Cellphones became ubiquitous among my classmates when I was in school.
As more of my friends got phones, schools started to crack down on using them in class, fearing they’d becoming a distraction
Despite these concerns, some schools have seen success by introducing smartphones into the classroom, according to NPR.
Plus, since kids are likely to smuggle their phone use in class anyways, why not put them to good use?
This guide will show you the benefits and different ways you can make constructive use of smartphones in class at little to no cost to your school!
Agenda Keeping and Time Management
When I was a student in middle and high school I tended to be forgetful, and it would interfere with my academic career. When I finally got my first cell phone, I started using it as my daily planner and it made my life so much easier. I could keep track of assignments and set reminders in my phone that would go off and let me know an assignment had to be completed at such-and-such a date.
Now that I have been out of school for quite a few years now, new apps and software options are available for this specific purpose. myHomework, which is available on iPhone and Android, completely replaces the need for a physical student planner and streamlines all of your assignment planning and reminders.
Since students will forever have their phones on them at all times (we all know how they are) their excuses for missing or forgetting an assignment is severely limited.
Even better, schools won’t have to spend money on physical planners for their students as they did for me when I was in middle school and high school. The app is free with ads activated and only $4.99 for premium, which most likely wouldn’t even be necessary for students.
Modern smartphones allow us all to access virtually unlimited amounts of information in seconds. With all of these resources at our fingertips, why not allow students the ability to access all of it? After all, life is more than memorizing times and dates, but also effectively gathering information and applying it when needed.
Consulting with peers and databases is what most of us do on a daily basis to solve problems.Teaching students these skills early on is crucial to their development.
Resources on the internet and mobile apps are vast and numerous for all subjects:
Sparknotes for literature, philosophy, drama, etc.
Brain Tudor 3D for anatomy and psychology studies on the human brain
Simplemind for making mental maps and organization of brainstorming
Quizlet for preparing for that big test or exam
Duolingo for learning new languages
Encyclopedia Apps for general knowledge
…and the list goes on and on.
Typical classrooms usually only have 4-5 general use computers for students to use and with schools facing budget shortfalls, buying more laptops or other forms of mobile technology isn’t always feasible.
With students providing their own smartphones it saves time and money for both the school and students to find the information they need at a moment’s notice.
Smartphones can help with tracking progress and making sure assignments are being completed on time. Sure, there is always the spectre of distraction by allowing smartphones in the classroom (Angry Birds, anyone?), but what if you could keep track of their assignment completion while they use their technology?
Some apps and software options allow accountability and communication features between students and teachers. Google Apps for Education, for example, has their own mobile apps which helps teachers send out assignments to their students and keep track of their progress, even for homebound students.
Blackboard Learn also utilizes a lot of the accountability tools such as constant access to assignment announcements, grades, discussion boards, and instructor chosen resources to ensure success on a student’s mobile phone.
Convenience such as this gives a student and a teacher the ability to complete and review assignments from anywhere on their smartphone. It’s almost as if you can’t escape your education, since you take your smartphone with you everywhere you go.
Have you introduced the use of smartphones in class? Was it successful? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!