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EMBRACING THE USE OF SMARTPHONES IN THE UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM

M. Walker-Pickett

Saint Leo University (UNITED STATES)
It seems that every day, there is a new app available that promises to revolutionize productivity, collaboration, and our general way of life. Advances in technology also provide for increased use of devices in the classroom or learning environment. Through the use of mobile devices, tablets, notebook computers, as well as traditional laptops, apps can bring about positive changes and improvements in how instructors teach, and the way students learn.

The traditional campus based student at my university comes to class with at least two tech-ready devices, one of which is sure to be a smartphone. Traditional approaches to managing the use of these devices in class results in frustration by the instructor, and distraction by the student. The question that remains is whether, as a result of being surrounded by these devices, technological devices hinder or enhance the learning environment.

Student engagement is a key concern for many instructors, and technological devices and the use of technology in the classroom can enhance and engage students during lectures. This critique presents a straight forward approach to instructors about to enhance the delivery of their lecture content through the use of app (and web based) technology. The traditional method of teaching is applied in a new context – blended learning – to enhance the existing classroom experience.