Ninth grade English teacher Ashley Wilbur made history at the Howard School of Academics and Technology by becoming the first teacher in the State of Tennessee to employ mobile learning for her English class. Ms. Wilbur first began looking for learning alternatives when she realized her students had the same English texts they had used the previous year.
“I told them to close the books,” said Ms. Wilbur, “and began to look for ways to engage the students with the iPods. It was difficult to find content and know just how to get it to students in the beginning, however.”
Working in partnership with Emantras and Hamilton County Virtual School, Ms. Wilbur now uses an application called MOBL21, which enables teachers to deliver study guides, quizzes, flash cards, video and audio content to students via Apple mobile devices or any computer via the web.
“Today’s students carry the web in their pocket,” observed HCVS Coordinator Debi Crabtree, “and it is crazy not to utilize such an opportunity to push out short quizzes that can be used for formative assessments, flash cards to reinforce the major concepts of a unit of study, or guides that can be accessed anywhere, anytime to help students prepare for a test or project.”
MOBL21 provides a framework within which content can be easily created by students or teachers, extending the learning opportunity beyond traditional barriers. As a result, teachers are able to use mobile technology to complement formal courses, and make learning assets easily available to users and groups through desktop, social platforms, and iPhone / iPod Touch.
“I have created study guides for students to use to prepare for the English 9, End of Course state exam,” said Ms. Wilbur, “putting some ‘wow’ into what might otherwise be a difficult and boring task for the students.”
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