Session Description
We are in a new age, a new time and we need to create new places and spaces that nurture mobile content in the richly literate classroom. From a pedagogical perspective, we are adrift as mobile devices make their way into the hands of our children and spread ever more widely into everyday life. Although a growing body of research points to the potential of mobile computing for influencing children’s emerging literacy skills, empirical studies on mobile learning in early elementary are rare. Even less is known about developing learning spaces that can support our youngest mobile students.

As technology becomes ubiquitous, questions of appropriateness, physical attributes of devices, placement, and usage patterns need to be answered. Young children need age and developmentally appropriate physical environments that are safe, nurturing, and supportive of child-directed play and learning. Active, creative play and exploration is central to healthy child development. The physical environment, including its ambiance, layout, acoustics, lighting, equipment and furnishings has a profound impact on children’s learning and behavior.

Without a doubt, designing a high quality, developmentally and culturally appropriate environment for children, whether for learning or for play, is a highly complex process. Join in a conversation around building spaces that support the elementary child as a unique individual; are child controlled; encourage exploration, experimentation, and risk taking; encourage critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving. Discuss the implications of these type of spaces as young learners transition to secondary schools.

Conversational Practice
User-centered design is a process that focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product. Rather than forcing users to modify their behavior to accommodate the product, user-centered design attempts to optimize the product around how users can, want, or need to use the product. As we envision and design new spaces for our youngest learners, this user-center approach is critical. In the context of our conversation, user-centered design will become a multi-stage problem solving process that requires participants to analyze our current schools and classrooms, envision new spaces for learning and create rich media objects that will transform our conversation into eBook that can be shared widely with educators so that we may test the validity of our assumptions in real world cases.

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I’m going to rush to get this post out ahead of the big Apple Education event on Thursday. All the hype is pointing to some sort of announcement of an easy way to create custom books for the iBook app. While this is certainly exciting news, I’m sure it is going to come with a bunch of “How to Use [Apple’s Newest Thing] in Education” tweets,  blog posts, lists and presentations. So ahead of all the hipster, fanboy, and hater posts that will inevitably follow Apple’s big announcement tomorrow, I’m bringing you this post. Option 1 from my Creating Custom Digital Content for iPad: Educators Have Options series!

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Creative Book Builder app for iPhone and iPad. Created by Tiger Ng, this app is currently selling for $3.99 in the iTunes Store.

Creative Book Builder enables everyone to create, edit and publish ebooks in minutes. Creative Book Builder can import document from Google Docs and parse HTML output into chapter. Create unlimited number of chapters add title, description, images, videos, audio recording, music, links, and lists. CBB lets you sort your content’s ordering within a chapter and customize your cover image.

What I did with CBB:

My plan is to base this project on a second grade Rocks & Fossils unit that my wife and a colleague originally developed in 2005. That unit contains a collection of resources ranging from a section of a science textbook, videos, digital photos and a couple PPT presentations. I have all the various source files stored on my Dropbox account and in my iTunes/iPhoto albums so I can access them as needed across devices. Read the rest of this entry…

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One of the things I’ve been looking into lately has been mobile content creation. With the rise of the tablet, I’m finding k12 and adult students are eager for opportunities to learn just-in-time with their device of choice. From an instructional design perspective, this means that to deliver to any & all devices, you’ve got to be looking towards HTML5.

My developer colleagues at the University of Akron’s Center for Literacy cringe every time we talk about HTML5 and designing apps for iOS and Android. To them, HTML5 is a giant step backwards in terms of the complexity and richness of web apps that could be developed with other tools (RIP Flash).

They feel that in the HTML5 arena, animations are stripped down and much less interactivity is available. They are mostly right here. HTML5 has limited the types of instructional interactions we can offer all ages of students in the online environment. As we begin to design web-based user experiences in HTML5, we are essentially creating a duel interface that can be run through a desktop or laptop browser AND a mobile browser. Until mobile devices have processors equal to their desktop/laptop brothers, we’ll never be able to offer as rich of a learning environment on any type of mobile device, yet we are still going to develop custom digital content for mobile…

So what can the average educator do? Read the rest of this entry…

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This is a personal blog. The resources, information and views presented on Raised Digital are solely the opinion of Jeremy S. Brueck, and are not meant to reflect the views of my employer.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Why Raised Digital?

Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.