This past month I was asked by my principal to present at our faculty meeting some ideas about using mobile devices in the classroom. Since 99% of the teachers I work with have a mobile phone, I presented ten different ideas teachers can use mobile phones as a learning and teaching tool in the classroom. At the beginning of the meeting I asked all faculty members to brainstorm the ways that they use their mobile device on a daily basis. We acquired a long list that ranged from texting and taking photos to updating their Facebook page and talking on the phone. Our list then led me into talking about how we can use our mobile devices as teaching tools. Below are ten different ideas I shared for any content area.
1. Poll Everywhere – Students can use their mobile device to take a poll or survey.
2. Video Exit Slip – Rather than ask students to write down three things they learned, as students are leaving the classroom, video record (using a cell phone or ipad) student responses to a particular question.
3. Photograph Student Work – A great way to document student learning, you can use your phone to take pictures of student projects and then post them on a class blog or Wiki. I took pictures of my students’ projects and then put all the photos together in a slide show using Animoto.
4. Audio Recordings – Have student record their small group discussions or oral presentation. One idea that was shared with me at a workshop was having Spanish students create their own short telanovelas (Spanish Language Soap Operas) and then post them onto a classroom blog. Students can also listen to podcasts on their phones.
6. Digital Scavenger Hunts – Similar to QR Code Quests, a cellphone can be used to create a virtual scavenger hunt, sending students clues that they have to complete or comprehend to complete an activity.
7. More with Photos & Video – Students can use their cameras to document science experiments or images from a field trip and then catalogue them on a classroom Flickr account.
8. – Evernote – If you are someone who likes to capture things that you want to remember or use later, Evernote lets you snap photos, record some audio, and save it in one place. You can also share your notes with others so it is great for comparing and compiling data for a classroom project.
9. Cel.ly – There are many online tools that send text messages to subscribers reminding students about homework assignments or projects. This tool can help students stay organized and offer reminders for students who need a nudge.
10. Twitter – Whether it is for a teacher’s personal use or classroom back channel, Twitter is one of my top three among social media that I use on a daily basis. Students can use Twitter for posting quick thoughts, questions, or reactions to class room assignments and readings.