A new teaching certification program at the University of San Diego highlights the changing technology needs of American classrooms.

The Mobile Technology Learning Certificate is aimed at helping teachers use mobile devices such as tablets, Technology in schoolssmartphones, e-readers, and netbooks in the classroom. K-12 teachers and administrators enrolling in the program will use mobile technology for project management tasks, learn technical vocabulary for hardware and software, and explore social networking.

The program is an initiative of the Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC), which was created earlier this summer by the university’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

“There is increasing pressure for school systems to integrate mobile devices into the instructional process. But for that to work effectively, we need to learn how best to integrate existing and emerging technologies into the classroom and how to equip teachers with the skills needed to be effective educators in a mobile technology learning environment,” said Roxanne Ruzic, EdD, who will lead the center’s research efforts, in a press release.

The program is offered as four online courses, with the first completion date in April 2013. It consists of four classes:

  • Digital Literacy for Teachers and Leaders
  • Social Media for Teaching and Learning
  • Student-Centered Learning with Mobile Technology
  • Leadership of Digital Environments

"Teachers who graduate from a college of education are having the most difficulty with implementation of mobile technology in their first to third year out of college," said Shawn Gross, senior associate for MLTC, in an interview with CampusTechnology.org. "One of our goals is to eliminate this gap by launching the MTLC Certificate Program, and further collaborate with other anchor institutions to disseminate information on how to better prepare school systems for the new mobile learning reality."

Other schools offer similar mobile technology classes, if not a complete certificate program. For example, the University of Wisconsin Stout has an online course called Mobile Learning Instructional Design, focusing on the use of smartphones and tablets to create interactive learning environments.

Tags: m-learning, mlearning, mobile learning, mtlc, mobile education, mobile technology learning center