Intellectual Output 3.1 : Lesson Plans using mobile devices
Mobile devices are commonly used across the globe by people of all ages1. So why not benefit from the popularity of such devices and the enthusiasm with which they are adopted by young people to introduce them in classes? It is also not unlikely for students to reach for educational applications at their homes, after school (Wexler, 2008; Kukulska-Hulme, 2012), attempting to develop theirs’ or their family’s interests.
In today’s world, within developing modern societies, the use of multimedia applications and mobile devices during lessons has proven to be a vital tool to involve students and encourage them to study (Kukulska-Hulme, 2012; Attewell, Savill-Smith, 2014). These give students opportunity to work individually, cooperate and exchange information, developing their creativity and collaboration skills. Students also have the chance to explore areas of science which are not always available through traditional educational equipment (Pegrum, Oakley, Faulkner, 2013). Evidence further shows that multimedia applications may be used to teach a wide variety of school subjects at different levels of education (Traxler, 2005; Gee, 2010; Kukulska-Hulme, 2012).
Similarly, teachers who decide to use mobile applications during their lessons have access to a wide spectrum of possibilities. There are new apps under development all the time, and these may be combined in a number of ways. In this context, teachers assume a tutorial role, more related to the organization and management of the class. As such, mobile learning may not only be an attractive way for young people to gain new knowledge, as it could undoubtedly bring them benefits on different fields of their present and future lives (Kukulska-Hulme, 2012; Pegrum et al, 2013).
This guide constitutes a reference for the introduction of mobile learning and mobile devices in daily classes. It was developed for lesson plans in which the mobile devices are integrated as a means of explicit teaching. The need for this intellectual product is determined both by the peculiarities of using mobile devices during class hours, and the desire to reach those interested in creating and consulting a complete manual. At present, the scientific literature pays little attention to the peculiarities of lessons involving the use of these devices, the advantages it involves and the dangers to be avoided.
Each of the partners involved in this project contributed to this output. Two lesson projects were selected from each school, from teachers participating in the activities of the project, according to peer-review performed by colleagues. University of Minho provided specialized consultancy and advice, in relation to the scientific and pedagogical materials included. This ebook includes a brief overview of mobile devices that can be used in lessons; features of lessons using these devices; suggested forms used to develop lesson plans that include mobile devices; online platforms that can be used for creating, finding and using the these lesson plans; examples of lesson plans developed under the project.
The first section explains the guide’s structure and how the information it contains may be applied in teacher’s pedagogical practice. The following section presents 12 examples of lesson plans, comprehending a diversity of disciplines, pedagogical approaches, mobile devices and online platforms. A last segment compiles a series of testimonies from the teachers involved in this work. This final section expresses teachers’ voices, experiences and perceived advantages and disadvantages of letting mobile devices enter their classrooms.
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