Mobile Phones, Mobile Minds

I came across a video “Mobile phones, mobile minds” produced by Teachers TV on Google video. Though the video is quite long (about 27 minutes), it is interesting and educational. The video looks at the world of young people with mobile phones, and the impact on schools and education. It brings up a hot topic that is widely discussed by educators throughout the world.

Today, we have entered an era in which mobile technology is fundamentally changing our culture and impacting every aspect of our lives, including education and training. More than 1.5 billion mobile phones are used in the world today, with a half a billion new ones sold every year. This is more than three times the number of personal computers (PCs), and today’s most sophisticated cell phones have the computing power of a mid-1990’s PC. So, the mobile education revolution is finally here. Over 90% of college students now own a cell phone. Despite what some may consider cell phones’ limitations, students are already inventing ways to use their phones to learn what they want to know. Personally, I think cell phones have tremendous potentials in education and training. Instructional content and learning materials can be delivered in way that fits into learners’ cell phones – their digital lives. Learners are able to benefit from the vast amounts of cell phone-based learning – “Learning on the Go.” However, some K-12 schools are still banning the use of cell phones in schools. Should a cell phone be considered a mobile device for learning?

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About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
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10 Responses to Mobile Phones, Mobile Minds

  1. houbin fang says:

    This video is really interesting and educational. As technology natives, the young people are better at new technology than their parents. I think the educators are more familiar with the situation that how young people learn, use, and play with new technologies because they spend a lot of time with kids. They have mobile minds because they are in a mobile world. Mobile devices such as mobile phone can offer them more choices than a normal phone. For example, Mobile game is a video game that played not only on a mobile phone, but also can be played on a Smartphone, PDA, handheld computer or any type of handheld or wireless device. This is more powerful and unbelievable to their parents who are so called technology immigration.
    In fact, mobile phone is not very new any more. The mobile phone or mobile, also called a cellular phone, cell phone, or cell, is a long-range, portable electronic device used for mobile communication. It is from traditional phone that we are using now days. But the newest mobile phone has more function that we are not familiar any more. New functions as such: SMS for text messaging, email, packet switching for accessing to the internet, and MMS for sending and receiving audio, video and graphics. Furthermore, as Dr. Yuen already created for this class – website for these kinds of mobile devices – so called cell sites.
    Ok, some people may think: “Well, I am not behind the Time yet, because I know all these stuff now.” I just want to say that every body will be behind the time and called some-immigration unless the keep learning. Lifelong learning is behind the time now, some people are talking about the lifelong learning habit. Year, learning should be a habit and should be lifelong now!

  2. guoqiangcui says:

    Mobile phone usage in educational field is no longer is new term or phrase to anyone. We are having the hot discussion these days about the usage of the mobile devices, especially the cell phone usage in education.

    Actually the more I read, write and discuss about this issue, the more confident I am towards the usage of cell phone is education. The trend of using cell phone is something that you can not stop. As the figure stated in the video and in the passage, there are so many people using the cell phones that we should find out one way to guide the cell phone usage in a meaningful and useful way. Since the digital natives are so eager and familiar with the new technology, we need to make use of their eagerness and passion in the digital things and combine it in the education. The cell phone usage in education and learning will provide learners a brand new way; offer them a new horizon and opportunity to learn. The fears and worries towards the future cell phone usage are quite understandable, but the educators should also figure out one way to best minimize the harm of the cell phone usage like the distractions. Only in this way, the mobile phones can be best integrated with the mobile minds.

  3. Tim Bryant says:

    The kids are going to have the cell phone, and most mothers and fathers don’t want them to give it up. I know that there is a balancing act between wanting my child to have their phone with them, and having them not interrupt whatever is going on. We have to teach them the etiquette for cell phone use, but taking them away can also be a safety issue. What if a teacher takes up a cell phone, and the child is abducted later that same day?

    I can see teachers being creative with the use of their cell phones. Texting homework assignments out to their class, or using it for a quick quiz in class. I have used it myself with my kids texting them a quick question from some assignment that they are supposed to be memorizing. What needs to happen at this point is that those in education need to go to the cell phone manufacturers and tell them what they want. If they know that the cell phone will start being used as an educational took, they will likely sit up and take notice and start working with teachers to improve the software to allow students to use their cell phone in new ways.

    I can see it now, “Class, will you please open your mobile website and click on 1863, today we will be studying the Gettysburg Address.” Hey, it might not be that far away, who would have thought we would be as far along as we are now back when cell phones came in bags and you had to be Donald Trump to afford one.

  4. Pingback: Mobile Phones and Learning (Another Round Up) « Ubiquitous Thoughts

  5. Nice level of information here. There is so much data around about this subject that sometimes you cannot see the wood for the trees but you have pitched this at just the right level so that the lay person can understand – thank you!

  6. Jacquelyn Johnston says:

    I agree that cell phones have a tremendous potential in teaching and learning. Actually, I am in the market for a new phone since I forgot to take mine out of my back pocket before I washed my jeans. My new phone will have Internet capability. My own children, in their early twenties have had this access for a couple of years now. In fact just today my son, a junior in college, was telling me about a Civil War officer that he was trying to identify as part of a history class assignment. He planned to take a picture of the officer with his phone and send it to me by way of his phone. Clearly, using cell phones for acquiring knowledge is integrated in his way of learning. However, cell phones are banned from the high school he attended. They are banned from use during schools hours at the school where I teach, yet I am seeing more and more teacher using them. Could it be that they are considered computers? Maybe they are using them for teaching and learning and on the other hand they could be taking advantage of the school system with their usage. A computer in every pocket sounds like a smart idea to me. Many elementary students already have their own cell phone. It is not uncommon for students to tell me about the new cell phone that they received for their birthday. This very student may not have access to desk or lap top computer at home. This is very interesting and has potential for changing how we teach. As educators we need to understand that technology is changing learning. It would certainly be doing our students a disservice for example, if a teacher was written up for using a cell phone for media and research while engaged in an outdoor science investigation with students. I think that a cell phone should be considered a mobile device for learning.

  7. Patrick Chiang says:

    我在看過老師的這些文章裡,終於在這篇文章所提供的影片當中,找到一些論點想法和我相接近的人,特別是在影片的第22分鐘初左右的訪問提到,不論科技如何的發展,學生還是需要具備聽、說、讀寫等這些基本能力,因此老師們並不需要擔心是不是不會電腦就沒有資格教書。

    既然學生會花這麼多的時間在使用手機上,老師何不利用這樣子的習慣,讓他們也可以知道使用手機也可以是在學習。如果說學生一天會使用2個小時在手機的話,何不設計出需要花半個小時的時間的功課,相對也就會縮短他們用手機傳訊或聊天的時間,這也算是一舉兩得。

  8. Patrick Chiang says:

    我在看過老師的這些文章裡,終於在這篇文章所提供的影片當中,找到一些論點想法和我相接近的人,特別是在影片的第22分鐘初左右的訪問提到,不論科技如何的發展,學生還是需要具備聽、說、讀寫等這些基本能力,因此老師們並不需要擔心是不是不會電腦就沒有資格教書。

    既然學生會花這麼多的時間在使用手機上,老師何不利用這樣子的習慣,讓他們也可以知道使用手機也可以是在學習。如果說學生一天會使用2個小時在手機的話,何不設計出需要花半個小時的時間的功課,相對也就會縮短他們用手機傳訊或聊天的時間,這也算是一舉兩得。

  9. vivi says:

    我同意Patrick 所說的,老師可以利用學生目前的興趣與專注的焦點,加入巧思變成自己教學的一部分以及營造自己教學的氛圍,很多實驗中的學校運用PDA將活動的過程記錄在裡面,利用PBL的教學將小組互動與討論的結果很快速且及時的呈現,如果將手機現有的功能例如:簡訊.藍芽分享照片..等等,換個方式的在學生討論與互動的過程中使用,我想學生應該也會比傳統教學來得興致勃勃吧!

    我覺得老師是不用擔心自己會沒有工作這件事,畢竟教育不是只有資訊的傳遞而已,我們要擔心的是我們有沒有不斷的更新自己的教學技巧還有進修科技相關的內容,可以幫助我們在科技融入教育中更得心應手,至少不要被學生問倒…那不是很糗?網路上太多新鮮資訊還有科技軟體,以學生的好奇心實在是很容易就追過我們這些記憶體老舊的教師,當科技越來越發達,我們也要思考我們自身的能力有沒有跟著社會的腳步在進步著…長江後浪推前浪啊!呵呵~

  10. vivi says:

    我同意Patrick 所說的,老師可以利用學生目前的興趣與專注的焦點,加入巧思變成自己教學的一部分以及營造自己教學的氛圍,很多實驗中的學校運用PDA將活動的過程記錄在裡面,利用PBL的教學將小組互動與討論的結果很快速且及時的呈現,如果將手機現有的功能例如:簡訊.藍芽分享照片..等等,換個方式的在學生討論與互動的過程中使用,我想學生應該也會比傳統教學來得興致勃勃吧!

    我覺得老師是不用擔心自己會沒有工作這件事,畢竟教育不是只有資訊的傳遞而已,我們要擔心的是我們有沒有不斷的更新自己的教學技巧還有進修科技相關的內容,可以幫助我們在科技融入教育中更得心應手,至少不要被學生問倒…那不是很糗?網路上太多新鮮資訊還有科技軟體,以學生的好奇心實在是很容易就追過我們這些記憶體老舊的教師,當科技越來越發達,我們也要思考我們自身的能力有沒有跟著社會的腳步在進步著…長江後浪推前浪啊!呵呵~

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