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?
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.