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2016
Kristin Lundstrum

Hey CMUG! Meet Dave.

Posted by Kristin Lundstrum Champion Aug 30, 2016

Numme-small.jpg

David Numme is the Lead Educational Technologist

for the Master of Health Care Delivery Science Program at

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

 

TL;DR (Dave, describe yourself!)

Curious. Always learning. Calm. Student and faculty-centric. A family man who loves history and loves to visit the National Parks. Passionate about helping others be successful. And yes, a tech geek. Always looking for ways to improve the educational experience, especially through the use of technology.

 

 

Are you an Android or iPhone?

iPhone

 

 

What is your favorite personal app?

Google Voice. I just started using it. I enjoy the text messages my oldest daughter and I exchange throughout the day.

 

 

What is your favorite educational app?

Canvas (...and I know that may seem like I’m PANDA-ering to my audience, but it’s true!)

 

 

Why is mobile learning so important in education?

It enables us to learn any place, any time. Frequently at dinner, my family and I will be having a discussion. Even though I try to ignore my iPhone, often we come across something we don’t know. My 11-year-old daughter often will ask me to take out my iPhone and look it up. In a microcosm, that illustrates the power of mobile learning - always learning at any place.

 

Mobile devices are also powerful connectors - they keep classmates, faculty and others better connected in ways that might be hard to do so. Our online students constantly communicate with each other via their mobile devices. That communication helps online education not to feel like distance education. It strengthens bonds. It helps to build a robust community of change agents so they can collectively improve healthcare and more importantly, improve patients lives.

 

 

What excites you the most about the future of mobile devices and apps in education?

The next generations of students who will use mobile devices. I learn a lot about the future of mobile devices in education by watching my children. As I look around at the next generation, I am in awe of their potential. They will use these devices and the apps to solve the world’s problems. It’s my job to try to help create a solid foundation, including with mobile education for them to build upon. Wearables are something also relatively new and have great potential to enhance the educational experience.

 

 

What do you think is the greatest barrier for mobile adoption in education?

Established mindsets - especially with a strong bias towards very QWERTY (keyboard)-based education. The fear of failure if they try new approaches and they don’t succeed. I just finished my MBA. I did more writing than I thought possible (and for the most part enjoyed it!). However, if we are going to better utilize the potential of mobile education, we need to think about playing to the strengths of the devices including more video and more audio-based assignments. Instead of writing a paper, why not record it? Instead of creating a PowerPoint and submitting the file, narrate the recording as a video and submit that.

 

 

What advice would you have for an instructor unsure of using mobile technologies in the classroom?

Talk to your students, your children. Ask them for advice. They are the digital natives. Don’t be afraid to fail. Try small experiments, like changing one assignment to better play to the strength of the mobile device and see how it goes. Look for other colleagues who are doing the same and learn from them.

It's 2016 and fairly evident that the mobile space is hugely important to our students. From the research Ryan Seilhamer presented in Mobile Series: Just-in-Time Design Checklist (2015) and Mobile Series: Tips to Designing Mobile-Friendly Assignments, we know that a vast majority of students across the country not only have mobile devices but also use them frequently in their learning process. There are a few Canvas processes that are simple, fast, and easy, meaning that they are naturally appropriate for the mobile culture. At this point in our technology evolution, I think the bigger question that we should now consider is how far we should be catering classes for the mobile space.

So with that in mind, the question becomes: what features are students using in the mobile space frequently? I did a quick search in the Canvas Community for that type of data and did not find any results. Being a newcomer, I'm sure there are places that I neglected to check, so if anyone has information to share I would be interested.

Until I have more Canvas mobile usage data, the best conclusions I can make come from observing the mobile usage habits of myself and my friends. Predominantly, we use mobile devices to consume (news articles, social media feeds, short videos, audio), inquire (Siri, web searches), and communicate (texting, social media, snapchat...pretty much everything other than actually calling). As I see it, the mobile culture revolves around these very fast, incredibly simple interactions. If I need to compose a longer message, or perform extensive research, I'm almost certainly going to be seeking a full workstation.

This then leads me to the consideration of mobile culture evolution. Will we continue down the road of different devices for different functions, or will functions be simplified to fit within the framework of the mobile culture? Should courses be simplified to fit that mindset, or do some things belong in a space that encourages more extensive involvement and consideration? Where is that line drawn between what is simple enough for a mobile activity, and what is complex enough to set that consideration aside and trust that students will find a full workstation to complete the activity?

To a certain extent it is out of our control as educators. Students will operate independently and do some assignments on mobile even if we envision them being completed at a desktop machine. From my education I know that the concept of chunking information is beneficial regardless of the environment, so I will definitely be encouraging the faculty I support to utilize that, but I don't necessarily think there's any particular reason to spend efforts educating students about the ability to submit assignments from a mobile platform (without a particular use-case at least). I don't have all the answers for this, but this post serves as a foundation for my thought processes regarding mobile adoption and adaption.


I recently ran across this old blog post I wrote about ensuring mobile applications and utilities are engaging the end user and are not used just as a means to deliver content. While the original blog post was written a little over a year ago, much of the information still holds true today. We need to make sure we engage our students, faculty, parents, and even our community with our applications. Below is the original post, from June 8, 2015 on my personal site:

 


 

One of my passions since the start of implementing mobile technologies in the classroom is seeing how we can creatively use these technologies across the campus or district.

 

Probably my first exposure to mobile technologies in the classroom was in 2005 or so, with the rise of iPods and other portable mp3 players. Within the educational setting, we had a new way to deliver digital lectures and other learning materials to students to listen to “on the go”. This also helped with the rise of iTunes U, but we still had an issue – students are only consuming data, not interacting with faculty and peers, and it is only related to the classroom, not across the enterprise (student services for example).

 

After the sort of mp3 “boom”, we started to see the rise of smartphones, specifically the iPhone and our ability to expand the content delivery was great. However, for awhile, the interaction with the content was still very static. It was with the start of the iStandford application (MobilEDU, acquired by Blackboard, turned into Blackboard Mobile, then rebranded as Mosaic), that the idea of providing access to student services information and providing institutions a new (and mandatory) way to market themselves. There was (is) still a problem – the apps were created in a manner that it was still a content delivery model. Yes, there are ways you can interact with the app, but how can you begin to interact with your school?

 

Some vendors that came into the space started adding ways to authenticate into the student information system, providing access to holds, financial data, registration, etc. All major LMS vendors have apps as well for students and faculty to discuss with each other and interact with other content or interactive tools. BUT, this is only a start. It is not only important that we provide real-time access to information for students, but all students want to feel connected to the institution and want mobile technologies to improve their lives (ability to check in to visit the financial aid office or, better yet, real time communication with campus support staff).

 

mobileAn even bigger question is, "How does this translate to K-12??" Many vendors have taken their Higher Education applications and either made minor changes for the K-12 market, or even worse are using the same technologies with a different message. I would say, in the K-12 area, it isn’t just about engaging students and providing access to mobile technologies in the classroom, but now we have to engage parents and maybe even the community with the equivalent of a student services application.

 

My oldest son starts kindergarten this August, and I could be a mobile nerd (I am), or a too engaged parent (TBD), but I have already downloaded the district app and played around to see if it will meet my “needs” as a parent. Because some of the information is now outdated (end of the school year) and because most doesn’t pertain to me yet, the verdict is still out as to whether or not I will be satisfied with the application as a parent or not. I will say, though, that so far it appears as if a majority of the information is very static, which is always a problem because of there is always a need to update information.

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