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Top 5 Ways to Improve the Freshman Experience with Mobile Technologies

I’m currently teaching a First Year Odyssey at the University of Georgia.  I’m working with a small group of freshman as they learn more about using mobile technologies to improve their personal and academic lives.  So far, they’re doing a great job.  Both they and I are learning a lot about what life is like with mobile technology, and how to actively pursue ways to improve learning with mobile.

In a recent activity, we hammered out a ‘Top 5’ list about the top 5 ways mobile technologies can improve or have improved their lives.  Here’s our final list:

  1. Communicate.  Using tools like IM/Text, Facebook, and GroupMe, students can easily coordinate study sessions, share study guides, and talk about course topics.
  2. Organize.  This is where many students are focused right now.  Tools like iCal, iStudiez Pro, and Google Calendar offer lots of great tools for setting up reminders, color coding events, and organizing due dates. With iCloud and Google Drive, it’s easy to sync these across devices so that you have your information at all times.
  3. Study Aids.  Study Blue allows you to take notes, make flash cards, and pull flash cards all in the cloud.  There’s lots of Flash Card apps out there that pull from sites like Quizlet and Flashcard Exchange but also allow you to build your own. Great for those classes with lots of new content and language to master!
  4. Design/Performance Tasks.  Have to design something? Try searching Pintrest for ideas about decor, architecture, or other things. Use community sites like Diigo to see what others are tagging out there.  I personally love the Diigolet that installs quickly into my Safari browser – it makes tagging on the go very easy and simple!

Ok. #4 there actually counts as two things, but the idea is similar so I grouped them. Thus, we’ve got the Top 5 things these freshmen are doing with their mobile technology.

Remember, these come straight from the students – I did not make this up!  These students have got a lot more going on, but this brief summary provides a nice overview of our work to date.  Looking forward to seeing how this semester ends with these students.  It’s been fantastic so far!

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