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Tony Vincent on Mobile Learning

Tony Vincent on Mobile Learning

Written by Rita Sorrentino
September 13, 2010

With a variety of tools and resources always available, mobile learning provides increased options for the personalization of learning. Mobile learning in classrooms often has students working interdependently, in groups, or individually to solve problems, to work on projects, to meet individual needs, and to allow for student voice and choice. With access to so much content anytime and anywhere, there are plenty of opportunities for formal and informal learning, both inside and outside the classroom.

The above quote is from “Mobile Learning: Using Tools at Hand” by guest blogger, Tony Vincent on the Arizona K-12 Center Technology Blog. As a mobile-minded advocate for using handhelds in the classroom, Tony Vincent believes that these devices provide learning opportunities connecting students with tools, resources and content anywhere, anytime. Although Tony doesn’t discuss the challenges that result in some schools banning these devices, he lists the benefits for the students in schools that are embracing this powerful technology. Whatever the case, he asserts that mobile tools are here to stay. Their use in and out of school equips learners with applications and content providing opportunities to connect, create and communicate.

On his own website, Learning in Hand, Tony provides an in depth look at the popularity and potential of portable computing. Tony has put together resources informing teachers about using PDA’s, iPods, iPhones, iPads, and netbooks in their classes. These handhelds are familiar to many students and fairly simple to use. Tony has observed that students using them will spend more time focused on the task at hand. For each of these devices, Tony’s website offers a blog post, a review of applications, tips and tricks, and more.

In the Podcasting section of this website, Tony encourages teachers and students to take advantage of the educational benefits of podcasting. A podcast is a series of audio or video content that students create and upload to the web to share with a worldwide audience. In creating a podcast. students engage in 21st Century skills across all areas of the curriculum. Likewise, podcast episodes can be downloaded to mobile deices as well as laptops and desktop computers giving students opportunities to use them both in and out of the classroom.

Tony has divided the podcast page into sections with detailed descriptions for Finding, Subscribing, Listening, and Creating podcasts. A free PDF booklet, Podcasting for Teachers & Students is available here focusing on free and cross-platform software. “I tried to make the directions clear and simple so teachers and students can focus on communications their messages.”

An ongoing project that Tony supports is “Our City,” a podcast for kids by kids. Tony invites students from around the world to submit a recording about their city so others can learn about the places they call home. A location map and links to explore provide further information about each city episode.

In the area of mobile learning, new apps and new opportunitites are mounting. The related links below provide additional resources for keeping up to date on teaching and learning with tools at hand.

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