I'm looking for information on incorporating cell phones into my high school classes. Im very interested in using them as poll-taking devices, but am open to any other uses that you all may be doing. Can anyone make suggestions. Thanks.
Here's a few links from my blog about using cell phones in the classroom. The polling is great (I have clickers for that purpose), but I like it to have "Chalk Talk" style discussions on the board. Students can text in their answers to a questions, or have a rolling discussion by text message. It's great! I use www.polleverywhere.com for all of my text messages needs.
I would suggest looking into SCVNGR (www.scvngr.com). You can make scavenger hunts that are played through text messaging on cell phones. I made a SCVNGR as a review session for a U.S. History test, where the students recieved clues and challenges that they answered from their notes, textbook or memory. The scavengers that you create can be put into demo mode for free (this means there is limited access), but you can also sign up through SCVNGR (I think $110 or so) to create hunts that are posted on their website. Here is a video of my students reviewing for their test: http://vimeo.com/9348372
I think it is great that educators like yourself want to implement these everyday technologies into the classroom. This is a great way to engage students and keep their attention. I think it also presents a great opportunity to bring up cell phone privacy and safety along with a set of rules of classroom usage before introducing them to the classroom. Here's a great guide that provides tips for youth cell phone usage; it might be of use to you and provide you with a few extra things to think about.
I use cell phones with polleverywhere.com a lot, but I also use them to brnig outside voices into the classroom, especially on controversial topics. For example, we discuss race and college admissions...not the conducive to open and honest dialogue in a HS class, so I have the students text 5 people outside of school a question "On a scale of 1-5 how important should race be in college admissions" and then keep track of the results (what adults say, what college students say) as they come in, asking students if they agree or disagree, etc. The same process can be used for any type of controversial issue.
I also have them use the Google SMS program (where they can text Google for a definition, etc.) when they reading a difficult work.
It has been very interesting and stimulating to see the level of engagement of the students go up whenever we use cell phones. I hope that helps!
I recently wrote a blog post outlining the most common uses of cell phones in learning. It includes polling information, but also goes into using Twitter and Dailybooth for projects, scavenger hunts, mobile Internet access, and digital storytelling.