Four Ways to Use Cell Phones in the Classroom
I’ll be the first to admit that I was once a skeptic about the use of cell phones for learning in the classroom. It wasn’t until I researched various methods and creative applications that I began accepting the idea. One of biggest quarrels I had with students using cell phones is the potential of their already-short attention spans becoming distracted by a device that is predominantly used in the “outside world.” But, I’ve come to the realization that students can theoretically become preoccupied by anything. Cell phones aren’t the only culprit of interruption! In fact, using innovative, mobile technology in lesson plans can actually preserve their minds from becoming uninterested and stale. It even has the potential of bringing a creative and stimulating aspect that many other tools cannot. So without further ado, here are four unique ways to use cell phones in the classroom:
- Have students text you (the teacher) a sentence using a vocabulary word correctly. You may want to remind them that texting slang cannot be used, and proper grammar should be applied.
- Students can take a photo of something that applies to a lesson, i.e. vocabulary, math application or equation (like measuring cups), historical event, or current event. These photos can be shared on a blog, or bulletin board. Vocab Gal shares a fun way to do this with a lesson plan– Scavenger Hunt for Vocabulary.
- Require students to download a free app and use it for a week. Then, assign them to write a short paragraph discussing how the app helps or hinders study, and have them present it to the class.
- Have students record a personal log for a week using a voice or video recorder on their phone. You may want to give them a theme, such as one thing they learned that day. They can edit their recordings with added pictures and text, and then share them with the class.
The trend of using cell phones in the classroom for educational purposes has certainly caught fire. While controversy with its use is still evident, I truly believe that relating them in the correct way can enrich learning and improve engagement. Can you think of any additional ways to creatively use cell phones in the classroom?