Demonstrating effective faculty development approaches that promote best practices in mobile learning

Mr Kyle Dickson

Abilene Christian University



In 2008, Abilene Christian University became the first school worldwide to deploy iOS-based mobile devices to students and faculty. Over the next three years, an extensive faculty development program steadily increased faculty usage to an average of 84% of faculty reporting regular academic use for academic activities. Of all faculty, an average of 50% reported academic use during every class period.

Extending that same professional development philosophy externally, an additional 10,000 primary and secondary in-service teachers have been trained to integrate 1:1 and Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) to increase student-centered and higher ordered learning. Training and development programs for in-service teachers now extend internationally.

In 2011, the AT&T Learning Studio opened as a first-of-its-kind mobile media production facility to assist students and teachers with the tools, training and expertise to bring the use of visual and auditory literacy projects into formal educational settings. In 2013, a maker-space was added to facilitate the use of mobile-enhanced kinetic learning.

Citing data on the explosive growth in mobile devices and apps, The Tennessee Board of Regents created the ‘Education On-Demand within Your Hands’ project with the concept of free, 24/7 access to mobile apps for faculty, staff and students. With each app tagged according to subject area, level of education, and type of device, a curated archive of over 60,000+ education-focused apps now exists. The System Wide Office of Mobilization has provided professional development on mobile device and app use to educators in all levels of education (PreK-12, higher education and adult workforce training) across Tennessee, the United States, and around the world in countries such as Senegal and Netherland Antilles.

With a diverse, multi-university team of highly innovative and experienced faculty development professionals, this symposium seeks to extend best practice, tips-and-tricks and lessons learned through interactive, hands-on, train-the-trainer activities.

Employing an up-tempo format, symposium facilitators will alternate between live demonstrations of training activities, descriptions of the theoretical foundations of the training and highlights from the 42 empirically focused research studies and 73 formal investigations into mobile learning and digital media that validate the proposed approaches.

Participants will engage in numerous hands-on activities while taking away dozens of faculty development ideas and adoptable practices. As a way to provide deep-learning moments, each demonstration is analyzed with the audience to demonstrate the underlying educational philosophy and to transfer facilitation instructions. Numerous question and answer opportunities are structured in to the event timing to help facilitate reflective observation moments.

This seminar can fit into a four or eight-hour format as needed. Longer time allows for more demonstration of training activates.

This session seeks to offer audience members with hands-on opportunities that simultaneously allow the session facilitators the chance to provide live demos. Questions on application and deployment strategies are expected during the numerous question breaks. Ideally, participants take home a deeper understanding of adult-learning theory (self-determination theory, over justification effect, computer supported collaborative learning), best practices as illustrated by the facilitators and at least a few practical training methods.


Kyle Dickson directs the AT&T Learning Studio at ACU, enabling students and faculty to craft media messages for a global audience. Since 2005, he has worked with the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning to support innovative faculty in podcasting, course blogging, and mobile learning. Presentations and workshops include EDUCAUSE, ELI, NMC, SITE and the Handheld Learning Conference with a range of consulting in mobile learning in Higher Ed, K-12.




Back to top