Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mobie Learning Lab

This was my first time trying the website Poll Everywhere. What a cool way to implement something that students already have! The results of the text message I sent took less than one minute to update on the website (I tried it myself since I no longer have students this year.) and it was neat to see the bar graph instantly materialize. I know for a fact that a HUGE majority of my students have texting capabilities on their cell phones, and would easily be able to do this. One worry I do have is relying on the service strength of students' cell phones to complete this task. I can see them now...all huddling by the one window in my classroom with cell phones in the air trying to get service!

I also really enjoyed the article "10 Ideas for Using Cell Phones in Education". These were very simple ways that almost any teacher, with any ability level could implement in his or her classroom, especially because the kids are the experts in how to use the technology! The two most popular uses that I can see are as response systems (using sites such as Poll Everywhere, Google Forms, etc) and as simple research. After watching Digital Nation, and the enthusiasm and ease at which students use Blogging sites, that could be a cool idea too using an RSS reader.

The challenge I can really foresee has to do with school policy. (This is actually an ongoing project/discussion on Classroom 2.0 that I look forward to investigating more thoroughly.) Cell phones are currently not allowed in classrooms because of the distraction they are to the students' learning. It would be extremely difficult to monitor which kids have their cell phones for socializing (texting, online chats, Facebook, etc)and which students just came from a class that was using cell phones for mobile learning. Policies would have to be changed, and much thought would have to be involved to develop an appropriate plan of action to keep the use focused on education.

The other difficulty I can anticipate is the "touch and go" service that we have at our building, especially in interior classrooms with no windows. In these locations, service is virtually non-existent, where classrooms with windows have some service.

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