The word “smartphone” is a trigger to certain headteachers and educators. Why is this? Simple: smartphones often distract students and disrupt classes.
However, the technology is here to stay: there is no putting this cat back in the bag.
In recent years, many educators have found clever ways to use smartphones as part of their lesson plans. Want to figure out how to get your students more involved? Keep reading to discover these secrets!
Social Media Feed
From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, social media is everywhere. And the chances are that most (or all) of your students are on some form of social media or another.
Savvy teachers can use this to their advantage. For instance, you can set up a special account on a social media platform where you will be posting additional notes and resources.
It can support students to stay more engaged by extending lessons beyond the classroom. And they may even catch up on essential reading class just by scrolling through their social media feed.
Just think: your lessons can go wherever your students go thanks to their smartphones!
The Power of Remind
Some teachers like to email essential notes and reminders to their students. But these teachers quickly discover an open secret: students do not check their email as often as they should.
However, there is a handy online app called Remind. With this app, you can have students voluntarily put themselves on a digital list that allows you to text the whole class quickly.
Since they always have their smartphones on them, students will instantly get the message. And Remind serves to protect your privacy by keeping your number from students (unless you want to—more on that soon).
Learning As a Game
Many of your students like to play games. Their smartphones are likely filled to the brim with different gaming apps.
If you want, it’s possible to channel that love of smartphone gaming into the classroom through the use of special apps. One of our favourite apps is called Kahoot.
The app allows teachers to set up questions ahead of time. Then, in class, students use their phones to join a virtual lobby and play against each other.
You still get the pedagogical benefits of teaching and reviewing important material. And you’d be surprised how eager your students are to “win,” even when the game is learning.
Earlier, we mentioned using apps like Remind as a way to text your entire class. However, there is a brave alternative to this: giving students your cell phone number.
Naturally, this requires a high degree of trust between teacher and student. However, it brings some surprising benefits to the table.
For instance, students will feel more of a rapport with teachers they can text. And they will be more engaged when they can instantly reach out to you with questions.
Finally, this is a great way to hear from students, especially the quiet ones that are afraid to talk during class.
To your students, a smartphone is probably little more than a distraction. As a teacher, one thing you can do is remind them that their smartphone has access to the sum total of all human knowledge.
As an example, you can have students use their phones to research the topics they are working on quickly. And as a bonus, you can take time in class to show them some ways to save time when researching with their phone.
Eventually, you’ll have students who are empowered to learn about anything from anywhere, all thanks to their phones.
Smart Vote (from us at Smart Frog Education) Coming Soon
We’re releasing an excellent platform this Spring that allows teachers to present different styles of questioning to the class, allowing students to select and vote on their smartphone or any online device. You create the questions and possible answers based on your learning objectives. We aim to make it super easy to use and view the results with your students in real-time; you can even download the data to monitor progress.
Stay tuned for this!
Now you’ve learned more about how to incorporate smartphones into the classroom. Our final verdict on this idea? It’s challenging and time-consuming, but worth Ultimately it.
It can be tough for veteran teachers to adapt to the idea of students using smartphones as part of a lesson. However, smartphones are the most advanced learning technology most of our students will ever interact with. And by incorporating the phones into the classrooms, we can Maximize learning in a revolutionary way.