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Mobile Learning

mobile learning header

Do you have a mobile device, but aren’t sure how to use it in the classroom? The CTL is here to help! We understand difference audiences use mobile devices in unique ways, and we are here to help you determine what will work for you.

What is Mobile Learning?

Mobile learning is an extension of classroom or online learning that considers how students and faculty use mobile devices (smartphones/tablets) to participate in educational pursuits. The proliferation of these devices is largely driving the trend toward mobile learning. Unlike computers, our mobile devices are often at hand throughout the day, providing a rapid ability to access educational content, creative apps and tools to complete tasks, and the ability to communicate rapidly with others.

Visit our Recommended Apps page to find some mobile-friendly tools for your course.

Using Mobile Devices in Teaching

Below is a list of UMSL faculty who have designed classroom or online activities that use mobile devices.

Qiang Dotzel


EDpuzzle allows Qiang to put a quiz question within a video or make comments during the video. When the quiz question comes up, the video stops until the students answer the question. I can set the video as no-skip so that students are required to watch the entire session. She likes the gradebook within the app too; It's easy to diagnose class problems and easy to download as excel file to include in her personal gradebook. Qiang usually makes her own videos to use with the app but it allows the option to find others on the web. You can apply different questions to the same video for different sections or semesters of the class. All of this is possible from the app on her iPad which adds to the convenience. 

Steven Phipps

PagesKeynote, and iCloud

Steven is a champion of mobile learning. He ensures that the resources used in his courses are all mobile-friendly and regularly teaches with his iPad in the classroom. He uses Pages, a word-processor to display project key terms and outline important information. He uses Keynote, a presentation app similar to PowerPoint, to make his lecture notes; Keynote also allows Steven to export his presentation to PDF and upload them to MyGateway for students to study later. PDFs are more mobile friendly than typical PowerPoint files. Keynote and Pages both sync with iCloud which is the free cloud storage system for the iPad. Between iCloud and MyGateway, Steven says he's always connected to his documents, class materials, and grades. In the future, he plans to try out iTunes U and iBooks Author.

Jennifer Reynolds-Moehrle

Panopto and Reflector 2

Jennifer goes one step beyond projecting from her iPad in the classroom by using the Reflector 2 app to mirror her iPad to the computer. Once there, she can record her explanations (using Explain Everything) or other apps via the Panopto desktop app. Since the computer screen is the one being recorded, she not only can use the apps on the iPad in her class recording but she can also use full desktop apps like Excel. Panopto also has an iPad app which is great for watching your recordings or capturing video from your iPad. Have to miss class for a conference? Just open the Panopto app and record a mini-lecture or message for your students. These videos can then be linked on MyGateway.

Brian Speicher

CamScanner Pro (or alternative)

Brian wanted to be able to see his students' statistics work in the online course he teaches at UMSL. To make it easier for students to submit their problems, he has students upload scans of their work that are taken from their mobile device. This removes the need for them to use a scanner on campus. With an app like CamScanner Pro or another alternative, students can use the camera on their device to snap a picture of their homework and upload it to MyGateway. The app automatically flattens the page, adjusts the contrast for maximum clarity, and saves the file as a PDF. The app is available for Android and iOS.

Terry Thiel

Explain Everything

Since Terry teaches a biology course in a blended format, the time she has to meet with students in face-to-face is limited. To maximize her class time, Terry uses the Explain Everything app--a recordable whiteboard--to have her students watch her lectures in advance of the in-person class session. The app allows her the same flexibility as drawing on a whiteboard in class, but it has a much clearer picture and, since it's recorded, students can rewind and rewatch concepts that are more difficult to understand. Terry uses Explain Everything to draw carbon atoms, DNA, and more. It even allows image and documents to be uploaded to the virtual whiteboard. The app is available on Android and iOS.

Susan Waller


Socrative is a real-time polling application that uses mobile devices to get instant feedback from students. Susan can open a poll on the projector in the classroom and students can answer it and see the collective responses of their peers immediately. There's even a web app for students without a mobile device. The app can be used as a voting platform or as a quick formative assessment tool to gauge student understanding or as an attendance quiz. The app is available on Android and iOS.