Considering Home Learning When Doing Mobile

Many schools are going mobile or one-to-one. Schools sometimes make decisions without thinking about the full consequences such as mobile and home learning.

If schools supply mobile devices to the students, do the students take the mobile devices home? If students do not take the mobile device home, then mobile is only considered an in-school learning tool. Teachers cannot assign at home mobile work. Students can not learn 24/7.

Schools may not supply a mobile device for home because they assume that students have a mobile device at home. Do all students have the same mobile device as used in school? Do all students have an iPad? What about those with Android tablets? Chrome? Do teachers assign at home mobile work for a specific machine for a specific app? Or do teachers assign mobile tool assignments such as taking pictures, videorecording an event and reading an ebook that can be done on any mobile device? Do teachers limit those students who can do the assignment at home or do they provide for the widest base possible so that all students can do the assignment?

Likewise, teachers will want to use free apps. No student should have to pay for an app for school. An alternative is for the district to obtain a license so students can use a specific app for multiple platforms ( Android, iPads and Chrome) at school and at home.

For BYOD schools, the same basic questions apply. BYOD schools accept multiple devices; they promote including all devices. Teachers focus not on a specific app but on the learning purpose and use common tools or common apps that work on many devices. All mobile devices can search the Internet or go to Internet sites so teachers ask students to do a Google image search for the different images for a specific scene in a play and compare/contrast those images. A teacher may have students do a science experiment and use a free scientific calculator app to give them statistical results.

What has your school decided about at home learning with mobile? Does your school want to extend learning or keep it within the school?

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Harry Grover Tuttle teaches English and Spanish college courses at Onondaga Community College and blogs at Education with Technology. He is also the author of several books on formative assessment and the new ebook 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities.