SmartPhones as Learning Tools

Source: The University of Phoenix Technology Library

“Cell phones, when combined with Internet access and e-mail or messaging capabilities, can be used as a student response mechanism in the classroom.”

Classroom Application
One way to use cell phones is with audience response websites and software. Students may also use cell phones to perform Internet searches about class discussion topics. Cooperative learning groups can sync timers on their phones to increase productivity. In addition, students can take, store, and share pictures of projects, the chalkboard, drawings, or notes. As the technology on SmartPhones increase, there are endless possibilities for students to use apps to increase productivity in the classroom. There are apps for dictionary use, voice to text dictation, Google apps and document sharing, student response and assessment and much more!

Technology Requirements
Students generally provide cell phones; classroom use requires a data plan, camera, and texting options.

(articles and research)
Using Cell Phones in the Classroom

Curriculum Review, 01472453, Oct. 2010, Vol. 50, Issue 2
The numbers confirm it: mobile computing devices are on the upswing in today’s K-12 classrooms. Four years ago, 19% of computing devices were mobile, according to the America’s Digital Schools 2006 report. Now that number is up to 57%, according to a Project RED research report released in September.
So, it makes sense that mobile technology is being embraced in the classroom. Ninth-grade English teacher Judy Pederson allows students to text during particular assignments, reports the Harvard Education Letter. She only requires that they use standard English when doing so.
“Before, it was difficult getting them to write,” said the Valley High School teacher in Santa Ana, Calif. “But now when I ask them to compose back stories or give advice to conflicted literary characters, they’re into it.”
Pederson discovered that 88% of her students had cell phones, even though many didn’t have computer or Internet access at home. That’s why she chose to tap into a technology that was available to them.
She told the Harvard Education Letter that there are rules that go along with cell phone use in her classroom, however. The students help compose these classroom policies and Pederson believes that encourages compliance. She also confiscated cell phones that aren’t put away when not being used for a class project that then have to be retrieved by a parent.

Other Educational Uses
Some of the ways cell phones can be used in the classroom, according to Liz Kolb, the author of Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education, include:
* Posting texts or recorded materials to class blogs for students to access
* Downloading podcasts and other materials
* Taking photos of different geographical places to post to a class Flickr account in geography classes
* Creating short telenovelas (Spanish-language soap operas) using the video on phones and posting them to a blog in foreign language classes
* Posting quick thoughts, questions and reactions to an English class reading on Twitter
* Collaborating on writing stories called “twittories” by tweeting successive entries
* Participating in poetry slams by students recording themselves on their phones and posting the entries to a class website
* Taking pictures of and recording text about historical landmarks and people interviewed during class field trips
Teachers can also tap into cell phone technology by using a free Web tool called It allows them to pose short multiple-choice tests and more open-ended questions to get instant feedback that can be automatically posted on electronic whiteboards in real time. This can help teachers know when to move on to the next lesson.
For more ideas about incorporating cell phone use into the classroom, head to Kolb’s blog, “From Toy to Tool: Cell Phones in Learning, A conversation about integrating student cell phones into classroom curricula” at http://www.cellphones in
Sources: Harvard Education Letter, July/August 2010;
According to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, cell phones are owned by:
✓ 85% of high school students
✓ 69% of middle school students
✓ 31% of eight- to ten-year-olds

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Improving Student-Led Discussions Using Cell Phones
Marjorie Foley, Lin Muilenburg, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, Mar 29, 2010 in San Diego, CA, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-78-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
Despite the increased popularity of student-led discussions, these learning activities have not reached their optimal potential in the classroom. This paper describes an in-progress study where students use their cell phones to participate in small group discussions outside of class. Free Conference Pro, a web-based program, is used to facilitate and record the discussion. Students analyze recordings for content, delivery and group dynamics to increase their awareness of their own engagement in discussion activities. Data revealing student development in reading comprehension, literary analysis and discussion participation is gathered in follow-up activities conducted in and out of the classroom.

More Than Talk: mLearning Activities for the K12 Classroom PROCEEDINGS
Lin Muilenburg, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, Mar 29, 2010 in San Diego, CA, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-78-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA
The use of cellphones in schools have been shown to increase retention, interest level, and participation in the classroom. This paper presents a series of lesson activities that incorporate the use of mobile communication and Web 2.0 tools to facilitate collaborative learning. In our hands-on presentation of the lessons we will explore the various features of this ubiquitous tool including voice, text, pictures and video and apply them to enhance the collaborative experience.

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