When we talk about students using their cell phones in class, we’re not just talking about them using their cell phones in class. We’re referring to them using their cell phones to enhance the learning experience and increase student engagement. After all, they are called “smartphones,” why not use these devices as a learning tool? Today’s student is wired-in 24/7, they are more tech-savvy than ever before. According to research, over 86% of millennials own a smartphone and they are spending a great deal of time on their beloved mobile devices, so why not put their addition to work in the classroom?
A good rule of thumb for integrating cellphones within the classroom is to view cellphones as an educational tool, just like a textbook, workbook, or a PowerPoint. We utilize these tools within our classrooms to help provide clarity and to aid our students in learning the material. The use of cellphones in the classroom is simply another helpful educational tool. So, what’s the best way to incorporate cellphones into your classroom?
Look up a definition – As you introduce a new topic with lots of new words, have students lookup the key words by having them go to merriam-webster.com or dictionary.com. This is a great way to introduce a new topic.
Research Activity – Assign a research topic/challenge such as: current hair trends, state laws and regulations, job readiness, etc. Research activities can be performed individually, in groups and/or teams.
Video – When demonstrating a technical procedure such as a haircut, color, facial, etc., allow students to video the procedure. This will allow them to have immediate access to the procedures for later reference.
Note-taking – There are many note-taking apps available to help students keep all of their notes, ideas, images and tasks in one place, making study time go a little smoother.
Online Flashcards – Have students create their own digital flashcards. They can create, study and even share with their classmates.
There are so many great ways smartphones can be integrated into the classroom. When properly used, smartphones can be a powerful educational tool to help students stay engaged and enhance their overall learning experience.