News

Survey: Mobile learning at a tipping point

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor
October 29th, 2010

 

Students said their 'ultimate school' would allow them to use mobile technology in the classroom, according to Project Tomorrow's most recent Speak Up survey.

 

According to a recent national survey, access to mobile technology in the classroom has more than tripled among high schools students in the past three years—and even more interesting, parents say they are more likely to purchase a mobile technology device for their child if it’s for classroom use.

The information comes from Project Tomorrow’s annual Speak Up survey and was presented at a conference on mobile learning in Washington, D.C., Oct. 29.

Focusing on mobile technology in the classroom is important, said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, because of a confluence of positive factors: matured technology, teacher buy-in, and low price points.

“Mobile technology has been developing for years, to the point where there’s now a wide variety at low prices, and each [type of mobile learning device] can provide anytime, anywhere access. Teachers are also using these devices in their everyday life and have been using technology in the classroom to the point where they feel comfortable with mobile technology for their students,” Evans said.

She continued: “And we’re also at the tipping point because most students already own a mobile device, meaning that administrators might not have to spend as much on initial hardware for tech initiatives.”

Evans said administrators also are considering the implementation of mobile learning devices because of parent buy-in.

According to Speak Up survey results, 62 percent of responding parents report that if their child’s school allowed mobile technology devices to be used for education purposes, they would likely purchase a mobile device for their child.

Even more encouraging, Evans said, is that Project Tomorrow staff found no demographic differentiation when sifting through parent responses, meaning that parents from urban, rural, and Title 1 districts all agreed that they would purchase mobile technology devices for their children’s learning.

“This gives administrators a good idea at how to better invest resources in terms of instructional technology,” said Evans. “It’s also good for administrators, and for teachers, to know that if they decide to use mobile technology in the classroom, they’ll get parental support.”

Not surprisingly, students, too, support the use of mobile learning devices in school.

According to the survey, students no longer view their schools’ internet filters as the primary barrier to using technology in the classroom, as they have in years past. Instead, when asked how schools could make it easier to use technology for school work, students’ responses indicated that they want to use their own mobile learning devices.

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14 Responses to “Survey: Mobile learning at a tipping point”


My son is always on his cell phone texting his friends. He really communicates better by text than in words at times. I guess we can make a standard for text communication. I know that the idea is kids use mobile devises to communicate, read teacher messages, look up interesting articles, etc. But they can do this on PC’s. I really don’t see the application working well in the class. In fact, it would be a big distraction unless there were clear rules. Also, wouldn’t kids cheat and share answers more easily?


My son is always on his cell phone texting his friends. He really communicates better by text than in words at times. I guess we can make a standard for text communication. I know that the idea is kids use mobile devises to communicate, read teacher messages, look up interesting articles, etc. But they can do this on PC’s. I really don’t see the application working well in the class. In fact, it would be a big distraction unless there were clear rules. Also, wouldn’t kids cheat and share answers more easily?

drdouggreen
October 29, 2010

You asked which subjects are best for handhelds. The answer at this time is all of them. If I am a child learning how to read, the handheld should be able to adapt to where I am at. Once I can read, I can use the handheld to help me with just about anything if it has Internet access (and a way to block adult content). I won’t have to learn cursive writing or how to do long division. There is a God. If you are old like me (63) think about all of the crap you had of wade through. (Doing square roots was the worst.) Don’t forget some of the classics, however, that weren’t fun at first, but turned out to be worth it.
Douglas W. Green, EdD

drdouggreen
October 29, 2010

You asked which subjects are best for handhelds. The answer at this time is all of them. If I am a child learning how to read, the handheld should be able to adapt to where I am at. Once I can read, I can use the handheld to help me with just about anything if it has Internet access (and a way to block adult content). I won’t have to learn cursive writing or how to do long division. There is a God. If you are old like me (63) think about all of the crap you had of wade through. (Doing square roots was the worst.) Don’t forget some of the classics, however, that weren’t fun at first, but turned out to be worth it.
Douglas W. Green, EdD

musicked
November 1, 2010

We designed our music learning curriculum to include components that can be used on mobile devices. In fact, we changed the entire platform of our software so that it resides online and can be accessed by anyone on any device that gets internet. Music is no different than any other subject – we (as music educators) need to proactive in creating ways to reach today’s savvy learners.

musicked
November 1, 2010

We designed our music learning curriculum to include components that can be used on mobile devices. In fact, we changed the entire platform of our software so that it resides online and can be accessed by anyone on any device that gets internet. Music is no different than any other subject – we (as music educators) need to proactive in creating ways to reach today’s savvy learners.

Jessica Reeves
November 1, 2010

As a teacher…I’m not sure why we need cell phones in class. My students use laptops nearly everyday for most projects; they can easily access the web through their Macs…why a phone? It would only serve as a distraction I can imagine. I can IM the kiddos through Google Docs while they are typing…why a phone? There is a limit to technology and using a phone in class seems like over-stimulation.

I do use technology in some pretty new and cool ways with my 8th grade CA class…you can see technology at work at:

http://msjessicareeves.edublogs.org

Jessica

Jessica Reeves
November 1, 2010

As a teacher…I’m not sure why we need cell phones in class. My students use laptops nearly everyday for most projects; they can easily access the web through their Macs…why a phone? It would only serve as a distraction I can imagine. I can IM the kiddos through Google Docs while they are typing…why a phone? There is a limit to technology and using a phone in class seems like over-stimulation.

I do use technology in some pretty new and cool ways with my 8th grade CA class…you can see technology at work at:

http://msjessicareeves.edublogs.org

Jessica

mikesessa
November 2, 2010

I think everyone is missing the point here…of course kids want to use their mobile devices as they are thinking they can use them to socialize while in school or during class. Do the same survey over and ask kids what they think if they are required to turn cell phones off during class or not use them?

mikesessa
November 2, 2010

I think everyone is missing the point here…of course kids want to use their mobile devices as they are thinking they can use them to socialize while in school or during class. Do the same survey over and ask kids what they think if they are required to turn cell phones off during class or not use them?

John Krouskoff
November 3, 2010

There are always reasons not to embrace such change, but to have students turn off powerful computers (their cellphones) when they enter school is questionable. In fact, their handhelds are often capable of doing more than some of the laptops/desktops, and there is no wait time for logging in!
Will there be abuses? Of course, but address those as they occur. Set clear boundaries and let the students own their learning by using the best tools available. If it happens that the cellphone or Smartphone fits the bill, so be it.

John Krouskoff
November 3, 2010

There are always reasons not to embrace such change, but to have students turn off powerful computers (their cellphones) when they enter school is questionable. In fact, their handhelds are often capable of doing more than some of the laptops/desktops, and there is no wait time for logging in!
Will there be abuses? Of course, but address those as they occur. Set clear boundaries and let the students own their learning by using the best tools available. If it happens that the cellphone or Smartphone fits the bill, so be it.

johnnykissko
November 4, 2010

Great post! There’s undoubtedly a shift towards mobile technology to facilitate learning, and I’m excited to see what opportunities this provides K-12 schools. I frequently blog about augmented reality in education @ http://www.k12mobilelearning.com , and one thing I’m hoping to see is more mobile support for augmented reality.

One thing we’ve started to use in my classroom is Google Sketchup with ARSights, which is augmented reality software. I purchased the license that allows me to do this, and it was money well spent, because it provides a much more engaging experience than simply doing “drill and kill” activities.

Thanks for sharing! – Johnny

johnnykissko
November 4, 2010

Great post! There’s undoubtedly a shift towards mobile technology to facilitate learning, and I’m excited to see what opportunities this provides K-12 schools. I frequently blog about augmented reality in education @ http://www.k12mobilelearning.com , and one thing I’m hoping to see is more mobile support for augmented reality.

One thing we’ve started to use in my classroom is Google Sketchup with ARSights, which is augmented reality software. I purchased the license that allows me to do this, and it was money well spent, because it provides a much more engaging experience than simply doing “drill and kill” activities.

Thanks for sharing! – Johnny