Most high school and college students have one. Why are we still generally ignoring them as a valid educational tool?
In Sunday's article “Embracing the Cell Phone in the Classroom With Text Messaging Assignments”, we read about one instructor's perspective on the importance of embracing the cell phone as a communications tool to engage and connect with today's students. Wanting to learn a little more about the cell/smart phone phenomenon as it relates to education, I hit the ‘net again and examined dozens of websites and articles to find more worthwhile resources to share. Here's 10 good ones I found (if you know of some other related resources worth sharing, please comment and tell us about them – thanks!).
- “10 Schools Encouraging Smartphones in the Classroom”, this December 2011 article offers 10 examples of schools that are doing this and discusses their approaches.
- “Smartphones in the Classroom” is a rich resource from “RoxannNys” PBWorks Wiki page.
- To understand the seeming gibberish of text messaging abbreviations, check out Cliff Notes “Understanding Text Message Shortcuts”.
- Here's an insightful Mobile Learning “Free Info Kit” slide show from moblearn.blogspot.com.
- This article offers a dozen of the “Most Useful iPhone, iPad and Smartphone Apps for College Students”.
- For Android-based phones, here's a great topic-specific article just published last week: “Best Android apps for teachers, tutors, and educators”.
- For more smart phone apps specific to different phone types, Apple has an education-specific app section for iPhones here on iTunes. There does not seem to be an Android.com page specific to education but 101BestAndroidApps has one here and Android4Schools.com looks worth checking out. Last, there's an education-specific Blackberry app page here.
- For more iPhone apps for education, check out these “Top iPhone Apps for Teachers and Students” and “7 Brilliant iPhone Apps for Teachers & Bloggers” from Johannes Ahrenfelt.
- I thought it was worth noting that Wiley publishes a book titled “Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones To Enhance Learning” by Lisa Neilsen Willyn Webb ($13.94 on Amazon.com as of this writing).
- Finally, don't forget about the natural marriage of Twitter and mobile phones. This brief article shows you how to set up your Twitter account so you can tweet from your cell phone in 6 easy steps (or, if you have a Smart Phone, see No. 6 above to seek out a Twitter app for you phone). Then go check out “100 Ways to Teach with Twitter” for ideas!
I hope these resources provide some good ideas, insights, and tips for constructive instructional uses for those mobile communications devices that many of your students often can't seem to ignore for more than a few minutes.
Regular readers know the drill – we want to hear your feedback, your questions, your ideas. Go ahead, comment and ask, share and express yourself. You ask your students to do it all the time, now it's time for you to raise your hand (digitally speaking) and speak up!