16 Oct 2013

Mlearning: Using QR Codes and Mobile Dictionaries to Recycle Vocabulary Words

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You’ve seen them everywhere, in malls, supermarket, on Pepsi cans and pizza cartons. QR codes hold double information more than a barcode. Therefore, they can hold a text, web link, contact address etc. In the past two years, educators have been finding interesting ways in integrate QR codes in their teaching practice. For example, have a look at the 50 Interesting ways to use QR codes to Support learning. Using QR codes stimulates students’ interests in ways you could never imagine possible. It gets them moving around the classroom and in school premises with exploration and anticipation in their minds.

When used with mobile dictionaries, QR codes can help students effectively learn and recycle vocabulary words . My reflection on one of my lessons using QR codes and mobile dictionaries is that they resulted in more vocabulary retention, motivation, and autonomy.

The Lesson

The lesson was a revision of vocabulary clusters (lexical sets) the students have acquired the previous academic year. One of the aims of the lesson was to recycle the students’ vocabulary before the sit for SAT.

You can download the lesson package to help you design your vocabulary lesson using QR codes and mobile dictionaries. (Click “file” then “download” to download the zip file)

Below is a slideshow of my students scanning QR code in the hallway, writing down the vocabulary, using mobile dictionaries to define the words, and then clustering them (dividing them into lexical sets).

What do you think of mobile learning using QR codes and mobile dictionaries so far? Do they hold promising potentials for student learning?

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16 Oct 2013

The Mobile Movement Study on Understanding Smartphone User Behavior

 

ThinkwithGoogle published a study in 2011 on mobile user behavior. The study was mainly interested in understanding smartphone user behavior in terms of searching, purchasing, and media consumption. However, among the findings, the study reports that people use their mobile phones mostly at home (93%) and least at school (29%).

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Mobile phones are ubiquitous, and are pervading more than ever. Students use them everyday in their lives to search, watch videos, play games, socialize, share, and collaborate. Students connect with others through their mobile phones at home, in restaurants, at social gatherings, in airports, and virtually everywhere, except at schools, the only place where learning should be supported using tools students use in their everyday life. Ironically, mobile phones are banned from most schools, except for very few insightful, innovative ones. And, even if they are implemented in schools, there are no clear policies or adequate training for teachers and learners to harness the power mobile technologies to support teaching and learning.

The report above however should be put in context of the research sample. The people samples used for this study range between 18 and 64 years. This means, that it studied mainly adults’ behavior in using smart phones, therefore showing perhaps unreliable statistics of mobile use at schools. However, this does not preclude the notion that schools must change to adopt innovative approaches to metaphorically break down the wall of the school with the outside world by using tools used in everyday life.

The whole report is embedded below.

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