Whether it’s something you get at the start of a new school year, or a perhaps a present for your birthday or Christmas – if you have a new smartphone, tablet or laptop the following may provide suggestions which may be helpful to you.
1. All Falkirk pupils and education staff are entitled to FREE Microsoft Office for use at home and on mobile devices – this works on all mobile devices and PCs (on multiple devices per person) – the following link describes how to get it:
2. Keeping safe – the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Centre has provided links to how-to guides from mobile device manufacturers to steps to keeping safe with a mobile device https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices as well as 5 Simple Steps everyone can take to help provide protection for users https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/staying-smart-with-your-christmas-gadgets.
3. The BBC OwnIT app has been designed to help keep children safe online. Please consider sharing this with parents/carers using Twitter, a school newsletter and on the school website – click here for a link to @BBC_Teach Twitter video from Prince William explaining about the app
Here’s a link to more information about the app on the BBC website: https://www.bbc.com/ownit/take-control/own-it-app
Mobile Learning – CLPL Workshop – Resource. If your school is looking to introduce all staff to embedding the use of mobile devices to support learning and teaching in your school then there is a guide available which could be useful as the basis for a Career-Long Professional learning session with all staff. This is available from the Digital Learning Community site (supported by Scottish Government and Education Scotland).
The aim of this resource is to improve the understanding of approaches to mobile learning. The guide itself is aimed at whoever might be leading the session with colleagues, perhaps in a training role, and provides a scripted framework and resources (including a PowerPoint presentation) both of which can be adapted to local need) ready to use for a 2-hour workshop for practitioners that allows for a high level of discussion and interaction.
Use Voice Dictation to save time on an Android, iPhone or iPad – built in to mobile devices is the facility to use a dictation tool so that, simply by speaking into the device’s microphone, your spoken words are transcribed into text in any application where text can be entered.
This can be helpful for learners at any stage, perhaps struggling or reluctant writers or where the mechanics of typing can restrict the flow of ideas. Additionally teachers have found this can be a quicker way to provide textual feedback on work submitted by learners.
The dictation tool will work anywhere you can add text via the mobile device, such as email, word-processed document, OneNote notebook, Powerpoint presentation or form.
The link below on the How-To Geek site gives details explanations of how to set up and use the dictation facility on an Android device or iPhone of iPad.
32 augmented reality apps for the classroom – Pokémon Go is a gaming environment which for many will be a well-known popular application of augmented reality, where a mobile device camera pointed at a real environment also includes on the screen a superimposed virtual character or object moving along with the real image shown through the camera lens on screen.
But for many educators they will be looking at this and wondering about ways in which augmented reality can be used in the classroom to support learning and teaching. The TeachThought EdShelf website has a post listing 32 apps which make use of augmented reality for different purposes.
Using mobile devices to create videos – a blog by the University of Derby’s Technology Enhanced Learning Team and other practitioners to provide a step by step guide to basic video creation using mobile devices and online editing software, to help you create informative educational videos. Through a series of short videos this is divided into sections including Planning your video, Filming with your mobile device, Camera techniques, Editing, and Case study example. Each of these sections is then broken down into parts so that you would readily be able to find the information most relevant to your needs, or to work through parts in sequence, whichever you or a group of learners would find most useful.
So whether it’s instructional explainer videos or video log diary reflections this blog has advice, tips and guidance for anyone setting out to use their mobile device to create and share a video.
Transitioning into an era of mobile learning – a blogpost by Ontario educator Christina Moore setting out the case for, and the benefits to be gained by, having pupils using their own mobile devices used to support learning in the classroom. The blogpost suggests different ways in which mobile devices can be used in the classroom and also provides links to additional sources of information expanding on these ideas.
33 Interesting Ways to Use a Mobile Phone in the Classroom – a compilation of ideas for using mobile devices shared by a number of teachers and collated by Tom Barrett. These ideas suggest classroom-specific ideas for making use of the wide range of inbuilt tools on any smartphone which many learners will bring to school (whether it’s a timer, audio-recording, taking photographs or video, using a QR code scanner and so much more) all to support learning in the classroom. The ideas have been suggested by teachers and if you have an idea you’d like to share then do get in touch with Tom Barrett as his Interesting Ways series of crowd-sourced collections of ideas to use in the classroom develop when teachers share what works for them.
App Task Challenges – helpful free step-by-step sheets from Craig Badura @mrbedura and others, for downloading and printing out, to guide learners (or teachers) in the use of a number of popular mobile apps, such as Pic Collage, wordcloud creator, camera app, shadow puppet edu and many more. Each sheet guides a user through the steps to make use of an app for a specific task. And there are suggestions about how the app can be used in the curriculum
9 Steps to a successful school BYOD implementation – a blogpost by Sarah Cornelius which provides advice for schools moving to have pupils use their own devices to support their learning in the classroom. This sets out 9 steps which include ensuring that everyone understands what is hoped to be achieved and all the positive benefits which incorporating multiple types of device can bring to learning – but also recognising the challenge this poses, with suggestions as to how these challenges can best be resolved. It explains the need for everyone to have an understanding of device-neutral applications with a focus on the task to be accomplished, and users choosing the app or webtool which best meets the need specific to the user’s device. Also how helpful it is having a cloud-based platform which is common to all users – Scottish schools all have access to the range of tools and resources via Glow, providing every learner and member of staff with that cloud-based platform.
“Quit blaming the devices” is a blogpost by John Spencer which sets out a reasoned discussion about varying views by teachers starting on the journey of having their pupils using mobile devices in their classrooms.