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Mobile tablets make their way into academia

Mobile AppsEvolving mobile technology makes it easier than ever for Elon faculty to engage students, but incorporating it into teaching and learning can be a challenge. Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) recently held an Experience IT session to help faculty learn how their courses can receive a multimedia boost from mobile tablet devices, such as the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy.

Lightweight mobile tablets are equipped with a variety of “apps,” mini-applications that offer endless opportunities for entertainment, news and even academics. Multimedia-packed mobile tablet apps serve as eye candy for students without much effort from instructors.

Why bother to add a mobile tablet to your classroom? According to Phillip Motley, assistant professor in the School of Communications, faculty should keep up with new technology as much as possible.

“Look what happened to Borders when they decided not to adapt to changing technology,” Motley said. “If you don’t keep up, you’ll be missing out on so much.”

Here’s a sampling of what mobile tablet apps can do for various disciplines:

  • Physics: ride a virtual roller coaster, measuring the potential and kinetic energy at each point as you go.
  • History: go through an interactive timeline, complete with audio, video and photos.
  • Biology: dissect a frog on-screen without all the mess or pick apart a human brain.
  • Science: look at a moving Periodic Table of Elements and select an element for an up-close 3D view and complete profile.
  • Communications: a recorder app makes for easy interviewing.
  • All subjects: use social media apps, like TweetDeck and HootSuite for Twitter, to keep track of out-of-class conversations, or use the Skype app to bring in a guest speaker from anywhere in the world.

Stay informed about upcoming teaching and learning events at www.elon.edu/teaching.

To learn more about mobile tablets and Elon’s mobile tablet initiative, contact Teaching and Learning Technologies at tlt@elon.edu or 278-5006 or visit the teaching website.


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