Smart Phones in Education


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Smartphones in Education By Joel Bryant

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What defines a Smartphone? No official definition But widely known for: Advanced computing ability and connectivity Portable media players Camera functions High-resolution touch screens Web browsers that can access and properly display standard web pages   Wi-Fi capabilities and mobile broadband access Access to software applications with a multitude of uses

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Mobile Learning

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So Why Smartphones? They are already here Student motivation Student understanding They combine the functions of many different technologies into one Extend the learning process outside of the classroom

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They’re Here! Depending on the grade level, many students already have access to Smartphones. According to there are over 5.3 billion mobile subscribers (77 percent of the world’s population) Although the majority of these are “feature phones” and not “Smartphones” According to, in the USA, sales of Smartphones overtook feature phones in 2011, (54% -46%) Granted, most student users would be in the higher grades

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They’re Here! Benefits for Education Although not all students have access to Smartphones, many will, and as numbers project, the amount of students with access will continue to increase. As a result, it is a cheaper technology to implement Not every student must be provided with one by the school

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Student Understanding and Motivation Most students today have grown up as part of the “digital generation” They have been exposed to advanced computing technology since birth. Anya Kamenetz writes about a pair of twin girls who have been using an iPhone since they were 6 months old, and are starting to read at 18 months thanks to an app called “First Words” Students’ understanding of technology is largely inherent

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Student Understanding and Motivation Kamenetz explains that children nowadays ”don't have that barrier that technology is hard or that they can't figure it out.” (Kamenetz, 2010) Due to the interactivity of mobile devices, even students without mobile access often have an understanding of how to use the technology by learning from peers or parents. Bonus: Students love to use their phones.

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Student Understanding and Motivation Benefits for Education Many students already know how to use the technology Less instruction time wasted Students can teach each other how to use it Independent learning Students like using their phones Utilize as a positive learning tool, instead of a distraction

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Multiple Functions Smartphones can combine the functions of: Cameras Video Cameras Telephones Calculators PCs/Laptops GPS’ Audio recorders Many, many more

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Multiple Functions Benefits to Education Instead of buying Flip cameras, video cameras, laptops, calculators and various other technologies, Schools can consolidate these technologies into one: Smartphones In a world of increasing cutbacks for education, it is smart to conserve money where we can

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Learning Outside the Classroom Smartphones allow students to take their school work anywhere with them and complete it at any time. Students have busy lives! With sports, dance, clubs, lessons and a multitude of other responsibilities, students’ lives are hectic. Smartphones give students the ability to do school work on the way to the rink, or in the waiting room at the dentist.

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Learning Outside the Classroom With cloud computing technology, students can store their work online in the “cloud” They can text, skype, call, or email eachother This allows increased collaboration, and eases pressure of meeting outside of class for group projects.

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Learning Outside the Classroom Benefits for Education Work can be done anywhere at anytime Lifts restraints of limited class time Instruction can be given in podcast or video form to be accessed anywhere. Creates accountability for absent students as well as those who attend regularly. Students can work together with more ease Better collaboration and social behaviour Parents can monitor students grades and homework Students can track school events, deadlines and other important dates

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Challenges Funding Having already spent so much money on computing technology, school’s will be wary about abandoning it for Smartphones The digital divide in each class and school is different, and funding has to be allocated accordingly Teacher Education Teachers need to be taught how to use Smartphone technology to teach effectively Supervision Student access to inappropriate material is difficult to filter.

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Conclusion Although they face many difficulties in their implementation, Smartphones could potentially be the next great piece of technology to inspire real learning in our classrooms!

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Audio for Presentation I will pause speaking to allow the viewer know that we have moved on to the next slide.

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Bibliography Fearrington, C. (2011, October 8). Smartphones in Education [Web log message]. Retrieved from Kamenetz, A. (2010, April 1). A Is for App: How Smartphones, Handheld Computers Sparked an Educational Revolution. Retrieved from MobiThinking. (2011) Global mobile statistics 2011: all quality mobile marketing research, mobile Web stats, subscribers, ad revenue, usage, trends… The NPD Group, Inc. (2011) Verizon's iPhone Sales Help Make Apple the Third-Largest Mobile Phone Brand in the U.S. Retrieved from Smartphone. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 17, from

Tags: smartphones technology classroom teaching mobile learning