University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content
UBNow

News and views for UB faculty and staff

Campus News

Examining use of mobile devices in the classroom

The Digital Challenges program will include an "open mic" session during which students are encouraged to share how they're using mobile devices to improve their education.

By MARCENE ROBINSON

Published March 25, 2015

“Given the prevalence of mobile devices and the affordances they offer, if we, as educators, don’t embrace and exploit their use in our classrooms, we risk becoming obsolete faster than the technology itself.”
Valerie Nesset, associate professor
Department of Library and Information Studies

Smartphones and tablets are powerful tools for texting and tweeting. But can they transform education in the classroom?

Educators and students will attempt to answer this question during the third installment of the Digital Challenges series, a program created to provoke meaningful dialogue around the challenges of learning in the “Digital Age” and to prepare for the future generation of students.

“Open Mic: What Am I Doing in Your Classroom?” will explore ways students can use smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to enhance their learning experience.

The event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 1 in 145 Student Union, North Campus. The program will be streamed live from the UB Information Technology (UBIT) YouTube account.

The event is free and open to the public. Those attending are encouraged to register online.

“Given the prevalence of mobile devices and the affordances they offer, if we, as educators, don’t embrace and exploit their use in our classrooms, we risk becoming obsolete faster than the technology itself,” says Valerie Nesset, associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Studies.

Nesset will set the tone for the program with her keynote address, “Online or Out-of-line: Mobile Devices in the Classroom.”

A series of brief, informal discussions will follow during an open mic session in which UB students will have the opportunity to share how they’re using mobile technologies to improve their education.

Several students already have signed up to participate in the discussion. Their topics range from the convenience of e-portfolios to mobile apps that are reshaping medical education.

“Students are coming into the university as digital natives; they’ve grown up with digital technology,” says Domenic Licata, instructional support technician in the Department of Art. “We want to find out if students have discovered ways of managing their education that we weren’t expecting so we can respond to those needs and challenges.”

The three-part Digital Challenges Series is sponsored by the University Libraries, UBIT, the Center for Educational Innovation and Student Life.

The first program in the series, “Your Digital Footprint,” was held during the fall semester. It addressed issues regarding digital security and privacy.

The second program, “Teaching and Learning in the Classroom of the Future,” was held in February and highlighted upcoming technology that could revolutionize teaching.

For more information about the series and a full schedule of the April 1 program, visit the series’ website.