The article Smartphones: Teaching Tool or Brain Candy? by Mark Frydenberg, Wendy Ceccucci, Patricia Sendall at Campus Technology, really helps bring home the point I am frequently trying to make in this blog. That is that not recognizing the potential value of portable, digital technologies in our campus community partnerships is a big mistake. The authors even include examples of civically-engaged teaching.
“. . . The smartphone’s potential as a learning tool is rapidly being discovered by faculty. Paul Wallace, assistant professor of instructional technology at Appalachian State University(NC), taught his students to use the Scvngr application as a way to apply their classroom knowledge to benefit the local community. Students partnered with Watauga River Conservation Partners, a local community organization, to create mobile scavenger hunts to help the community learn about wetlands and conservation. Not only did students learn to use mobile technology, they were also able apply their classroom knowledge in the field. . . “