Designing and Implementing Mobile Storytelling Activities

Many teachers may not have access to a class set of mobile devices or a computer lab. However, even in schools with little to no technology we can still integrate a mobile storytelling activity. As a teacher trainer, I get to work with students in various situations and mobile devices have offered a way to get them to learn and create with technology even when we have had access to no Internet and no technology. We allowed students to bring in the technology they had available. This policy, which is being adopted in many schools worldwide is called, Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT). I have worked with teachers worldwide to implement BYOT at their schools and we have been able to help students use their devices- mp3 players, laptops, digital cameras, and cellphones to learn. In Athens, Greece I taught refugees for a month who often came to school in the same clothes. Many didn’t have proper homes. However, most had simple cell phones, not smartphones. With their cell phones they could record audio, take pictures, write notes, and sometimes capture video. All these features can be used to create stories.

We will be exploring various ways our students can create digital stories according to our teaching contexts. When designing or implementing a mobile learning activity, a teacher may have to make adaptations to the process, tools used, and activities due to access and connectivity. Before designing the lesson, consider the following:

  • How many devices will your students have access to and what platforms will be used?

    • Will each student have a device?

    • Will students use a class set of the same device?

    • Will students bring in their own devices?

  • What is the situation of the connectivity?

    • Will students have access to wifi or will the teacher only have access to wifi?

    • Will no wifi be available?

    • Will the bandwidth support the activities?

  • What are the time constraints?

    • Can you dedicate more than one class period to a project?

    • Will you be able to create the project in one day and present another day?

  • What rules or procedures might impact the lesson?

    • Are students allowed to walk around the building?

    • Are classes allowed to go outside?

The answers to these questions will come in handy when designing a mobile learning activity.