Take out those cell phones in class

mobiledevicesMost students have cell phones, and more than half of all US undergraduates own an internet-capable handheld device and more plan to purchase one in the next 12 months (ECAR Research Study 2009). Why not use them?

How?  Here are three ideas:

polleverywhereCell phones and internet-capable phones can be used as polling devices, like clickers, to engage students during class. Poll Everywhere will supply an easy to use interface for small classes for free, or large classes for a fee.

Students could access information during class, to contribute to discussions or to inform critical thinking. How? Students could query Google or Google Scholar, access the library or librarian, use news sources, or specific applications for your topic.

studentnotesLeverage student interest in texting to learn about their thinking during class, by setting up a backchannel, like Hotseat at Purdue University. A teaching assistant or other instructor can monitor the backchannel, and alert you to questions, problems, and student interest at appropriate points in the class.

Come to a discussion of using mobile devices for education, both in and out of class, on the second Tuesday of each month.