Mobile Technology Research At OU

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Ohio University kicks off a new school year Tuesday.

Students will go to classes where books and lectures are still the dominant tools of the trade for faculty members.

But many students will not be happy about that.

They like technology for learning, according to Eugene Geist, a teacher education professor at Ohio University.

Geist has been conducting mobile technology research at OU.

It's called the iPad Pilot Project.

Geist handed-out about 30 iPads to students in one of his classes.

The plan was to experiment with certain teaching software.

Geist says the main thing he found is that students have better ideas about how to use mobile devices than their teachers.

Geist says Ohio University has some catching up to do with other schools and recommends OU "ramp up" efforts with mobile technology.

Geist is an early childhood educator who tends to focus on pre-schoolers.

So it was natural for him to try-out the iPads with that age group, too.

How did it go with two year olds?

"Amazing", says Geist.

The youngsters could learn on their own with very little instruction.

There was also an experiment with another group – Head Start kids.

Despite their poverty background, the result was the same.

Even with all the positives, Geist is not in favor of mandating the use of mobile devices in the classroom.

Geist says the day that this new technology really takes off will be the day when school officials realize how much money can be saved — money that's now being spent on updating textbooks every few years.