What are mobile technologies?
Mobile technologies include any type of technology that can be taken with you and used on the move, as opposed to fixed technologies that stay in a fixed position for use at a fixed time.
The range of mobile technologies is growing rapidly. The term ‘mobile technologies’ often refers to mobile phones and smartphones (that is, mobile phones with in-built computer functions). It also applies to laptops and notebooks, handheld computers such as PDAs and EDAs (personal and educational digital assistants), media players, digital cameras and e-book readers.
How mobile technologies are used in school
Mobile devices, such as mobile phones, can support learning across various aspects of the curriculum. For example:
• in art, pupils can compare the quality and resolution of images taken on different devices
• in citizenship, students can video and upload personal messages of support for safety campaigns
• in geography, they can investigate how topography affects mobile phone reception.
Benefits of mobile technologies
One of the big benefits of mobile technologies is being able to take equipment home to show parents.
"Twice a week your children get to bring a laptop home so that they can play and draw and record sounds on it. My son has a great time, and if he's happy then I'm happy.” Parent, Grays School
Mobile technologies have many other benefits too, including:
• supporting children’s learning in and outside the classroom
• giving children flexible access to information, resources and tools
• making learning a personal experience
• recording and sharing experiences
• carrying out joint activities with students from different schools or countries.
Mobile technologies in practice
Stow Heath Junior School uses EDAs widely. Children can send their work wirelessly to the teacher in class. A thumbnail of a document appears on the interactive whiteboard when a file is received. The teacher can then assess it, amend it, mark it, improve it and wirelessly return it to the children.
In PE, the children record their gym work and games sessions on the EDA. They self-assess their performance and look for ways to improve. Children can also take the EDA home, access their schoolwork from there and show the family what they have been learning. Video courtesy of Be Very Afraid.