This progress report describes the work that I have done about the implementation of personal mobile devices for educational purposes and will illustrate the present and future work. In this report, I review the practical uses in a public setting—schools, colleges and universities, as well as some educational courses. It will outline the positive and negative effects but also state the specific technique, which will allow for the usage of the devices.
This report is aimed at any type of student and learning institution that accepts the possibility of using mobile devices. It will specify, which particular technology and equipment will be used, along with the possibilities that they entail. Particular attention will be paid to the possible problems with such usage, as it would be impractical if there are more problems than advantages.
I have researched the individual devices and their technical abilities. Cell phones, notebooks, and iPads were examined and compared in their functions. The availability of such products and consumer reports have presented evidence on the most common usage, versus usage for educational purposes. Several applications available on the devices have been analyzed with an outline of the positive and negative sides.
Currently, I am taking an in-depth look at the applications and their practical usage in the educational setting. As there is a great number of programs and software that can be uploaded onto the devices, it needs to be thoroughly examined before any conclusion about their benefits can be drawn. The development of a new application is a rather changing process and by the time this report is finished there may be applications that were non-existent at the time of the report. Right now I am setting up a catalog with specific functions of the applications. These are mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, the study of foreign languages, arts, literature, software development, architecture, engineering and social sciences. There is also a division according to age groups and the targeted institutions, from preschool uses to the highest levels of education.
Future work relates to the research in the field. The teachers and professors of several educational institutions will have to be questioned. They are the ones who will be directing all the work of the students. Their opinion is valuable since the problems encountered with the technology will reflect on the students’ performance. A good way to test their abilities and agreement would be to have a professional technician who can help them in the process of familiarization with the device. Another important factor that will be researched is the particular device that will be used. There is a choice between cellular phones, notebooks and iPads. The functions and benefits, as well as disadvantages of each one, would have to be outlined. Most likely I will create a portfolio or a flyer with several pages where the ability of each device will be explained in a structured and understandable manner.
So far the work is progressing as scheduled. There have not been any problems with the research or access to the devices. The longest part of research is ahead, as talking to the teachers and professors, as well as the explanations and education in the usage of the devices will have to be detailed. The only possible problem would be the unforeseen problems with the malfunctions in the technology itself but with the selection of high-quality products, it could be avoided.