A key finding of our recent student digital experience (DIGE 2) project is the huge growth in students’ use of mobile devices to support their learning between 2012 and 2015. Survey data suggest that 86% of undergraduates now use a smartphone and 27% use a tablet. Teaching staff are increasingly exploring the potential of mobile devices in their teaching; see, for example, our case study on Professor Sophocles Mavroeidis’ use of Socrative to adapt his lectures on the fly.
However, while some academics are constantly on the look-out for new tools and teaching ideas, many do not know where to start looking. Part of the remit of the Academic IT Group is to do the looking for you, and we have spotted The 12 Apps of Christmas: a short, free online course for teachers and students offered by Regent’s University in London. Each weekday from Tuesday 1st December until Wednesday 16th December you can spend a few minutes learning about a different mobile app and how it might help you teach and support your students.
Although the course has been developed with Regent’s staff in mind, it’s open to everyone. Indeed, last year hundreds of educators and librarians around the world took part. The course was a success, winning the Credo Reference Digital Award for Information Literacy 2015 and inspiring people to run versions at other institutions.
Chris Rowell, one of the course instructors, writes: ‘The 12 Apps of Christmas 2015 will offer a completely new range of carefully selected apps, while keeping to the same simple, entertaining formula which made it so successful last year. Expect guest posts, engaging hands-on activities, and a chance to be part of a friendly, enquiring community of educators worldwide.’
In effect The 12 Apps of Christmas 2015 is a MOOC (massive open online course), so if you’re not only intrigued about the potential of mobile apps in your classroom but also curious about what it’s like to study online in a global cohort, 12 Apps offers you two experiences for the price of none!
To find out more, and to register, visit the course site in Blackboard Open Education.