Using mobile devices in the classroom
- Dear LT SIG list members,
We had a great webinar yesterday with Carla Arena talking about how she uses mobile devices with students in her school, with record attendance of almost 70 people. (The webinar recording will be available in the Members' Area of the website shortly).
Carla shared lots of great activities and ideas for teachers interested in starting to integrate the use of mobile devices into their classroom teaching. She has kindly agreed to continue the discussion here to explore the subject in more depth. Here are a couple of questions to get us started:
- Do you have your students use mobile devices in the classroom? If so how?
- What sorts of issues surround the use of mobile devices in the classroom?
- What activities can we do with our students using mobile devices and more importantly, why would we want to use mobile devices instead of more traditional means?
Looking forward to your thoughts :-)
LT SIG Online Events Coordinator
- Thanks, Nicky, for getting us started in the mobile topic after a lovely
morning (for me!) yesterday with such an amazing crowd.
In our Webinar, I focused on very simple activities to get teachers started
with a low fear factor involved. What I mentioned in the talk is that
generally there is so much excitement about the new possibilities that new
and emergent technologies for our classrooms that we very easily lose
focus. We need to, first, cater to teachers� needs and anxieties, for
change means that our brains will react for survival (meaning that if we
feel threatened, we simply get stuck and prevent ourselves from going into
the wild to test the new). So, even though we want to jump in and bring the
transformative promise these new technologies bring, we can use effective
strategies to tame our initial fears and really picture the great potential
mlearning has for language production.
On slide 8 of my presentation (available at
I introduced the SAMR model (substitution, augmentation, modification and
redefenition), which is the one I�ve been focusing on to train teachers at
the Binational Center I work for in Brasilia. Instead of trying to take a
big leap into adding some mlearning activities into our classroom practice,
we can try out very simple activities that work adapted from our
traditional classes in a way that enhances our teaching, engages students
and spices up the classroom environment. Nothing big, but potentially
Some examples we talked about yesterday: using mobile devices for treasure
hunts, for example. Did we do that in the past? Yes! But how is it
different now? Students can use their mobile devices to go on an object
treasure hunt. It can be related to the vocabulary they are studying, a
specific topic (we had one about brands in the classroom), or even a
grammar point. I had one for students in which they had to go around the
classroom for 1 minute and take photos of different types of objects of
different shapes, materials and textures. Then, I had some prompts on the
board for them to talk to each other (it is made of, it was produced/made
in, it was bought by...). As a follow-up activity, they could use the
group�s objects to write a story. Activities like that are not
revolutionary, but they let our students be in control, use the means that
they are used to (mobile devices) and produce language based on their own
image choices. For the teacher, besides the productive part, the photos can
be reused for future activities, review, and even assessment. I mentioned
that, in the past, we used magazines to do this kind of activities, but now
are scissors are digital and reusing and remixing content chosen by our
students is much simpler and effective. In this case, this is the first
stage in enhancing our lesson plans.
Can you think of other ways to use mobile devices in the classroom that
demand little prep time for teachers and are highly effective in terms of
student language production? Have you tried something like that? What were
I hope to keep the conversation going with the group until we get to the
redefinition part of the SAMR model and that we can really put into
practice what we discuss here.
For mlearning resources I�ve been gathering, you can check the post I wrote
for our Webinar:
Looking forward to hearing from you,
On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 4:49 AM, Nicky <nickyhockly@...> wrote:
> Dear LT SIG list members,
> We had a great webinar yesterday with Carla Arena talking about how she
> uses mobile devices with students in her school, with record attendance of
> almost 70 people. (The webinar recording will be available in the Members'
> Area of the website shortly).
> Carla shared lots of great activities and ideas for teachers interested in
> starting to integrate the use of mobile devices into their classroom
> teaching. She has kindly agreed to continue the discussion here to explore
> the subject in more depth. Here are a couple of questions to get us started:
> - Do you have your students use mobile devices in the classroom? If so how?
> - What sorts of issues surround the use of mobile devices in the
> - What activities can we do with our students using mobile devices � and
> more importantly, why would we want to use mobile devices instead of more
> traditional means?
> Looking forward to your thoughts :-)
> Best wishes,
> Nicky Hockly
> LT SIG Online Events Coordinator
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