Teachers and students agree. It is time to add more digital learning into the everyday classroom experience. A survey conducted in 2012 found that two-thirds of students said they would like technology to be a bigger part of their learning experience, include increased use of tablets and digital content. The survey also found that teachers agreed with their students and want to integrate more digital content into their classrooms.
Other than just the wishes of a growing digital population, other studies have found that adding tablets to classrooms improves the learning experience. An iPad pilot program conducted by Oklahoma State University in 2010-2011 found that 75 percent of students in the pilot program reported an improved learning experience while using the tablets. Additionally, faculty reported an increased course pace due to the learning tools.
In order to achieve these outcomes, it is not necessary to provide the devices to students, especially in high school and college. Many high school students already own a smart phone which can be used to access digital content and by the time they get to college, many students own more than one mobile, internet ready device including smart phones, laptops and tablets.
The only real questions at that point become:
Do you have enough bandwidth to support all the mobile devices?
How will you ensure teachers have access to the digital content they need and want?
How will you distribute content to students?
The answer to the first question can easily be determined by visiting SchoolSpeedTest.org and quickly testing your school’s bandwidth capabilities. Their quick test will not only tell you the speed of your school’s internet access, it will also show you the types of digital learning your internet can support.
With this information in hand, you can easily figure out where more bandwidth is needed and how to add it. Quick tip: it is estimated that in order to successfully add mobile devices to your network, you will need 3 times the amount of bandwidth you needed before in order to accommodate students and teachers with multiple devices.
The second two questions can easily be solved by adding MediaCAST to your school.
With MediaCAST, all your digital content is accessible from a single web-based platform. Schools can purchase content from publishers such as Learn60, CCC! and Discovery as well as add their own, user-created content including PDFs, Word Documents, video files, images, SMART board files, and more. This content can then be accessed from school or home by both teachers and students. And, if desired, can be loaded into your school’s LMS.
Through the Mobile Learning Content Manager add-on module, schools can even distribute content directly to student iPad/Android tablets. Once distributed, a copy is downloaded to the students’ mobile devices for later, on-demand viewing, even without internet access.
Two simple steps will ensure your school is ready for the digital age of learning. Accommodating the desire of students and teachers to add more digital content to classrooms has never been easier.
Does your school use mobile devices?