Summary of Learning

Final Summary of Learning

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Final Project

Thanks to reading Michelle’s blog I tried out Speaker Deck and was able to quickly embed my final project into my blog.

I am excited about seeing what the next step might be for my mobile technology project design. I think that it has some meaningful application. And even if it was only implemented on a very small level, it would be exciting to see what is the community response.

I also realized that I was able to connect this final project in a meaningful way to the problem posed in my case study earlier in the semester.

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Teaching Teachers to Utilize Mobile Learning

The potential efficacy of mobile learning in K-12 settings and beyond is a mute topic if teachers do not want to utilize this type of technology.
A Vision of K-12 Students

One way to promote teacher comfort with technology is to integrate mobile learning technologies into teacher preparation programs. Jocelyn Wishart, in her chapter Use of Mobile Technology for Teacher Training, shared how teachers were able to successfully use PDAs to reflect on their teaching practices and record student data, including video-based student work samples. Although she highlights some barriers around restrictive policies regarding the use of personal Smartphones as well as some device specific limitations, teachers report several benefits. It also makes sense that if teachers learn (teacher preparation programs and ongoing professional development)using mobile technologies than they will feel more comfortable using this technology in their own classrooms.

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Access to Communication in Schools

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Access Issues and Mobile Content Delivery

A White Paper on Mobile Content Delivery

Although a little dated (2009) this is a nice summary of key issues on mobile content delivery across mobile technologies.

Also, this video highlights how corporations are concerned with mobile content delivery. Although this is not directly applicable to education, it describes the importance of effective content delivery across devices. Some of the issues also reminded me of Kenny and Park’s study on Using Mobile Learning to Enhance the Quality of Nursing Practice Education.

*Note: This is one of many attempts to successfully embed a YouTube video in WordPress.

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More on Mobile Technologies for Students with Disabilities

Interactive visual supports for children with autism

These are comparison photos that show the difference between traditional supports and supports displayed using mobile technologies.  Displayed on the wall are individual student schedules. The smaller device in the second picture is a mobile device that makes the child’s schedule portable, more engaging and it saves considerable wall space!

Click on the article title above to access the full article.


Hayes, G. R., Hirano, S., Marcu, M. M., Nguyen, D. H. & Yeganyan, M. (2010). Interactive visual supports for children with autism. Pers Ubiquit Comput, 14, 663-680.

Nirvi, S. (2011). Special ed. pupils find learning tool in iPad applications.Education Week. 30(22), 1-17. 

This article describes several examples of iPads being used with students with disabilities. For example, in Orange County Department of Education about 100 iPads are being used by 550 students with disabilities to work on life skills within the community. The portability and social acceptability of the iPad makes it conducive to community based instruction.





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Special Education Apps






iPad iTouch Apps-for-Special-Education


This file provides an large list of apps for special education and is organized by the following categories: communication, organization, reading, writing, math, music, art, song, game and accessibility.

Sharing Timer

Sharing Timer is an affordable app ($7.99) that allows its end users to set up an engaging turn taking schedule with visual and auditory feedback. This looks like it may be age-appropriate and useful for all ages in both home and school settings. For individuals with moderate-severe disabilities such as significant intellectual disabilities and/or autism, waiting and taking turn can be challenging. Visual supports may be necessary well into adult-hood and possibly indefinitely depending on the activity. This app was developed by Handhold Adaptive, LLC. The same company also developed iPrompts. iPrompts® featured on local TV news . This app comes with a library of visuals. Custom symbols and photos can be used and costs 49.99. There are several drawbacks to this app. It currently does not support video or audio. It also was originally designed for the iPod. A second version is available for the iPad. If the iPod version is used on the iPad resolution will be lost if re-sized to fit the screen. The library of visuals vary in quality and individuals who are accustomed to other symbol libraries may not recognize some of the images in the library. Importing images needs to be done one by one and may be time consuming. The lack of audio feedback appears to be the biggest drawback as someone else will need to give a verbal cue to the individual, i.e. “When the green in gone, it is time to…..”.

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My Prezi Adventure

The title of this blog probably should be the same as my advocacy assignment, Communication Apps for Learning, however I feel like I spent an unplanned and inordinate amount of time acclimating myself to Prezi. I am happy that I invested the time and plan on using it in the future.




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A Digital World

“Conceptual leverage” is an interesting concept when thinking about how to promote digital fluency. Intel’s computer clubhouse has some great success stories that highlight students who have learned to utilize technology to create and design.

Conceptual leverage came in the form of some pre-programmed components that were utilized in ingenious ways to realize the creative visions of students, i.e. a mechanized bird feeder that documented by photograph each bird visitor. The successful project bolstered ongoing learning in engaging and personally meaningful ways. Teachers can also benefit from digital fluency in similar ways. And luckily it isn’t necessary to be a computer programmer fluent in alien computer languages like Objective-C to design a cool mobile learning tool. For example, there are some app building sites now available. For example, this is an app for a fieldtrip small group scavenger hunt built with seattleclouds.

There are a number of tools available to realize a creative digital application at a variety of levels of skill sets. Willingham encourages teachers to study video tapes of oneself teaching, the classroom and students as well as to go out and just observe children socializing with one another in order to look carefully for something that was previously unobserved. This kind of thoughtful analysis and reflection can lead to new perspectives on what is working and what is needed given the context and needs. An important thing to highlight is that innovation does not mean it is the most technologically advanced but rather that it is effectively meeting a need previously not addressed. This is a helpful perspective when considering developing nations. For example, simple cell phones (not-smart phones) can be effective mobile learning tools for literacy instruction and for distributing needed books and reading materials.

The one child per laptop (OCPL) is a more ambitious project to bring technology to children and classrooms in developing parts of the world. Some people criticize these efforts.

And argue that food, clean water and health care are more important.,2817,2227850,00.asp#fbid=ogsAYE_xuR9

Despite to child like appearance of the OCPL theft is also a major issue.

Despite the many criticisms of and challenges surrounding the OCPL Project, I personally believe that it is an important endeavor. It is helping to stimulate education and learning in very remote places for both boys and girls. Education and access to technology can help to foster young innovators and leaders in developing communities.

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QR Codes

I did a quick search on Google to see what resources came up on QR codes in education. I found a free website called:

I tried out for myself one simple application of QR codes in education. It is pretty basic but was free, fast and admittedly fun. To show you the screen shots on my Mac and iPhone, I also did a quick Google on how to take screen shots of your iPhone. If you were like me and didn’t already know this than maybe you will appreciate me sharing quickly that all you need to do is press your top button and home button at the same time for a second. Your screen will flash white and you will hear the camera sound. Anyways as you can see below it is very simple to create QR codes and copy and paste them into worksheets. Students can quickly scan to double check their answers.

Another web source is:

This site contains several resources. I found the application of QR codes to be quite endless and they seem to work nicely with hands on learning activities and even field trip based learning activities as it is an excellent way to embed all kinds of information anywhere in the learning landscape. Plus it is engaging and fun! At least that is my personal take on it. I did a mini test with my 11 and 13 year old and they also seemed more engaged and focused on the information when it appeared after scanning a code.

In the field of special education, I can see lots of potential applications. For example, during vocational training a student with disabilities could scan QR codes at different steps in their work routine to retrieve video demonstrations, photo tasks analysis or written steps to aide them in completing their job accurately. Embedding these supports in the work environment would allow individuals to work freely (i.e. would not have to carry extensive photo albums or check off sheets or other instructional materials) and access needed supports in a respectful, modern and efficient way (i.e. very discreet, flexible and age appropriate efficient way of providing needed supports).

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