Cell phones and smarthones are seeing an increase in educational applications these days. In general, American consumers are expected to flock to smartphones in record numbers in the coming year. This piece of technology is taking society by storm and schools are joining the party.
For those just starting with smartphones, check out the links below for some helpful resources:
- Larry Ferlazzo gets you started with “The Best Sites for Beginning iPhone Users Like Me” for all those new to the iPhone.
- To understand smartphones, it’s important to know the evolution of the mobile device.
- A smartphone beginner’s guide was published at The Atlantic.
Apps, short for applications, are what really set smartphones apart from regular cell phones. These small portals and tools have revolutionized mobile devices. Below are some guides for the best apps for educators:
- Online Education Database has provided a list of the “Top 25 Web 2.0 Apps to Improve a Student’s or Professor’s Productivity” that can easily apply to educators at any level.
- Education Week’s Digital Directions details the app School Connect as a valuable school-to-parent communication tool.
- Some apps allow users to identify what it is they see in front of them.
- Best Kid Apps plays with “all the iPhone, iPad, and Android apps so that you don’t have to.”
Of course, once we accept the use of smartphones in our schools, we have to find classroom applications and methods for getting the most out of these tools. The following links are a great starting point for incorporating mobile devices in your classroom:
- Teach Paperless suggests that it’s not necessarily the device that’s the issue. Instead, we must consider the context.
- One Minnesota teacher allows smartphones in his classroom with some success.
- This Mashable piece discusses how higher education is utilizing mobile technologies, but some of the lessons could easily apply to the communities at primary and secondary schools.
- Another Mashable post makes the case for why education needs to meet kids where they are digitally.
- Blackberry has its own site focusing on educational issues and applications.
- Project K-nect seeks to improve math skills among struggling learners by engaging them through smartphones.
- Can smartphones make kids smarter? [Education.com]
How have you been able to use smartphones in your classroom? What are your reservations about bringing mobile devices into the schools? What are some great apps you’ve found in your smartphone use?
Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center and an avid iPhone user.