Hello to all the educators out there.  I was wondering if I could get any ideas on how students can use their cells to increase engagement in the classroom.  My high school has recently adopted the BYOD (bring your own device) policy and I am trying to look for new ways to incorporate the use of the cell phone in my Spanish classes.  I have used remind101 and came up with a class Twitter page.   Any other ideas that have yielded success?  Thanks! 

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Comment by Linda Roberts on November 21, 2013 at 9:38am

The class twitter page is a great idea especially for posting homework reminders.  My students have used dry erase boards to write a draft regarding a topic and after it has been edited with peers have used their phones to take a picture of the notes.

Comment by carolyn on December 3, 2013 at 4:00pm

The really key thing, I think, to making it work, as a conventional school/classroom teacher, is to have a blog or wiki to which students can post content or links.

Just think - whatever you always did with pens and paper, group work and presentations can now be done with cell phones and ipads.


Create a survey for the 'minds on' portion of your lesson, use it for homework check, a quiz or have the students make a poll as part of their own collaborative work or presentation

2. After reading or a lesson, have students move off in pairs and and take a quick photo of a tableau created to encompass a concept or theme

3. After reading or lesson have students move off in pairs and create a quick KEY IDEA recording with the camera or voice recorder on their device. Post to a wiki or to youtube (or post the link to the youtube on the wiki)

4. Have each student in a group read a part of a larger complex text and make notes, then post to the blog - everyone has the notes (great to reinforce reading for the 'main idea' )

5. Scavenger hunts. Students post answers & links to the class blog or wiki (for which there is a shortcut on their phone) as they work.

6. As an organizational tool: calendar - everything goes in - with an alert!

7. Download DRAGON - its a pretty good dictation/writing aid. 

8. Create a lesson for them to watch and listen to. Make it with a timed powerpoint movie, then create a screen recording with your voice over (I use QUICKTIME), upload it to your blog or wiki or teacher site and have kids use it in the class or out . . .  then create their own. Everyone takes charge of a lesson.

9. Read out loud. Like: ' make your own audiobook' to support reading or have the students do it for others - or for other reasons. Post & share. (Create their own 'TED type 'lectures' as presentations. Post and share)

10. Photo essay - as lab report, creative writing project, phys ed fitness tracker

And so on . . . 

Caveat: They're gonna have some off task 'behaviour'. (Me too, with a phone in my hand.) It was ever thus. Don't sweat it. If it becomes a problem during instructions or more formal lesson time, 'park' phones face down, top right corner of the desk.

Have fun!


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