When educators combine the modern smartphone with wireless internet access and the remarkable number of cheap and free mobile apps now available, they become truly amazing pocket-sized learning devices. Teacher Jennifer Carey tells how she’s using smartphones in her classroom: to charge up lessons, promote research and fact-checking, and harness powerful mobile apps to expand learning.
At the beginning of the year, when teacher Jamie Weir invited her high school students to bring their mobile technology into her classroom, Grade 12 student Zac Hawkins’ first thought was “Easy class.” He couldn’t, he says, “bring myself to take the concept of using technology in the classroom seriously — more than likely because I’ve been taught all of my life that technology is not meant for the classroom and that school is a paper-and-pencil-only environment.”
I am a proponent of BYOD (bring your own device) learning. I very rarely travel anywhere without my iPhone or iPad, and I canâ€™t really blame my students if they do the same. I see the â€œaddictionâ€ students have to their cell phones as an opportunity to engage in learning since I view cell phones as another teaching tool, not a distraction. The technology is in their pockets. Itâ€™s a learning resource. Letâ€™s use it!