Smartphones in the Classroom

From Mick Landmann:

image of a qr code

Scan to play the game

As the penetration of smartphones and all things mobile into our lives continues exponentially (In 2011, according to Stanley Morgan, the combined shipments of smartphones and tablet computers are forecast to exceed those of personal computers), the use of those devices for teaching and learning within and without our schools is not keeping pace.

However, we at Digital Education Brighton (DEB) are doing our bit to encourage and support the use of these devices for education. At our inaugural meeting (June 2011), we established a project team to start working with teachers in schools specifically utilising pupils own smartphones in lessons. On the eve of our next monthly meeting to be held at the impressive Crew Club at Whitehawk.

I am happy to be able to report that we now have three projects, two with local schools and one with the Self Managed Learning Centre, that will be up and running very early in the new year (2012).

The first of these projects that starts next week is to look at some community projects pupils at Blatchington Mill school are involved in with a view to establishing how they might utilise QR codes. A QR Code (it stands for “Quick Response”) is a cell phone readable bar code that can store website URL’s, plain text, phone numbers, email addresses and pretty much any other alphanumeric data.

Sue Korman and I will be holding a preliminary session with the pupils involved next week (12th Dec) to explain the project and start generating some ideas. The full project will then commence on 16th January 2012. If you scan the QR code at the top of this blog post you will be taken to a little game.

The second project is with a school in Hassocks. We will be working with an art teacher and two of her classes to encourage the pupils to use their smartphones in class and elsewhere to record their work and each create a sort of e-portfolio. The project will make use of smartphone capabilities to record video, take photographs, record audio etc..

I have met the teacher involved (who lives in Brighton) and will be meeting her again before the end of the year with a view to kicking off the project proper as soon as possible in the new year.

The third project is with a young woman who attends the Self Managed Learning Centre at Brighton Youth Centre on Edward Street and wants to develop her photography skills.  The idea is to undertake a project that is specifically about mobile and taking photo’s ‘on the go’ explicitly with a mobile phone. Because the young woman in question does not own an appropriate smartphone for the project we will be loaning her one from the ‘Smartphone repository’ that is being administered for DEB by Wired Sussex.