Solving the challenges of mobile device management

The federal e-Rate program does not discount the cost of the data plan.

While the potential for mobile learning with smart phones or other portable devices is huge, many challenges remain before everywhere, all-the-time learning becomes a reality.

One such challenge is how to police the devices to make certain students are using them only for tasks that have to do with learning and are not accessing inappropriate content.

A simple way to do this is via identity management, says Phil Emer, director of technology planning and policy at The Friday Institute, which is housed within North Carolina State University.…Read More

School district, Verizon collaborate to incorporate cell phones into curriculum

Mobile phones have long been treated as contraband in classrooms, but this school year, hundreds of fifth- and sixth-graders in Toms River, N.J., will carry smart phones into their classrooms to fulfill a new academic requirement, reports. The project, the first of its kind in New Jersey, incorporates the phones into the curriculum in the state’s fourth-largest school district and could radically revamp the way students learn. “This is a great alternative to traditional pen and pencil work and promotes better critical thinking skills,” said Vicki Rhein, a fifth-grade teacher at Silver Bay Elementary School who participated in the pilot program. “We’re finding that students are more engaged and even requesting to delve deeper into topics.” The program, which started with 100 students, will now reach 1,000. The collaboration among Toms River Regional Schools, Verizon Wireless, and GoKnow! Inc., which develops educational software for mobile devices, makes Toms River the largest district in the country to use cell phones as mobile learning devices. Using the phones, students will be able to conduct research, write reports, download books, and draw or animate projects. Their instructors can develop lesson plans that meet the students’ need. The devices cannot make or receive calls and do not have texting capability…

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