Cell Phone Success

I have successfully used cell phones in my 8th grade Spanish classes.

Before I planned on using them, I set up a survey through Google Forms so I could see how many of my students would be excluded from the activity. I asked if the students had cell phones, if they had unlimited text messages, and if they brought their phone to school. The results were somewhat to be expected.


The only question that might not have been completely accurate was the question about cell phones being brought to school. Some of the students confessed they thought I was trying to trick them, so they did not answer honestly. The middle school did not make a big deal about the change in the AUP – so some students did not realize that cell phones are now excepted educational technology. That does not mean they can text their friends during class, it means it can be used as a tool in class.

I created a digital cultural scavenger hunt for the class.

Using a cell phone – you can send questions to Google (466453)
If you have any questions about texting Google, there is a help section.

They had to find information on Guatemala (our current location of study).  The students were able to send text messages to Google on topics like the time, weather, definitions of Spanish words used in the English language, translations of Spanish words, and currency conversions.

They could have easily found the answers using an online search engine, but they were so excited when Google would text the answers back. They even suggested some additional words to define or translate.

The couple students who did not have a cell phone were able to find the answers online. They finished the activity early and had time to play Spanish review games online, like Free Rice en español. So in the end, all the students were happy with the activity.

My only regret may be hearing “Are we using our cell phones today?” everyday. It is not going to be a daily occurrence, but I think it would enhance the weather lessons. In the past I have had the students look up weather on Weather.com, but they quickly notice the Spanish toggle button. It does not demonstrate what the students know if they are only reading off a translated page.


About Lisa Butler

Middle school teacher of Social Studies and Spanish, tech trainer, Flocabulary MC, Nearpod PioNear, and Edcamp Hershey Founder. I have embraced the power of blogging and reviewing products. If I am not doing something with ed or tech, I am probably reading, baking, running, or traveling.
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