This question comes from Kristin Townsend and Natalie Spangler, who presented their session "Increasing Literacy Across the Curriculum Through Mobile Learning and ReadWriteThink.org" at IRA's 2013 annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Anyone in the Community is welcome to respond.
Their session will be available online in June at http://www.readwritethink.org/convention/mobile.
As a librarian I am happy to report that our students are able to use their mobile devices to access all levels of information for research purposes and/or for recreational reading. Our school library has almost 1000 eBooks in all content areas. Students are able to access all types of books and audio in all content areas 24/7. They may access through their mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, playaways and netbooks as well as regular computers. Every classroom has netbooks with the exception of PE and any classrooms that already have a computer lab. We also subscribe to Tumblereadables, a service which has all manner of books in different formats including graphic novels and audio which may also be accessed through mobile devices. It is a very exciting time when students are not limited to visiting the library during school hours and/or hampered by late fees or overdue books.
As teacher in which 98% of our student population is living below poverty level, it is very important that we increase vocabulary and background knowledge. We use mini netbooks on a rolling cart to share amongst our grade. When it is our turn to use the COWs or computers on wheels, we use them to research the next theme in Houghton Mifflin, go on educational websites such as First in Math, Accellerated Reader, Khan Academy etc. To build background students watch videos on Learn360 or United Streaming. For example, when working on a physical science lesson on kinetic and potential energy students do a project in which they have to explain how rollercoasters work. They must first do all of the research online. They investigate the actual process of creating a rollercoaster including the essential vocabulary. In the final project they write a report detailing their findings and then create a virtual roller coaster online. The new generation of children crave computer/online time and view it as "fun" assignments. Teachers on the other hand see it as an additional opportunity to promote literacy.
Congratulations to Eleanor Perez! She was chosen as the winner of the $50 Amazon gift card for responding to our question about using mobile devices to increase literacy across the curriculum! Eleanor, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.