Saturday, November 3, 2007
Cell Phones as Learning Tools
I took quite a while to listen to the K12 Online presentation Cell Phones as Classroom Learning Tools. I wasn't going to listen to it initially. At our school, cell phones are supposed to stay in backpacks and are to be turned off. Boy, am I glad I listened.
A lot of what was presented will work for me personally. I really did not think much about using a phone outside of what I saw in the Pay Attention video by Darren Draper. The video suggests challenging students to find data to several questions via the cell phone. By the way, I only realized recently that he created that presentation through a Twitter that he posted.
I have had my math and computer students record songs and public service announcements on various topics. It is hard to get a good recording with the sounds of the classroom in the background. One of her ideas was to use the cell phone as a recording tool. The links to the tools are on her wiki. It doesn't even have to be a cell phone, it can be a land line. I may use this in the future.
Another idea that intrigues me is to record ring tones for a cell phone. The ring tone can be a song a student creates. This would tie in nicely to the metric songs my math students create. Liz also has an idea for creating wall paper for the cell phone. This would be a neat tie in to learning to create images using The Gimp.
Finally, more as a tool to create content for parents and students are two last ideas. The first is the idea of using a website that allow a person to create a mobile phone viewable site. Imagine how neat it would be to have a little site for downloading those wall papers and ring tones. The second is the ability to post homework and assignment alerts. I already use Schoolnotes to post homework. It would be neat to have parents to sign up for alerts.
There were some pointed comments on the K12 Online about the cost of using the Internet with cell phones. I agree with this. I had my links to the Internet cut off on my phone because I don't want to pay the extra money and I was tired of clicking into the option by mistake. I also agree that students often use texting and Internet connections without regard to what it costs their parents. Tied into a math lesson, it would make a powerful real life connection to their lessons.
Great job on the presentation and I am glad that K12 Online makes it easy to go back to again and again. I had it on my iPod and it was great "pick up" listening while waiting at the tire repair shop and waiting to pick up the kids from after school activities. I plan on eventually posting my results of each tool as I try it. I highly recommend the presentation.
"Cell Phone vs. Cell Phone.” Yankee in Texas' Photostream. 22 Sep 2007. 3 Nov 2007. http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1234/1426682842_48bdec4176_m.jpg