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R U Engaging Your Students? Strategies and Tools for the Texting Generation

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Students and Smart Phones Go Together Like Reading and Writing. Let's Put Them to Use in the Service of Learning!

In the U.S., and increasingly abroad, students of high school and college age require a smart phone as a standard part of their lifestyles. In fact, the pervasiveness of these devices can be a real distraction for teachers, who often have to ban the use of them in classrooms.

Of course, it is also possible to embrace these ubiquitous gadgets, and put students to work on them!

There are many types of assignments and tools that can be used to engage students using their beloved devices. Here we examine many tools and techniques that can engage students using smartphones. Many of these can also be completed on a tablet or computer as well, to help provide for students who do not have the luxury of a personal cell phone.

  • Research – Access to the Internet means that countless research opportunities are at your student’s fingertips. This is also a great opportunity to teach them about learning how to assess and evaluate the credibility of information. Here’s a useful resource for learning more about this vital skill.
  • Discussion Forums – As long as you have a mobile-friendly LMS or similar interface at your disposal, students can participate in discussion forums via cell phone. This is an excellent chance to remind them of the importance of using appropriate writing styles – no lower case “i”, no texting abbreviations, etc.!
  • Tackk – If you don’t have a discussion forum available, Tackk is a great free alternative that makes it a snap to throw a piece of digital content, or even just a question, up online and have discussion around it. Check out this 3 Minute Teaching with Tech tutorial to get the quick scoop on Tackk. Tackk works fine in the browser on the smartphone, but there is also an app available.
  • Socrative – This excellent free Student Response System is a great tool for interacting right there in the classroom. Students don’t even need to create an account. This recent “Try-a-Tool-a-Week Challenge” page offers a quick video, and lots of tips and feedback from dozens of educators about using Socrative in the classroom!
  • Twitter – There are so many ways to use Twitter to interact, collaborative, learn, research, and so on! As a matter of fact, here are over a 100: 100 Ways to Teach with Twitter. Have your students download the (free) Twitter app version for their phones and review these ideas for using the app in teaching and learning, and you’ll be on your way (and you can use Twitter from you desktop or laptop to participate if your prefer that).
  • Use QR Codes! QR Codes are really easy to create and can be used to create lots of different activities and assignments. Lots of kids already know how to use a QR code reader and have one installed on their phones (they’ll need one if they don’t – there are lots of good free apps available). Here are 25 Fun Ways to use QR Codes for Teaching and Learning.
  • Dozens of additional text messaging assignment ideas: Embracing the Cell Phone in the Classroom With Text Messaging Assignments.

Another great way to put those phones to use is to use Remind to make sure they know about upcoming quizzes, tests, or assignment due dates. We’ve got a 3 Minute Teaching With Tech Tutorial for Remind too!).

So let’s go put those smart phones to use in the service of teaching, learning, and student engagement!

Creative Commons licensed image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jhaymesisvip/6497720551/.

18 COMMENTS

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  2. […] Here are a few classroom activities that will help students develop habits that… Active Engagement Tools. Best Teaching Practices to Engage Your Students. Engage Your Students With These Open Educational Resources. About ETR Community EdTechReview (ETR) is a community of and for everyone involved in education technology to connect and collaborate both online and offline to discover, learn, utilize and share about the best ways technology can improve learning, teaching, and leading in the 21st century. EdTechReview spreads awareness on education technology and its role in 21st century education through best research and practices of using technology in education, and by facilitating events, training, professional development, and consultation in its adoption and implementation. R U Engaging Your Students? Strategies and Tools for the Texting Generation. […]

  3. […] are (at least) 60 thing you can do with Google Classroom. 60 Smarter Ways To Use Google Classroom. R U Engaging Your Students? Strategies and Tools for the Texting Generation. Students and Smart Phones Go Together Like Reading and Writing. Let’s Put Them to Use in the […]

  4. […] R U going 2 class? Strategies and Tools for Engaging the Texting Generation. Students and Smart Phones Go Together Like Reading and Writing. Let’s Put Them to Use in the Service of Learning! In the U.S., and increasingly abroad, students of high school and college age require a smart phone as a standard part of their lifestyles. In fact, the pervasiveness of these devices can be a real distraction for teachers, who often have to ban the use of them in classrooms. Of course, it is also possible to embrace these ubiquitous gadgets, and put students to work on them! There are many types of assignments and tools that can be used to engage students using their beloved devices. Research – Access to the Internet means that countless research opportunities are at your student’s fingertips. Another great way to put those phones to use is to use Remind to make sure they know about upcoming quizzes, tests, or assignment due dates. […]

  5. […] Los estudiantes y los teléfonos inteligentes van juntos como lectura y escritura. Vamos a ponerlos en uso en el Servicio de Aprendizaje! En los EE.UU., y cada vez más en el extranjero, los estudiantes de la escuela secundaria y edad universitaria requieren un teléfono inteligente como un estándar  […]

  6. […] There are many types of assignments and tools that can be used to engage students using their beloved devices. Here we examine many tools and techniques that can engage students using smartphones. Many of these can also be completed on a tablet or computer as well, to help provide for students who do not have the luxury of a personal cell phone.” To read further further please click here:  http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/05/strategies-tools-for-engaging-the-texting-generation/ […]

  7. […] In the U.S., and increasingly abroad, students of high school and college age require a smart phone as a standard part of their lifestyles. In fact, the pervasiveness of these devices can be a real distraction for teachers, who often have to ban the use of them in classrooms. Of course, it is also possible to embrace these ubiquitous gadgets, and put students to work on them! There are many types of assignments and tools that can be used to engage students using their beloved devices. Here we examine many tools and techniques that can engage students using smartphones. Many of these can also be completed on a tablet or computer as well, to help provide for students who do not have the luxury of a personal cell phone.  […]

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