Mobile devices – unlocking student potential!

This summer I entered the world of the mobile device. All I can say is, ‘Wow! This has been predicted as one of the technology trends to watch, according to the 2010 Horizon Report, k12 Edition. You can download the report here.
This is what they write about mobile devices.
“Mobiles represent an untapped resource for reaching students and for bridging the gap between the learning that happens in school and the learning that happens out in the world.”
The 2010 Horizon Report, K12 Edition, Page 7
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It’s the ‘…untapped resource for reaching students…’ that has my wheels spinning. I’ve got a Samsung GT 15800 and it’s amazing to suddenly have the online world at my finger tips, when ever I need it.
I’m sure I’ll be posting regularly about my new mobility but here is one application that I’ve been enjoying over the holidays – Google’s My Tracks app for android.
The video below, by Google, explains how to works a lot better than I could but, in a nut shell, it records your outdoor activity using GPS and transfers the data (using bluetooth) into your google apps account – mymaps and google docs. Here’s a map from my run this afternoon, with the altitude chart) and the google docs graph I can create using the data (this chart shown is comparing the average running speed) to the right.
Talk about motivation. Now I can start to compare the data from my runs over time and watch my progress. Another great feature is the ability to add information to my map using hash tags that others can search and find on google. We can discover where others are running and explore new trails – even get competitive… if that’s your style.
So, how can we use this app with our classes? One idea could be to give this to a student during our fitness run in the morning. I have a little belt bag that holds it (no I wouldn’t trust them to not drop the thing) and they could wear it, transfer the map and analyse the data. They could then repeat the process, after a few weeks of training, to see the improvement. There could even be a class incentive for improvement if a number of students improved their times and average speed.
Unlimited potential…indeed.
TOP TIP: – set your phone to flight mode before using the app. This will restrict the GPS from using any 3g capability (and draining your data) when tracking your progress. I’ve found that the GPS is incredibly accurate, even to the nearest couple of meters! Much more accurate thah when using the google maps, app…strange.

2 thoughts on “Mobile devices – unlocking student potential!

  1. Totally! There are lots of schools where this is happening.

    The funny thing though is that it's mostly parents who are holding things from moving in that direction.

    I think that is the next area to focus on for schools – community education and engagement!


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