2012 Mobile Learning Conference is undergoing in Phoenix, Arizona, the official conference session description was: “This workshop will offer a hands-on opportunity for teachers with no prior programming experience to learn how to develop a working mobile app for the iPhone/iPod touch that is suitable for publishing to the iTunes App Store. Participants will also learn about a number of non-programming mobile app authoring tools that can be used in the classroom by students to create their own applications as well.”
Creative educators are always finding ways to leverage current technologies to facilitate authentic learning for students, and for teacher professional development too, from free Web2.0 tools, free self-publishing tools, and now it’s App building tools. Check out these posts from Wesley Fryer for App creation (maybe more to come).
I like to highlight what learners can learn from creating Apps/games in his posts:
– user interface design
– instructional design
– media production
– game design
– critical thinking
– presentation / public speaking
– subject related content of the app / game: STEM skills
While the above keynotes are mainly for non-programming tools, you might find more information about App creation here:
The Ins and Outs of iPad Apps (from American Journalism Review) – It’s an excellent article on how to present your content in an App. The article looks at emerging best practices of news organisation apps.
What Makes a Great App (from Kirkus Reviews) – This article explores the features of a good book app that enhances reading and connects with its target group.
As for the availability of smartphones in US, this is a graph from Statista titled “Smartphones are taking over”, no matter there is a 1-to-1 program in the classroom, smartphones are taking over.
How important is mobile learning in these days? PEW Internet Study from 2009 shows that 75% of teens in every demographic group is using cell phones. Take a look at another infographic below provided by mobile social entertainment company Fun Mobility, titled “Generation OMG: How Teens Use Mobile Devices”. The data was gathered from both Neilsen’s December 2011 report: “New Mobile Obsession: U.S. Teens Triple Data Usage” and FunMobility’s real time survey of users on their Mobile Engagement Platform. For the latter, over 10,000 respondents were surveyed between November 2011 and February 2012.
The top four things people do on their mobile devices are: send text message or chat, download applications, play games, and browse the Internet. As you can expect, to gamify learning and engage learners, mobile learning is one of the indispensable parts!