Random Thoughts on Instructional Design
In this session, Faculty from the University of Maryland spoke about how they integrated the use of mobile devices into their courses. They outlined a number of initial goals for the mobility initiative but focused on three.
The institution did attempt to engage in a campus wide mobile initiative. While interest started out high and weekly orientations/activities were provided to support and engage the participants, students did not follow through with their participation. I believe the statement made was that of the 200 students who started the project only 15 were in attendance at the last session. While the numbers in my statement may not be correct, it is clear that student interest waned. It is important to note that a survey of the student population at the institution revealed that only 50% of the individuals owned a smart phone.
University of Maryland held a summer institute during which 10 faculty fellows received devices (or funds for the device if they already had one). The goal was for the faculty fellows to integrate these technologies into their teaching practice.
A survey on the role of the iPad in the student life resulted in 1/3 of the students using the iPad as a laptop replacement; 1/3 of the students, mostly from engineering and computational fields, found that it couldn’t function for their purposes; and 1/3 of the students didn’t have feelings either way.
Interesting note made during the session. Alan Kay, in 1968 proposed “a children’s computer” called the Dynabook. Reviewing the video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r36NNGzNvjo) you’ll see it looks very much like the iPad today.
Some considerations regarding providing such technology to students and having them use Apps include:
While it was noted that iPads and mobile devices are a great way to engage students, there was little if any message as to how these devices assist the faculty. This theme was missing through out all of the conversations for the use of mobile technology. What’s the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) for the faculty member?