Following up on my work with mobile learning and mobile computing devices, I’m proud to announce that I will have a new book chapter coming out soon. Here’s the title and abstract info.

Using Mobile Devices to Support Formal, Informal & Semi-formal Learning
Uses and Implications for Teaching & Learning


Mobile devices are ubiquitous. They are often invisible to accomplish our everyday tasks and learning goals. This chapter explains how individuals learn using mobile devices during their daily lives—within K-12 schools, higher education, and outside of educational institutions altogether—with specific attention to STEAM disciplines. First, brief definitions of mobile devices and mobile learning are presented, then types of learning, i.e. formal, informal, and semi-formal, are discussed. Next, seven categories describe how mobile devices have been used for teaching and learning with examples as appropriate from STEAM disciplines: (a) increasing access to student information and campus resources, (b) increasing interaction with learning contents, (c) creating representations of knowledge, (d) augmenting face-to-face instruction, (e) supporting performance and decision-making, (f) enabling personalized learning, and (g) deploying instruction. Finally, five implications for employing mobile devices for teaching and learning are discussed.

Our chapter is part of a book titled, Full steam ahead: Emerging technologies for STEAM edited by Xun Ge, Mike Spector & Dirk Ifenthaler. If you would like to have a preprint copy of the chapter, just let me know.  It’s still in production right now.

The Research & Theory Division of AECT is hosting our next professional development seminar.  Here are the details, and I hope you’ll plan to attend.

Scheduled on Feb 6, 2014 at 1:30pm (EST)

Invited speaker: Dr. Ryan Baker (

Topic:  Learning Analytics – Potential and Principles

Increasingly,  students’  educational  experiences  occur  in  the  context  of educational technology, creating opportunities to log student behavior in a fashion that is both longitudinal and very fine-grained. These data are now available to the broad education research community through large public data repositories such as the Pittsburgh  Science of Learning Center (cf. Koedinger  et  al,  2008). In this talk, I will discuss how the emerging Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining communities are combining these data sources with data mining methods in order to scalably use this data to make basic discoveries about learners and learning. In this talk, I will both discuss learning analytics methods in general, and some of their key applications in studying and supporting learners.

The Instructional Technology SIG of the American Educational Research Association is pleased to extend the deadline for our awards submissions. So, you’ve still got time to submit an application for one of the AERA SIG IT awards, including: Best Paper Award, Early Career Award, and Best Student Paper Award.

The deadline has been extended to **Jan. 24.** Please consider submitting!

You can read the complete submission details at

I just got this information today from a flyer in the hall of my building on campus (see crappy image to the right), so I wanted to get it out quickly to students.  The Chi Sigma Iota chapter from counseling psychology will be hosting an APA workshop, which is open to anyone.

Date:  Saturday, September 14
Time:  9:30 am to 12:00 noon/
Location:  209 Ball Hall on the UofM campus

This would be a really great opportunity for graduate students to take advantage of, particularly those in my Theories & Models class as well as any of my doctoral students.  Get the heads-up on APA 6th.

I know that a number of students are looking to complete their graduate certificate in K-12 instructional computing applications, and due to low enrollment this summer, we had to cancel IDT 7063.  However, we will be offering this course during the fall 2013 semester.     Here is a brief description of the course.

IDT 7063 – Seminar in Instructional Computing
Catalog Description:  Analysis of issues and trends related to instructional computing and instructional technology in K-12 classrooms.
Prerequisite: Six hours of coursework in IDT.
Course Dates: August 24, 2013 – December 12, 2013
Instructor: Dr. Michael M. Grant (me)

IDT 7063 in Fall 2013 will focus on leadership for instructional technology in K-12 schools.  IDT 7063 will align with the tenets of ISTE’s National Educational Technology Standards for teachers (NETS-T) and for technology coaches (NETS-C). In addition to examining current trends and issues with integrating technology, such as one-to-one programs and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD/BYOT) policies, we will consider broader grade-level or school-level issues, such as digital citizenship curricula, levels of technology integration, funding initiatives through small grants, and teacher professional development.

This course is currently undergoing a major revision and update to reflect the most current issues, trends, and skills appropriate for technology integrators.  So, the syllabus is in flux. If you have any questions, though, please feel free to email me.  I hope you’ll consider registering for this course and please share it with anyone you feel may benefit form this information.

Facebook logo

This is interesting: Facebook is planning to add hashtags as an option for updates.  While this is heavily used by twitter as a keyword and categorization method around a topic or event, I’m interested to see what this might mean for Facebook.  Social Media today reported that:

The WSJ reported this last week Facebook is moving to allow users to engage around topics by using a hashtag field in status updates, that would presumably be viewable openly by Facebook’s 1 billion users.

I think possibly the strongest benefit may be from social media users who post across social networks.  For example, I use Tweetdeck to post to Twitter and Facebook pages at the same time. Other folks use  If This Then That (ITTT) or Hootsuite to do something similar.

This will certainly allow me to use hashtags as an organization, or grouping, tool within my posts.  For teaching and learning, I could see that this would really help with postings across social networks, such as a twitter post that works well with one of my courses or teacher professional development programs and so I will be able to post it in both places using the common hashtags.

What other thoughts do you have about Facebook using hashtags?

via Facebook Hashtags: What Will They Mean for Brands and Users? | Social Media Today.

By way of the Huffington Post, I found out that Childrens Television Workshop and the folks at Sesame Street have begun specific programming to address the challenges of life for little children.  You can read a synopsis from Huffington Post below.

On Tuesday, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that operates “Sesame Street,” launched “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce” — a set of free resources offered online for families coping with divorce. The tools are designed to help kids between the ages of 2 and 8 deal with and understand their parents’ divorces, and help parents talk about divorce with their children in an age-appropriate way.

As part of the initiative, a 13-minute segment will appear online that features popular puppets such as Elmo and Abby Cadabby (see above for a short clip). The segment will not air on TV.

In one scene, Abby Cadabby sits down with friends Elmo and Rosita to draw pictures of their homes. Abby Cadabby draws two pictures — one of her at her mom’s house and another of her at her dad’s house. When Elmo asks why she doesn’t live with both of her parents, Abby Cadabby explains (with the help of Sesame Street resident Gordon) that her parents divorced after having “some grown-up problems, problems they couldn’t fix… but they both said they still love [her] very much.”

via Sesame Workshop Launches ‘Little Children, Big Challenges’ Divorce Initiative (VIDEO).

As noted above, this segment will not air on TV.  Certainly, this type of  counseling is incredibly useful for children who are going through these challenges, but I believe these types of videos will be possibly even more useful for children who are not going through these and need to understand what their friends or classmates are experiencing.  I think these segments will offer an avenue for compassion to be bridged in understanding what other children may be experiencing.  I think my own children would really benefit from understanding how other children may feel, since they can’t comprehend the situation directly.

As part of the IDT Studio workplace experiences, our University of Memphis IDT graduate students collaborated with the Memphis Redbirds to redesign the curriculum materials that accompany their “Education Day.”  The original materials were created by the Akron Aeros and were redesigned and repurposed to align with Tennessee’s state standards and additional grade levels.

You can find out more about the “Education Day” curriculum materials at If you would like to know more about the how the materials were developed, check out

This curriculum guide provides materials to help educators “hit one out of the park” during Education Day with the Memphis Redbirds. The ideas and lesson plans included are offered as a guide for educators to create relevant educational experiences for Education Day participation.

via Education Day at Autozone Park – Home.

What's your superpower?

I would like to encourage all current students and alumni to consider nominating an IDT faculty member for the UofM Distinguished Teaching Award. This is a very prestigious honor for a faculty member, and I believe that IDT houses some of the best teachers in the university.  Here’s the info:

Again this year The University of Memphis will honor outstanding professors with the presentation of the Distinguished Teaching Award, which is funded and sponsored by The University of Memphis Alumni Association.  For faculty members to win the award they must receive nominations from other faculty, alumni, and students. The awards will be presented at the Spring 2013 Faculty Convocation.

Members of the Distinguished Teaching Award Committee earnestly solicit your nominations of colleagues deserving of the award, so that meritorious faculty can be recognized and rewarded. Please take the time to submit your nomination at the link below: (for faculty to nominate)

For the nominations to be considered valid, nominators must briefly provide their reasons for nominating the individual in the space provided on the on-line nomination form.

The nomination deadline is Monday, November 19. If you have questions, please contact:

Dr. Melinda Jones, ext. 2690

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: (@ktvee) via Compfight

Edutopia released a new teacher and school guide for mobile devices to support learning.  You do have to register in order to download the file.

New Guide! Mobile Devices for Learning: What You Need to Know

Getting kids engaged with learning, focused on working smarter, and ready for the future.  This guide can help you better understand how mobile gadgets — cell phones, tablets, and smartphones — can engage students and change their learning environment.

What’s Inside the PDF?

  • Introduction: Pros and cons? Bridging the digital gap?
  • Know your mobile devices
  • Resources for teachers getting started with mobile learning
  • K-12 Apps and Web tools: elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Getting parents on board the mobile train

via New Guide! Mobile Devices for Learning: What You Need to Know | Edutopia.