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Not even one decade ago, educators considered cell phones and laptops a most egregious classroom distraction. These days, though, many tech-savvy teachers actively try to incorporate them into engaging lessons rather than snatching them away. While tablets, smartphones, and other mobile computing devices have yet to enjoy universal implementation, many in the business adore exploring emerging technologies to unlock their full potential as learning tools. Such as these folks, listed in no particular order!

  1. MOBL21:MOBL21 reaches out to students, teachers, and institutions with its platform allowing users to whip up small lessons for learning on the go. Downloadable flashcards, quizzes, and other helpers are accessible through iDevices, laptops and desktops, Androids, and Blackberries.
  2. The Mobile Learning Edge:A companion piece to Gary Woodill’s book The Mobile Learning Edge, this blog proffers advice about effectively utilizing and drawing up m-learning strategies. Stop by for reports on the latest research as well as information about the author’s consulting and speaking fees.
  3. Mobile Industry Review:While not exclusively about m-learning, any educators hoping to incorporate its tenets into the classroom still might find plenty to love and appreciate here. After all, staying on top of the latest technology can only help enhance and refine the overall experience.
  4. Tribal Labs:The team at Tribal Labs embraces technology’s potential outside the education industry, but still devotes a considerable amount of its resources on teaching. It’s well worth a follow, and offers up a nice, broad look at the role computing plays in helping humanity keep its concepts moving forward.
  5. Ignatia Webs:Explore intersections between social media and mobile learning at Ignatia Webs, one of the Internet’s more active, detailed dissections on the subject. Inge de Waard’s expert advice and opinions on getting the most out of the available technologies when teaching and keeping everything organized.
  6. Float Mobile Learning:Float provides consulting and information to developers, teachers, and schools hoping to soak up more about what mobile technology provides the education industry. Their blog not only sheds a right fair amount of light on the m-learning movement, but discusses the super neat apps and developments they’ve made via partnerships.
  7. The M-Learning Revolution Blog:RJ Jacquez offers up a podcast and blog absolutely brimming with mobile learning and education technology content. As a former Adobe and Macromedia “evangelist,” he now turns his attentions towards consulting fellow gadget geeks about what smartphones, tablets, and the like can do for their students.
  8. Spectronics Blog:Accessibility for a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional abilities remains a concern for m-learning adherents, and the Apps and Mobile Learning section of Spectronics’ massive blog addresses the issue directly. Consider it necessary reading, because no learner deserves to be left behind when it comes to infusing technology into daily lessons.
  9. mLearnopedia:This blog aggregates the best stories about mobile learning news, reviews, opinions, and developments from around the web. For the more time-strapped educators out there, the formatting may prove something of a godsend.
  10. From Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning:Exactly what it says on the tin; stop here for in-depth explorations of how the education system has taken advantage of mobile technology when teaching students. Advice about what apps to try abounds, as do tutorials and lesson plans for the plugged-in classroom.
  11. MobileActive.org:Rather than a traditional classroom, the bloggers over at MobileActive.org focus on the role mobile technology plays in a different sort of education altogether – social justice. Learn all about how 21st century innovators teach the world about serious issues and harness mobile technology to instigate positive change.
  12. Marc Prensky’s Weblog:Futurist and gamification enthusiast Marc Prensky’s official corner of the web explodes with insight regarding mobile learning and other edtech initiatives. And with archives dating all the way back to 2003, the sheer magnitude of changes and possibilities presented proves absolutely riveting reading.
  13. DMLcentral:The Digital Media and Research Learning Hub involves more than just m-learning, but certainly doesn’t ignore its considerable impact on education. The blog makes for an excellent, broad glimpse at how technology has shaped, is shaping, and will shape learning and ought to be bookmarked for tips regarding mobile devices.
  14. uLearning Blog:Ultimately, Jonathan Nalder at the uLearning Blog hopes to see universal implementation of mobile learning strategies over time, and even wrote about his philosophies as part of his master’s thesis. Consider his musings an excellent way to watch the history of technology, education, and their intersections evolve.
  15. The Mobile Learner:It’s all mobile learning, all the time, courtesy of the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s vice president. Both students and teachers receive equal coverage here, with detailed information regarding research and recommended apps, devices, and strategies.
  16. Cooney Center Blog:Sesame Workshop runs the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, whose educational goals revolve around finding creative uses for new and digital media that will get kids more engaged in the learning process. Although not exclusively about mobile devices, its views on that plus gamification still cook up nourishing food for thought regarding technology in the classroom and beyond.
  17. Ubiquitous Thoughts:Mobile learning and the importance of information and digital literacy merge at this popular read about the seemingly limitless educational possibilities portable computers possess. Be sure to check out the publications list for detailed information about creative ways mobile technology has entranced students of all ages.
  18. Learning in Hand:No matter the mobile device, the Learning in Hand blog provides tips and tricks for effectively utilizing them in an educational setting. There’s even an entire section devoted to browsing and posting podcasts by students and teachers alike!
  19. Upside Learning Blog:The folks at Upside Learning don’t blog about mobile learning alone, but it makes up the bulk of their content. Most of their education focus comes from their experiences training outsourced employees, and the advice applies to multiple learning arenas.
  20. eLearning Blog Don’t Waste Your Time:M-learning, blogging, e-learning, and other edtech stylings converge at David Hopkins’ blog, where their applications to higher education receive a thorough inquiry. Make sure to check out the rest of the site, with information about conferences and apps, as well!

    Source: Online Colleges

Schools are working hard to provide their students with technology-enhanced learning, but at the moment they’re falling short. CDW•G’s 2011 21st Century Classroom Report found that 86 percent of students use technology more outside of school than they do in class. A major reason is access. Although many schools provide notebook carts and computer labs, students often have to leave the classroom and go to another part of the school to use a computer or share time with other students.

A “bring your own device” (BYOD) initiative overcomes this access hurdle, much as one-to-one computing programs do, but without the capital costs associated with purchasing the technology or the need to refresh, support and train users. With BYOD, students are responsible for figuring out and fixing their own devices.

Schools that have embraced BYOD are enjoying other benefits as well:

Schools meet students’ “digital expectations.” The current generation of students has grown up with technology and want to use it in every aspect of their daily lives — including school. They have an expectation that the same technology they use at home will be available at school.

Schools invested heavily in classroom and mobile learning technologies recognize this demand and are trying to meet it. Unfortunately, it’s not happening everywhere, as the 21st Century Classroom Report reveals: Just 39 percent of high school students said that their school is currently meeting their technology expectations.

Student participation increases. Students like using their personal devices, so they become engaged in whatever it is that they’re doing with them — including classwork, which becomes even more interactive when everyone has access to technology. Unlike a school-provided device, the personal device (and the desire to continue using it) goes home with the student. In this way, BYOD enables and fosters 24×7 learning.

Student collaboration and communication increases. According to the21st Century Classroom Report, 59 percent of students use technology to communicate with other students and 14 percent use it to communicate with teachers — but just 23 percent leverage its potential for collaboration.

A BYOD initiative, paired with the development of web-based learning management systems, class-specific social networking spaces and academic applications, can provide students with far greater opportunities to interact virtually with teachers, study with online tutors and work with other students on assignments, projects and content creation.

The digital divide is reduced. Instead of spending dollars to buy redundant learning devices for students who already own such tools, school IT departments can invest that money in devices for students who lack their own.

Source: ED Tech

A great post from Techcrunch about how tablets are beginning to replace laptops for everyday use.

Apple’s latest iPad spot demonstrates that tablets have general purpose computing strengths that have never been exhibited by laptops.

Laptops have had decades in the spotlight as our portable computers of choice and were on their way to eradicating desktop machines before tablets came along. But they’ve never managed to exhibit the flexibility of purpose that tablets can.

Apple’s spot presents examples of people using iPads in various real world situations, which is a note they’ve struck before. But this particular spot focuses not just on the things that people are doing with iPads, but specifically things that would be cumbersome, irritating or impossible with a laptop.

It’s a brilliant rotation of the argument that tablets can’t be ‘seriously’ used to create.

In many ways this is the realization of the dream for the original ‘tablet computers’ of Microsoft — something you can view with more or less irony depending on what chances you give the company of succeeding in a crowded space.

It’s not that you can’t use a laptop to do any of these things. I’ve used a laptop as a tethered shooting companion for photography for years now. Seeing instant feedback as I shoot speeds up the process and makes editing faster, it’s great. But I’ve never wanted to use a laptop. They’re bulky, they’re not the right form factor and they’re not optimized for easy one-handed operation (not counting the one you hold them with, thank you). And some of these cases, like diving, present an impossible challenge for laptops. They’re simply not the right tool for a lot of jobs.

And I think that more of the jobs laptops aren’t any good at are becoming part of our lives every day.

It’s not as if laptops (or desktops) are going to go away over night, but they’re definitely going to fade in importance as new general purpose computers like the tablet and smartphone grow bolder. And they’ll work in concert to allow us to do stuff better — I wrote this piece on a combination of phone, tablet and computer as I’ve been traveling.

There will always be things that will be accomplished more efficiently with a dedicated keyboard and a device that allows us to perform several tasks ‘simultaneously’. But neither of those are sacred cows limited to laptops. If you pull the thread a bit technology-wise it’s not hard to see machines that run off of the power of our phones or tablets without having to have dedicated CPUs. Just flip open your display and keyboard and start typing, with your pocket computer doing the calculations.

Read the full article at Techcrunch.

TheLMSapp allows you to connect to your LMS within a unified environment. The goal is to be able to use the same client application to connect to any of the supported LMSs. In order to achieve that we had to put a lot of effort to simplify the way users navigate around the app.

Sidebar for easy menu access

All menu items are easily accessible within the sidebar. That allows for a clean UI that focuses on each screen’s main content. From the sidebar menu you have easy access to your available courses, your profile, messages, announcements, grades and the calendar.

Quick navigation button

After you have logged in to your LMS you can find the quick navigation button located at the bottom left corner. It is always visible and allows you to move between the main screen and the LMS screen, go one step back or return to the main LMS screen.

Get TheLMSapp

Download TheLMSapp from the App Store and connect to the default LMS installation (TheLMSapp LMS). You can browse through available info about the app and courses and you can register a new account for free that will give you immediate access to available courses. If you want to connect TheLMSapp to your LMS sign up for the beta testing.

Now you can download and install TheLMSapp plugin to your moodle installation and make it accessible from TheLMSapp for iPad.

TheLMSapp puts an entire Learning Management System (LMS) at your fingertips. You no longer need to open a desktop or a laptop computer to access elearning courses, your elearning schedule or check forums and messages you exchange with your tutor or your fellow students.

TheLMSapp consists of two functional modules:

(1) TheLMSapp plugin, which is LMS specific, and is installed as a plugin in an LMS installation and

(2) TheLMSapp client application for tablet devices, which is LMS agnostic, and can be downloaded from the App Store/Google Play/Microsoft Marketplace.

Now, moodle administrators can install TheLMSapp plugin in order to make their LMS accessible from the client app. When the user opens the client application for the first time he/she can select in which of the available LMSs wants to connect. Upon successful connection the user can access all LMS functionality (courses, messages, calendar and so on) within TheLMSapp.

to download the plugin and make your moodle LMS accessible from TheLMSapp for iPad

TheLMSapp puts an entire Learning Management System (LMS) at your fingertips, eliminating the need for a desktop or a laptop computer. TheLMSapp is expanding the elearning experience both inside and outside the classroom. Students can track their assignments, take notes, and study. Tutors can give lessons, monitor progress, and stay organized.

Remember when film projectors and PowerPoint presentations were considered cutting-edge in the classroom? As modern technology advances, so does innovation in schools across all levels.

In fact, about 91% of teachers in the U.S. have access to computers in the classrooms, according to data highlighted in a new infographic by Australian-based online course company Open Colleges. Mobile technology is also finding its place in education.

About 81% of teachers believe tablets enrich classroom learning, and one in five students have used a mobile app to keep coursework organized.

Meanwhile, six in 10 students have used a digital textbook, up from just four in 10 in 2011. As these trends continue, e-textbooks are expected to make up 11% of textbook revenue by 2013. Staying connected is top of mind at many U.S. universities — about 51% said they viewed wireless upgrades as a tech priority in 2011 and 2012.

Not surprisingly, research has shown that embracing technology in the classroom is helping the learning process. For example, teachers that integrated digital games into lessons increased average test scores by 91.5% compared to traditional non-digital games (79.1%).

Although college professors are more likely to use social media for coursework (80%), about 29% of all teachers embrace the medium. Students (40%) are on board with using social media to help with their education.

Source: Mashable