With students bringing smartphones and tablets to campus -- and expecting to access information and course content via mobile devices -- it continues to be urgent for faculty developers and instructional technologists to explore the affordances of these devices and the opportunities for using them to enhance teaching and learning. In our past article, "Piloting Mobile Learning," we offered a review of how to pursue a pilot project effectively.
Today's article offers a brief summary of the most critical affordances of mobile devices and a showcase of examples from Boise State University's mLearning Scholars program. The program is part of the university's Mobile Learning Initiative, "a multi-year project to identify and support key uses of mobile technology that will impact the ways we teach and learn," and mLearning Scholars supports two cohorts of faculty in exploring these questions. One cohort consists of faculty making their first forays into mobile learning; the second cohort consists of faculty with some degree of fluency in mobile technologies, who are now addressing very targeted research questions.
We turned to Dale Pike, director of academic technologies at Boise State University and a lead thinker on the adoption of mobile technologies in the classroom. We asked Pike about the affordances he most wanted to direct attention to. He also offered several key examples from the mLearning Scholars program.