It was exciting to hear the discussion about using cellphones as tools in the classroom. Some of the points really stuck out:
“Why put so much effort (or energy) into banning things? … when they could be used for educational purposes.”
Publish the lesson plans so the educational use of cell phones is clear.
French IV class project: All students created an account (formally Gcast, but no longer free) they registered their cell phones. Recorded the speaking prompt. All they had to do is submit the link to the teachers. No students used the technology inappropriately because they were all engaged. ** A possible substitution for Gcast is Yodio – it is free and easy to record from a cellphone. Using cellphones for creating and recording podcasts is a much cheaper option than a language lab. The students can also create from anywhere, not just in the classroom.
Students should have a positive digital footprint and a PLN before they graduate from high school. Those will be the students who have an advantage in the real world.
Advice for teachers who want to start using cell phones in the classroom: check out the book from Toys to Tools. Try to network with other teachers who are using cellphones to get great ideas.