are underway at various institutions, describing how the mobile devices
are expected to replace textbooks in some schools and to broadcast lessons to rural areas with teacher shortages.

For Low-Income Kids, Access to Devices Could Be the Equalizer (

(Tina Barseghian, MindShift, 13 May 2013.) Access to devices is noticeably different between higher and lower income schools; 52% of teachers of upper and upper-middle income students say their students use cell phones to look up information in class, compared with 35% of teachers of the lowest income students.

Mobile Device Smack Down (

(Jennifer Magiera, EdReach, 12 April 2013.) This podcast explores why certain mobile devices are better choices than others for the classroom, how purchasing
and downloading apps to multiple devices works, and describes syncing solutions and current tech requirements for Common Core assessments.

Mobile Learning: 5 Advantages and 5 Disadvantages (

(Mashii Hajim, Edudemic, 28 December 2012.) Positive outcomes of mobile learning include increased engagement and wider access to educational resources.
The author cites cost and battery life among the potential negatives.

Mobile Learning Support for New Teachers (

(Lisa Michelle Dabbs, Edutopia, 10 October 2012.) This article provides a framework for mobile learning for new teachers or schools considering mobile learning, such as developing responsible use policies and planning mobile activities with students.

Schools Set Boundaries for Use of Students’ Digital Devices (

(Robin L. Flanigan, Education Week, 7 February 2013.) Schools in Minnesota, Georgia, and Texas have implemented successful BYOD initiatives and discuss
how their infrastructures and policies work to support the students in their learning, but still provide restrictions to counter the safety and security challenges.


Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada V., Freeman, A., and Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.



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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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