Visiting local museums has traditionally been a part of K-12 education. Museums have started to take advantage of the growing number of people with cell phones, by providing self-paced tours on cell phones. Museum patrons can dial a number and instantly get an audio tour (some even have image and video options for cell phones that can handle those types of media). A few resources online that provide this service (for a fee) include Museum411, Guide by Cell, and Spatial Adventures (free 30 day trial). Additionally, schools can access information or tours from a specific museum by going to MuseumPods to download free podcasts for cell phones and iPhones.
I have written in the past about MyArtSpace, where schools can post mobile images from their art museum field trips and develop lessons around their postings. As I was listening to some of these cell phone tours, I realized that creating a museum mobile tour would be another great museum project for students. Teachers could contact a local museum and ask if their students could research and then develop various cell phone audio tours. Or, teachers could have their students develop mobile walking tours of the city (historical, geographical, scientific tours). Student's in a foreign language class could offer to turn the audio English tours into bilingual tours. Instead of using one of the pay services mentioned above, students could use
YouMail or Podlinez to create the dial-in tour.
These tours could be enhanced by developing a tour that includes images and/or large text on the mobile phone. This could be done with PowerPoint on a MAC. I wrote a tutorial on how to develop enhanced PowerPoint podcasts for cell phones and how to upload them a while back. These are just a few suggestions on how students cell phones can become museum enhancing tools.
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Cell Phones in Learning by Liz Kolb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at cellphoneseinlearning.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cellphonesinlearning.com.