Learning with Handheld Technologies Handbook

5 01 2007

Futurelab, a non-profit U.K. based organisation, who previously published one of the best literature reviews of mobile learning, have now published a handbook of recommendations for mobile learning approaches – including implementation ideas and case studies.

Tony Vincent of the Learning in Hand blog cited the key reccomendations of the report, based on two years of research from the University of Bristol:

  • There should be an authentic purpose with clear learning goals.
  • It is harder and takes more time to manage a small set of devices than it is to manage models of use where each learner “owns” the device.
  • Professional development is very important. A collaborative community of practice that involves the whole school will help embed handheld technologies in the curriculum.
  • Wireless internet connectivity is preferred because it makes the devices much more useful.
  • Schools need to figure out long term storage of students’ data as they will produce so much work it won’t all fit on the devices.
  • Spare devices should be on-hand for quick replacement of broken units.
  • Teaching styles must accommodate personal ownership of learning.
  • Successful projects used handhelds for accessing content and for producing projects.
  • Adoption of handhelds goes smoothly when integrated with with existing technologies like interactive whiteboards, software, and data projectors.

Handheld Handbook

The findings and recommendations of the report are well researched and though out, and align with the latest thinking in mobile learning.

This is essential reading for educators considering implementing mobile learning approaches in schools, as well as those already involved with mobile learning Europe has done more research into mobile learning than the rest of the world combined, through projects such as MobiLearn, worth about 15 million Euro (AU$40 million) over the last few years, and Futurelab has done a great deal to help share expertise throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

An HTML version of the guide can be viewed here; a PDF can be downloaded here; or you can even request a free hard copy of the 35 page report.

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