Welcome to Tech Spots!

Welcome to Tech Spots!

This week’s Tech Spot topic is on Mobile devices.  Students have a variety of mobile devices at their fingertips.  Here’s a little “cheat” sheet from Edutopia and S. JHOANNA ROBLED, that breaks down these mobile devices and how they can be used in the classroom.  (Download the entire article- Mobile Devices for Learning: What You Need to Know)

Cell Phones
The simplest of them all but still fairly powerful. They can be used for group discussions via text messaging, and since so many cell phones have cameras, they are useful for photography-based projects as well. Students can also record themselves reading stories aloud for writers’ workshops or practicing speeches.

E-Book Readers
Their fundamental function, of course, is for reading books and storing entire libraries. They also provide easy access to dictionaries. Many students also use their e-book readers as a replacement for the daily paper, since they can read various editions and magazines on it. Well-known brands include Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

Free lectures and short videos are available for downloading via the iTunes U app, or on the Internet at sites such as Brainpop.com, which has animated educational videos. Apps can also be downloaded onto the devices and many are equipped with cameras students can use to shoot and to post to a website. Read the Edutopia blog “iPod, iListen, iRead” to learn more about how these devices are used to help students master reading.

Apple’s iPad, the Kindle Fire, and the Galaxy are just a few models of tablets, and they can do anything e-book readers can do and then some. Downloadable apps, many educational, make these machines nearly comparable to computers; you can surf the Web, play games, watch (and even make) movies, as well as take photographs. Many schools have started purchasing tablets for the K-5 crowd, though they’re plenty useful for older students, too.

The older the students, the more likely they are to be wielding one of these. Like tablets, smartphones have many computer-like functions. (They’re also phones, of course.) They can run apps and software, record audio and video, send and receive email and texts- functionalities that can easily be channeled into classroom inquiry.

“New Guide! Mobile Devices for Learning: What You Need to Know.” Edutopia. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2012. <http://www.edutopia.org/mobile-devices-learning-resource-guide>.

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