Session Summary – Remote Teaching: Using Mobile Devices and Social Media to Teach Outside of Classroom Walls

Abilene Christian University has been a leader in the use of mobile devices for learning.  While I’ve attended a number of presentations by faculty from this institution before, it was nice to hear from a professor of Sociology.

The perspective shared by Mr. Baldridge on his views on the use of technology for teaching concepts in Sociology was refreshing. His honest sharing on what went right and what went awry in his attempts to integrate mobile devices into his classroom was also a confirmation of the importance of considering the design and scaffolding of the assessment.

It is not about turning the students loose with a device and telling them to produce something. It is about giving the students guidance on what is expected for the assignment and ensuring the students have the information, and in some ways the freedom, they need to complete the assignment. It appears that in the experiences designed by Mr. Baldridge the integration of mobile learning opportunities allowed the students to share their thoughts and experiences in ways that the formality of traditional academic assessments often do not. In Sociology, where the person and their engagement with others and their surrounds is so important, it seems like such honest and open reflections are a natural fit to the discipline.

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