Enable Learning Anywhere by Using Your Phone as a Wireless Internet Connection for other Devices
When I was in grade school decades ago we would sit at our neatly arranged desks and listen to what our teachers taught us. Today, my 8 year old son sits at a round table for part of his school day and then learns at an in-classroom learning station. When he comes home, we do homework and have some intelligent fun on our Kindles. Teachers know that grade school age children are online and very tech savvy.
Some teachers seize this opportunity by practicing education on the go. Education on the go is engaging kids with content when and where the opportunity presents itself when outside the classroom. The Internet has a wealth of resources for teachers who want to go beyond the books. A challenge for teachers has been accessing this information when their schools Internet service provider is inaccessible.
It’s Easy to Use Your Phone to Provide Wireless Connections for Other Devices
One way to rise above this challenge is making your own connection to the Internet by creating what is known as a “hotspot.” A hotspot is simply a small area where one can get online via a wireless Internet connection. This can be achieved almost anywhere one has cell phone reception if one has a smart phone. Although each type of smart phone is a little different, the process of creating a hotspot is similar. First, locate the app on your phone labeled “Wi-Fi” or “Mobile Hotspot” or something along those lines. Click it and then look for something that says “tethering” and/ or “Wi-Fi hotspot.” Then you should see a list of settings choices, one of which should read something along the lines of “Portable Wi-Fi hotspot.” Turn that on. Be sure to use the option to create a password. This will prevent others from accessing your newly created Wi-Fi hotspot and using your service plan without paying.
Now that you have created a live and secure hotspot, you can have your laptop or tablet connect to it as it would any other wireless network. Go into your device’s settings and look for the hotspot. It will mostly likely be the only one available. Simply click it and then enter the password. Your laptop or tablet is now online. Please be sure to monitor your usage of bandwidth as you do not want to go over your monthly limit.
Now Get Connected!
Now that you are online, you can do things like access Reading Rainbow for your class during down time on a field trip. Access anywhere allows you as a teacher to use any and every opportunity that presents itself to educate your students about the world around them.
For example, the Smithsonian has an app that enables you to put full episodes and video clips from documentaries on your devices. The CIA has an app version of its World Factbook that gives students and teachers instant access to geography information. For more advanced students, there is an app that is an excellent preparation for the AP World History exam. There are many more out there readily available from your device’s app store.
The big things to keep in mind are to be mindful of how much of your wireless service you are using, being sure to create a password protected Wi-Fi hotspot and to have the apps preloaded. It is also advisable to make sure your tablet or laptop is running the latest version of its operating system. This will make your device more efficient and use less bandwidth.
With education on the go, a teacher can use any opportunity anywhere to teach his or her students just about anything!
- For detailed step by step instructions on how to create a Wi-Fi hotspot with an Andorid, click here.
- For detailed step by step instructions on how to create a Wi-Fi hotspot with an iPhone, click here.
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