Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Glance at Students and Cell Phones

I polled my 6th grade students to collect some data on cell phone ownership. 77 out of 125 students have their own cell phone. 48 out of 125 have both email and cell phone. 34 out of 125 students do not have either a cell phone or an email. What does this data mean? It means that while not all students have cell phones, many do (62%) so we should be using that to our advantage. Remind101 is a great communication tool that we should be utilizing. I would be willing to bet that there is at least one cell phone in 100% of households in Brandon Valley School District. If not 100%, it's 99.9%.  We don't know if students will check their planner when they get home, but I can guarantee they will check their cell phone screen when they hear/feel that vibration. We know they are seeing the message! Remind101 allows you to text message your students. Text them what? Reminders, news, study tips, motivating quotes, announcements, key concepts, etc. So we have Remind101, but what else for cell phones? Soon, basic phones will be extinct and only Smart phones (droid, galaxy, iPhone) will exist. This day is not far away so we should start thinking about how to best utilize this in education. Record a lecture, upload it to YouTube and kids can watch it on their phone wherever they are. Use cell phones as quick response devices with allows your students to send a text message to a "canvas" and share ideas. Also, there are countless apps like socrative, nearpod, threering available to help with review, organization, researching, etc. At the moment, all this stuff is optional because not all students have cell phones. But begin talking and thinking about how they can be used. Cell phones are not going away, so lets embrace it and think about it and be smart about using them in the classroom. 

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