Mobile Learning Tools to Use Now

While “mobile learning” has been a buzz word in Education for at least a couple years, it’s just now making an entrance in Extension programming. Extension project teams have dabbled in Moodle-created online courses or volunteer trainings, but are these resources truly “mobile?” Meaning, if someone were to access them from their iPad or mobile phone, would they be user-friendly? Or, if we create an app for a smartphone, is that the only form of “mobile learning?” The genius of mobile learning is that it exists in many forms (not just in Moodle course or app form) and can be accessed from anywhere at anytime. I personally believe that the recent explosion of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the popularity of apps for educational purposes presents one of the greatest opportunities to utilize technology in Extension that we have had in a long time – to put mobile technology for educational purposes effectively. We have the content and mobile technology offers us the audience. As more people begin learning via MOOCs on Coursera and iTunesU, we can be a part of that learning environment.

Of course, this is Extension. And we are slow to change and even slow to pick up on hot tech trends. It’s much easier for us to get our “feet wet” a bit before we dive head-first into technology that may or may not be useful to us. This approach can (and should) be done, but early tech adopters are already itching to begin going more mobile with their programs. Here are some tools for those folks to check out:

  • Texting Software – What’s more mobile than texting? Not much. The University of Maryland recently implemented a nutrition texting campaign and delivered all of the program’s information via texts to a low-income audience. And they saw great results. The software itself can be pricey unfortunately, so that is a barrier to its use in Extension. But the concept should continue to be explored! SNAP-Ed professionals in Ohio have also used texting as a means to remind clients of upcoming programs, and have seen a positive impact on participant retention.
  • Video – Videos are very effective teaching tools and are now being accessed by mobile devices more often than computers. Camtasia is the recommended software at OSUE to use to create narrated videos. Other (free) options are Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. Link the videos back to your social media pages or blog site. If you create a video, please ask a colleague and/or an Ed Tech to review it for you before posting. You can also post your video to the OSU Extension YouTube channel. Check out the submission form here or contact Mitch Moser for more details.
  • iBooks Author – Utilizing Apple’s iBooks Author as an eBook creator was mentioned during a concurrent session at OSUE’s Annual Conference a couple years back, many of you may have attended that session. So this tool has been floating around for a while, but hasn’t been utilized very much. If you’re interested in learning how to create an eBook with iBooks Author, there are many YouTube videos similar to this one that walk you through the process step-by-step. (The only catch is that you will need an Apple device.) Myself and at least one other Ed Tech will be attending OSU’s Digital Union iBook Bootcamp in December and will then be available to help teach and coach others to use the software. More info will come out after the bootcamp!
  • Adobe InDesign – InDesign is similar to Microsoft Publisher and may be more user-friendly for creating eBooks and other ePublications than iBooks for those who are used to working with a PC.
  • iTunesU – If you haven’t yet checked out Apple’s app for free, online education and learning, you should! Anyone who downloads the app has access to thousands of free classes and programs from Universities and experts all over the world. Ohio State has added many new courses recently, so my suggestion for project teams who are looking to expand into that space has been to take a look at the current courses to see how they could effectively use iTunesU as a way to deliver educational information from their program. MOOCs are already here to stay, and iTunesU gives us the opportunity in Extension to get our foot in the door.

Have you used other mobile learning tools that aren’t listed? Do you consider Social Media to be a mobile learning tool as well?


CarmenConnect – Hardware & Mobile Recommendations


For the Best Experience

  • All Participants should use a desktop or laptop computer with a wired internet connection and a headset or earbuds.  A wireless connection may not be strong or stable enough to provide an ideal experience.  Relying on the speakers and mic built into a computer can result in poor sound quality for all Participants in the session.


  • If Attendees expect to speak during the session, a combined headset / mic is recommended.  See the Headset Information page for more details.
  • To create an optimal user experience during a session while using the built-in computer audio (Voice over IP), each person should speak with a headset mic.  This equipment lets the microphone focus on the speaker’s voice without picking up ambient sound from the physical room in which they are sitting.  It also prevents the audio in the Connect Meeting Room from feeding back into the session and creating an echo.

Operating Systems

  • Adobe Connect requires the Adobe Connect Add-in enable all functions. When prompted, meeting participants should allow the Add-in to load and/or install. Installation takes less than a minute on most machines.
  • The add-in is highly recommended for Meeting Hosts, Hosts and Presenters.
  • Browser Known Issues The current version of the Google Chrome browser is incompatible with the Adobe Connect Add-in. Please see the Adobe Help article for more information: 

Tablets/Smartphones/iOS Mobile Devices

  • With the launch of Adobe Connect 9, Adobe also launched the Adobe Connect Mobile 2.0 client.  A full description of what can and cannot be done when using a mobile device can be found in Adobe’s official blog post here:

~ Teresa


Carmen Connect – Need More Training?

Make plans to attend our session at Annual Conference (Ken Kulka and Teresa Johnson) to learn more about Carmen Connect and get your questions answered. In the meantime…. there are several resources on the web to help with using Carmen Connect.

Carmen Connect Quick Start/Host/Presenter Info

Tips and Tricks Video

Uploading a document into Carmen Connect vs Sharing a Document/Desktop

To use your CarmenConnect account, you can go to the portal at or you can go to the direct URL for any Connect room in our system. The username is your “” and the initial password is “carmenconnect1”. This is a one-time use password. You will be asked to create a new password for yourself after you have successfully logged in. In the CarmenConnect portal, you can create new rooms for yourself or manage any existing rooms under your account. Most of these features can also be accessed from the menus in a Connect room

Carmen Connect Contact: 
Ken Kulka:
Instructional Development Specialist
Communications and Technology