ICT has provided me with creative freedom, endless resources and learning materials, and the possibility to develop my PLN (Personal Learning Network) and be in contact with professionals from all corners of the world. I am a true believer in the importance of technology in the classroom and e-learning as a platform for teaching.
More and more students are using mobile devices to connect to the web. Mobile learning (or m-learning) is the ability to learn anywhere and at any time using a portable electronic device. In my opinion, m-learning is less structured than e-learning .
Unfortunately people are obsessed with doing everything quickly, learning included. Smart phones have lots of resources and students tend to use them more than their computers.
As the use of mobile technology is increasing, why not offer students the possibility to study anytime, anyplace and at their own convenience through their mobile devices? Get your students started with small, realistic homework activities. You can introduce them to some of the amazing applications (apps ) available and encourage them to learn in a mobile way.
Being creative with mobile devices
Let's encourage our students to be creative and use the technology at their literal fingertips to prepare homework activities?
Look at the following apps and some of their educational possibilities:
- How about sending our students a short news article or podcast and asking them to send an audio response summarising it in their own words or giving their opinion?
- Students could send photos with captions to illustrate different tenses. Alternatively they could describe daily habits or routines, or create a set of instructions.
- Students could create a video or audio of themselves making a short presentation or reviewing a movie/book or TV show.
Closed Facebook groupscan be a great way of communicating with our students. Students can share ideas, opinions and homework projects.
- Post quizzes and grammar tips.
- Get students to share book reviews.
- Brainstorm ideas about different topics.
- Have a different theme each week and get students to share songs, pictures and quotations connected to the theme.
- Generally create a place for students to interact with you and with each other outside of the classroom.
Twitter makes staying in touch and sharing announcements super simple and even fun. These ideas offer a great way to put the tool to good use.
Possible activities: These are just a few of the great opportunities that Twitter offers for building reading and writing skills:
- Students can tweet sentences using a particular word to build vocabulary learning.
- Ask students to post an inspirational quote tweet each week, preferably relating to course content.
- Bring the characters of books to life, choosing characters to personify on Twitter.
- The entire class can come together to create a story, contributing using hashtags.
- Students can build 140-character summaries based on reading assignments, forcing a focus on quality.
- Create a collaborative poem where each student contributes one line.
- Using Twitter, students can write a short review of movies, books, and music that they’ve enjoyed (or not).
Conclusion: By supplying our students with easily accessible tools for studying 'on the go', we are enabling them to incorporate self-study into their busy lives, accelerating their progress and guaranteeing better results. Apps and mobile phones are interesting tools to explore, aren´t they?