Friday, September 28, 2007

Say YES to mobile computing

Another well-prepared and much needed resource came to my attention today. This must-see video was created by Graham Brown-Martin and is available on Google video and is called 'Mobile phones, mobile minds - Teachers.....' . It runs for about 25 minutes.
Other things you should know about Graham
  • Founder and managing director of Handheld Learning (, a very active online community of interest for academics, practitioners, thought leaders, opinion formers and developers.
  • Host and chairman of the Handheld Learning Conference (, the worlds largest conference about learning while mobile. Coming next month, October 10-12.

blog post of mine from March looked at the use of mobile phones in a school environment. It was good to revisit this today in light of my new position at Qatar Academy. The new mobile phone policy here is that students may bring their devices but are not to have them turned on or use them during school hours. This is why I see secretive hiding of devices by students as I walk around the school. Alas there is no integration or embedding (Read Jeff's post with ideas re integration vs embedding) of mobile technology at this school yet. There are a few laptops coming in and I am encouraging all students to bring their mobile devices. However, until I can change the mindset of teachers and work with them to support ubiquitous computing very little will change I think.

Quote of the week (did I see red?): "The worst thing the school could have done was put in the WLAN", by a science teacher at QA. BTW, we have an excellent campus-wide WLAN provided by CISCO. Many other schools would give up their science teachers just to have this facility ;-)

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WWG said...

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WWG :)

mmgleas3 said...

Cell phones were permitted in my high school too, but only if they remained turned off. Just as you said, there was a lot of hiding of cell phones and secret text messaging that went on. With such a large number of students possessing cell phones (almost everyone), it would be great if we could embed more cell phone technology into the classroom. I just learned how to do a podcast with my cell phone the other day and it was so easy once I got the hang of it. I wish I had learned how to do it so much earlier! Podcasts are a great way of using audio technology and could be used in classrooms in a variety of ways. For example, as a future Spanish teacher, I could have my students record themselves speaking Spanish onto a podcast, and then other students could access the podcast and do a peer review, or parents could listen to the podcast to see how their child is doing. It seems a shame that we do not take advantage of cell phone technology.

Mrs Tonner-Saunders said...

I agree that one of the aspects that needs changed regarding mobile phones is the way teacher's perceive them. This goes hand in hand in how children perceive them too where many do not see them as educational tools but communication devices. The communication aspect is a great bonus for collaboration and sharing but what about all the other powerful tools that are embeded into a mobile phone that our children do not know how to use! This is why I have embarked on teaching primary children how to use their mobile phones constructively. This is the starting point in my book then I can prove to teachers that mobiles are portable learning devices.

tialkhan said...

Well I don't belong to the kindda profession that can have capacity of arguing but I do certainly feel that orientation of the technology might usher new developments on us in this field..