November 22, 2016

Workshop shows how to teach using mobile devices

By Michael DeRosa

A Cleveland State University instructional technology specialist outlined the use of mobile devices in teaching when he spoke to an audience of professors at the Michael Schwartz Library Nov. 3.
John Hubbard from the Center for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, showed how almost any Apple or Android mobile device can help them present lectures.       

“Generally there’s a parity with mobile apps where they relatively do the same thing,” Hubbard said, “but there’s one or two exceptions depending on what operating system you use. This workshop focuses on teachers using mobile devices in the classroom and how they can present their lectures wirelessly,”

Hubbard discussed using a mobile device to deliver a text-based lecture without slides, and using a mobile device to record the audio and video of an ongoing lecture.

Other topics included using a mobile to control your desktop PC, and different solutions regarding wireless connectivity.

Hubbard explained applications that used a variety of apps and software programs.

He also advocated using external devices like Bluetooth clickers or cables to connect a device to a desktop computer that would allow the teacher to control the lecture through the mobile device, but the lecture would appear on the desktop so it would be easier to use.

One solution in particular that was mentioned at the workshop is a newly developed product called the Solistice Pod. This device allows almost any Apple, Android, Window and Mac device to connect wirelessly to the school’s system and can allow students and professors to take turns sharing their screen content to the displays in the room.

“This device is more about information sharing than interactive collaboration,” Hubbard said, “but is collaborative in its nature and intent. The professor can also control whether sharing is enabled or not.”

Eric Siler, a film professor at Cleveland State, said he found the workshop very beneficial.

“It provided me with so many opportunities to better engage my students with all these new forms of technology,” Siler said. “They all have technology that they’re constantly using so I feel that this would be a better way to reach them and work with them.”

Siler also said since the room he uses for his lectures already has enough wires running through it, he doesn’t like being tethered to the computer and is glad that Hubbard presented ways that would allow him more freedom to move around while he lectured.

According to Hubbard, this workshop addressed in-class lectures only and was not meant for Blackboard or online use. Although students will not have access to the programs or apps themselves, Hubbard said a professor can collaborate with students during the lecture and display certain parts of the lecture to students by sharing it with them wirelessly.


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