7 convenient communication tools for educators

These 7 edu convenience tools offer functionality and ease of use

As mobile technology becomes more commonplace in classrooms and nearly ubiquitous for school leaders, the convenience of having access to emails, text messages, social media and other tools might be taken for granted.

Using smartphones and tablets, educators and administrators have at their fingertips a variety of tools, strategies and digital coaches designed to make their instructional and organizational goals a reality.

The rise of “convenience” tools is here, from parent-teacher communication apps to programs that help teachers track students’ behavioral challenges and achievements.…Read More

How administrators can leverage mobile technologies

Four ways administrators can leverage mobile technologies to boost student engagement

mobile-devices-learningFrom tablets to computers to mobile phones, our access to information–and each other–is continuous. Young people not only embrace this constant access to information, but they have come to expect it. I would even argue that today’s students aren’t that interested in “going online.”

Booting up, opening browsers, logging on, navigating–they will do that when needed. But their preference is really to engage on mobile devices. One-third of children between the ages of eight and 10 have their own mobile phone, and teens aged 13 to 17 are the fastest growing age bracket for smart phone adoption. Even kids in higher poverty areas who don’t have access to other forms of technology have higher rates of cell phone access.

Yet, despite all of this, most students are still being asked to “power down” when they enter into classrooms. They go from a having constant connections outside of school to a static learning environment. The National School Board Association found that nearly 65 percent of students use mobile devices in schools, even when prohibited.…Read More

Parents press for mobile tech in education

A new study of how parents perceive mobile learning and devices finds that many want schools to accelerate their use of mobile devices in the classroom, Information Week reports. “Parents with kids in schools that mandate tablet use are significantly more enthusiastic about tablets,” Kevin Carman, education marketing director at AT&T, told InformationWeek/Education in a phone interview. Underwritten by AT&T, the Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study was conducted by research and consulting firm Grunwald Associates and the Learning First Alliance, a partnership of 16 education associations…

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Think mobile is big now? Here’s proof that it’s just getting started

So, you think that the Mobile Revolution is complete and the battle between smartphones and PCs is all but won? Think again, ReadWriteWeb reports. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers analyst Mary Meeker’s infamous Internet Trends report dropped today at the AllThingsD D11 conference in Los Angeles. Guess what? Mobile traffic still only makes up 15% of all worldwide Internet traffic. That is less than one-sixth of all time spent on the internet…

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‘Bring your own device’ catching on in schools

Some district initiatives ask students to bring their own mobile devices to class.

Mobile devices are now found in the hands of most children, and school leaders are using that to their advantage by incorporating devices that students already own into classroom lessons and projects.

Concerns remain about students who are unable to purchase or borrow a device for use in the classroom, but districts might find creative ways—such as asking local businesses or community organizations for help—to provide devices in such instances, advocates of the trend say.

With access issues in mind, allowing students to bring their own devices from home can offer educational benefits, as well as some surprisingly positive results when it comes to creative thinking and classroom behavior.…Read More

Survey reveals educators’ must-have technologies

Laptops remain the most valuable mobile technology, according to teachers.

Interactive whiteboards are the classroom technology that teachers say they most value, and though tablet-style eReader devices such as Apple’s iPad haven’t been around for long, they’re already considered the second most useful mobile classroom technology behind laptops, according to a national survey of teachers’ digital media use.

Educators are incorporating more internet-dependent technologies into their instruction, the survey also reveals—but shrinking school budgets are prompting many educators to look for free resources.

Deepening Commitment: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology,”  a national research report on teacher’s media usage from PBS and Grunwald Associates LLC, found that more than half of K-12 teachers surveyed reported continued cuts to school media budgets, which has led to increased reliance on free instructional content.…Read More

Survey: Mobile learning at a tipping point


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.…Read More

Higher education’s best mobile technology programs

The University of Missouri last fall required all incoming journalism students to have an iPhone or iPod Touch.
The University of Missouri last fall required all incoming journalism students to have an iPhone or iPod Touch.

With small private campuses and large research universities alike teeming with iPhones, iPod Touches, BlackBerries, and other mobile devices, a college counseling company has highlighted five institutions in particular as the best landing spots for students attached to their gadgets.

IvyWise, a New York-based counseling company that released a list of the most environmentally friendly colleges in April, recently unveiled another list to help college applicants, this time focusing on schools that leverage the power of mobile devices to store and deliver recorded lectures, syllabi, homework, tests, and a host of other information that can be accessed any time, anywhere on campus.

The list, compiled by IvyWise counselors and released May 12, includes Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa., Stanford University, the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, Ohio State University, and the University of Missouri.…Read More

Top U.S. carriers plot faster gadgets, services

Reuters reports that the next generation of high-speed internet services, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile gadgets could arrive faster than you would expect. The two biggest U.S. phone companies, AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless, are stepping up plans to speed up their networks and deliver advanced devices to consumers as early as this holiday season with partners such as Motorola Inc., Samsung Electronics, and LG Electronics. AT&T said it is planning to triple speeds for home internet services, and double speeds on its wireless network, while Verizon Wireless said it will be ready with a slew of high-speed phones earlier than it had previously suggested. “We still have a tremendous amount of opportunity in wireless,” John Stankey, AT&T’s operations chief said, dismissing suggestions from some telecoms analysts that the industry’s exponential growth days were over. “We’re at the front of that 10-year (growth) cycle in the mobile space today,” he said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York on May 14. While wireless carriers have to depend on data services for growth, because most people already have cellphones, Stankey sees opportunities in business applications. As industries add wireless connections to their equipment, such as medical devices and security systems, each business vertical could eventually generate a $1 billion a year in revenue, he said…

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Panel: Cell phones have much potential in classrooms

Teachers should embrace the technology that students use outside of classroom while creating compelling lessons.
Teachers should embrace the technology that students use outside of school while creating compelling lessons, panelists said.

Teachers are finding interesting and creative ways to include mobile phones in classroom instruction in an effort to bridge the divide between the technologies children use at home and what they use in school, education technology experts say.

Common Sense Media hosted a series of panel discussions April 21 that examined how mobile technology can both help and hinder children’s development and education.

Kipp Rogers, principal of Passage Middle School in Newport News, Va., said students at his school have used cell phones in class for the past three years. The practice began when he was teaching a math class and did not have enough calculators for every student during a test, until he realized he had a calculator on his PDA.…Read More

Author: ‘iGeneration’ requires a different approach to instruction

A new book asserts that students who have grown up with constant access to mobile technology learn - and need to be taught - differently.
A new book asserts that students who have grown up with constant access to mobile technologies learn—and need to be taught—differently.

Today’s middle and high school students learn much differently from students just a few years older—and that’s mainly because they’ve never known a world without the internet or cell phones, says psychology professor and author Larry D. Rosen, whose research could give educators valuable insights into the needs of today’s learners.

Children born in the 1990s, dubbed the “iGeneration” by Rosen, live in a time of rapidly changing technology, in which they are constantly connected to a number of mobile technologies. Rosen said the “i” stands for both the technologies these students use—such as the iPod, iPhone, and Wii—and the individualized ways in which students use these tools.

“iGeners are growing up with portable technology. Literally from birth, these children are able to grow up using mobile technology,” he said. “But I also look at the little ‘i’ as reflecting the individualized culture—reflecting our needs and desires.”…Read More