When phones in class are awesome…

During an exciting art session this afternoon, my students were saying brilliant, insightful, and deeply reflective things about how we read images (we had just created an image that represented a “frame” in our retelling of Tuck Everlasting). My colleague and co-creator, also our school’s art teacher, grabbed her iPhone, turned on the recorder, and passed it around to the students to share their ideas.

I’ve used my own iPhone in classes as a documentation tool and to save time when trying to furiously scribe for my students when they are having a group discussion…it also really ensures that we capture our students’ thinking¬†as they are saying it…I’ve often found that my notes of their comments aren’t nearly as descriptive as actually just re-listening to them saying it.

How else can the iPhone be transformed from a phone and gadget to a powerful tool, capable of helping our students share their thinking and ideas?

About the Author
Passionate and curious about technology, smiles, special education, differentiated instruction, forests, graphic novels, accessibility, anti-oppression, and warm beverages. Can often be found laughing with young people and improvising songs on the spot. @teach_tomorrow

3 comments on When phones in class are awesome…

  1. This is a great question! By activating Siri, you can actually get students to speak into the phone, and Siri can convert it to text! Then you have the audio and text…pretty cool!

    Here is a great site that tells you how: http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/apple/10-siri-tips-and-tricks-do-more-with-iphone-4s-1052277

  2. Jan Campbell says:

    It would be interesting to know how many teachers in the classroom use the phone and other devices spontaneously to engage students. As Marcie has observed, there is probably a very large continuum of use. The bigger question is why and what are the roadblocks?

  3. Afzal Shaikh says:

    Excellent Post. This reminds me during one of my teaching placements a high school. We had a student who refused to take notes and me the student teacher got a chance to sit down and find out why he refused to participate. He explained to me how he hated writing and he couldn’t keep up with the teacher was saying. After a brief discussion we decided that he should use his smart phone to take notes since he could text much faster than he could type. Soon enough he was on his taking notes on his phone and then eventually added photos to his repertoire. This is the realization that we need to have that these smartphones are no longer just phones, they are mini computers that can be used as a powerful classroom tool.

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