Using portable computing devices with wireless and mobile data plans enables mobile learning and allows teaching and learning to extend to spaces beyond the traditional classroom. Even within the classroom, mobile learning gives instructors and learners more flexibility and new opportunities for interaction.
Tablets work beautifully in the online learning environment. In recent years, there has been a larger emphasis in education on Mobile Learning, and a large portion of this is learning via tablets, such as the Galaxy Tab, Color Nook, or Apple iPad. New mobile devices and versions of mobile operating systems come out every few months, so no guide will last forever, but a few “Best Practices” can help you get the most out of your device.
Sevenstar uses two main learning platforms: Brainhoney for Credit Recovery, which needs no special instructions for mobile usage, and Angel (by Blackboard), which the majority of enrolled students use. For Angel, you will need some additional tips complete your work on a mobile device. In the future, some of these tips may not be needed (as mobile support gets better with every update), but we will try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible. Below are tips, best practices, links to videos, and advice from others who use mobile devices as tools for learning.
The iPad and iPhone work great in an online learning environment. Maximize your experience with these tips and best practices:
- Mobile Safari does not support every feature, so you will need to select "PDA Mode" in the bottom left to navigate the course.
- iOS devices do not support Flash. All important Flash material in the course has a "Text Only" link that provides a non-flash version of the necessary information.
- iPad and iPhone devices cannot directly upload files to dropboxes. You can paste links to content created on these mobile devices using Dropbox or Google Docs.
Android's default browser does not yet support every technology in the Sevenstar learning environment. However—just like on a Mac or PC—there are alternative browsers that offer more functionality. See below for the grades assigned to Android browsers in our recent compatibility tests for Sevenstar's learning environment:
We recommend the Opera Mobile browser for best results. With this browser, students get the same rich learning experience on their Android device as they would on a PC; discussions, dropbox attachments, copy-and-paste, and Flash will work correctly.
Flash is compatible with Android browsers, but since Flash content was not designed for Tablet use, some interactive features will not function or the Flash area will appear blank. If need be, there is always a “Text Only” version under the Flash window that will have the same content. Close the Text Only window to resume your work.
There are many excellent Office applications for Android, including Quick Office Pro and Documents to Go. For best results, select an editor that supports Rich Text Formatting (RTF). This capability allows you to copy and paste complex objects—such as a Pace Chart—into a document for your teacher. There are many ways to submit assignments in the Sevenstar environment. You can submit a file to your teacher directly or send a link to a hosted file in Google Docs or Dropbox. Students can submit the majority of assignments with a tablet using a good Office application and the ability to upload via dropboxes from your tablet's local storage.
You can download a PDF of the above information here.
We are continuously testing emerging devices and will publish compatibility findings here.
The HP Touchpad uses WebOS for an Operating System. Here are the results from our compatibility testing:
* Flash - Works great. Even better than Android.
* Frames - Not supported. The PDA-mode—as mentioned in the iPad section—must be used.
* Dropboxes - Local storage is not accessible for submitting files directly.
* Office Application - The pre-installed Office app syncs with Dropbox and Google Docs. This will let you upload and link assignments to your teacher.
* Quizzes - Full compatibility.
The Nook is an Android device. Please refer to the instructions in the Android Support section above for general usage guidelines.
The recently-released Kindle Fire is an amazing machine, with a lot of power for the money. It utilizes Android technology, but has its own browser.