6. Upcoming Technology Trends: Mobile Devices

Electronic Books (1yr or less)- Right now many electronic books are exactly the same as paper books, just downloaded.  However, they are becoming more interactive with graphs, tables, and visuals that bring the reader closer to what the material is.

    • I see this as being very helpful math wise with learning a new math skill, once electronic books become interactive.  Students will be able to work on a problem that can give advice, or show right/wrong processes.  Also, by looking at context, students could work on a problem, through context and see the result, weather right/wrong from the context’s perspective.
    • Example:  Bungee cord length depending on the weight of the person on the cord.  Using an interactive program, a student could try different weights and see if the person would be safe or not.  Similar to answering questions from a textbook, they could interact with the electronic book in ways that would answer the same kinds of questions as the textbook, just in an interactive way.

Mobile Devices (1yr or less)- It is believed that by 2015 80% of Americans will have and use these devices on a regular basis.  This is a very interesting and intriguing device.

    • I can see finding a graphing app that we could learn how to use in the classroom that matches the curriculum closely.  It would be awesome to see if there is  a CPMP tools app that students could use

Augmented Reality (2/3 yrs)- Bringing 3D into the classroom without having to go anywhere.  Many still need goggles but the technology is getting to the point where goggles will not be needed soon.

    • This would be similar to electronic books.  Students would get  to look at mathematical context in 3D form to see how math is used in a regular basis in many career paths.  Students could see a river or be there to figure out the width by using trig.  This form of technology would bring math to life!

Game-based Learning (2/3 yrs)- weather context based or problem-solving, gaming can teach beyond the lesson and look at leadership (mulit-player).  The sky is the limit on what you can do with gaming and education.  I see this more as a supplementary tool, and not  as  a focus point

    • Using competitions, students could build buildings, bridges, figure out different things mathematically but in a game format.  This way students can visualize how math is used.

Gesture-Based Computing (4/5 yrs)- Being able to use technology without touching anything and yet the computer works based on your movements (similar to Wii but w/o controllers)

    • This would be great for PE and/or to see students moving no matter what class they are in.  Using real life scenarios that come into the classroom would bring learning to life.

Learning Analytics (4/5 yrs)- Taking a large amount of data and using it to predict future performances.  This could be used in many different wayst to help students individually see what their future could/may hold depending on their actions of today.

    • This could be helpful for the educator to figure out how to meet the needs of the individual student.  Not only to track them, but to find the student’s educational gaps that need to be fixed or to see if he/she has any special needs that need to be addressed.  For the teacher who is not “special ed” certified, this could help figure out how best to help the student within the regular classroom setting.

As I read through the Horizontal Report 2011, it became clear to me how outdated my teaching really is.  I am one who struggles to look outside the box.  When I see what actually lies out there, I’m amazed and excited to see the many different things I can start implementing this fall!  However, the pragmatic side of me also struggles because of the finances all schools deal with.  Most schools cannot afford these technological tools.  Once we have the money to purchase new tools, we are not given the training to use the tools correctly and so the tools sit unused, or not used to their potential.  It is up to the individual teacher to train themselves on new tools provided to them from their school.  I will now get off my soap box and once again peer out of the box and see what lies ahead of me!

It seems so natural to use mobile devices within the classroom.  Students are trying to use them anyway (weather allowed to or not) to listen to music while working away on their assignments, or entertain themselves.  To give permission to use different applications on their own devices would, in itself, interest the students in class.  To also provide different ideas of downloads that would be helpful would benefit the learning within the math classroom.
One struggle we have in our school is dealing with graphing calculators.  We do not have enough for students to take home, just enough calculators to use within school walls.  This is a problem when assigning homework.  Having an application of a graphing calculator would make it possible for students to practice anywhere and interest them into doing their own research on the application that would further their skills in the classroom.
Beyond the need of a graphing calculator, it does not take too much research to find many other applications that are helpful for students.  From keeping your homework organized, having a dictionary and thesaurus on hand, and looking up applications for any and all different subjects, students have the capability of many resources at the tips of their figures.
I am looking forward to researching more applications and getting ready to present them to my students this August.  Using mobile applications broadens the walls of the classroom as students will have the ability to study, practice, and play what is being taught at school any time they have a mobile device.  Giving the students the approval to use their hand held technology devices alone brings excitement to learning.
Another wonderful attribute to using mobile devices, is the downloading of the application is much cheaper, or free, than purchasing the calculator, agenda, dictionary, or other tool needed for class.  If the student already has the device, adding these tools will save money and be with the student anytime they need it.

Links:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/graphing-calculator/id289940142?mt=8 (graphing calculator)

http://itunes.apple.com/app/myhomework/id303490844?mt=8 (homework organizer)

http://itunes.apple.com/app/dictionary-com-dictionary/id308750436?mt=8 (dictionary/thesaurus)

http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-most-educational-iphone-apps/ (100 top apps)

Resources:

Accredited Online Colleges.  (2009, Aug. 31).  100 Most educational iPhone Apps.  Retrieved from http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-most-educational-iphone-apps

Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., & Haywood, K., (2011). The 2011 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

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