Handheld & Mobile Learning: theory & practice
Cody’s take on the original presentation by Michael Carrier, British Council
Of some interest…
Twenty Ideas for Using Mobile Phones in the Language Classroom:
British Council’s recommendation for a handheld savy language class format:
Many people who came to my PD station asked for a simple concrete example, so let’s imagine…
•LESSON 1a: explain a particular grammatical point/structure/tense and its uses.
•IN-CLASS HANDHELD ACTIVITIES: perhaps a real-time poll that gives the students a chance to respond to questions that use the target grammar. They will see class answers in real time (perhaps projected in the classroom) as they all text their responses.
•LESSON 1b: Now they start to use it and manipulate it through some communicative class activity—perhaps groups formulate their own poll, tightly focused on the target language point.
•EXTERNAL HANDHELD TASK: students then execute their polls using their smartphones as personal recorders (polling UBC students on campus in a Contact Activity?) and then instantly uploading them to the web simply by emailing the file to a previously set up web address (provided by the service). The group (and their classmates) will have instant access to all recordings immediately as podcasts, which can later be listened to, transcripted, findings presented in poster form, etc.
This is just one simple illustration of one possibility.
SPECIFIC ONLINE TOOLS TO INVESTIGATE
Free Real Time Polling & Voting via Text Message
In other words, you and/or students can create an online poll and students (or their respondents, in the case of student-generated polls) can vote by sending a simple sms text to a special number*. These responses are graphically represented in real time on that particular poll’s (web)site.
*We can access a free number to use here in Canada so that there is no long distance texting charge. Be sure to read all about ‘Poll Everywhere’ in their FAQ. Of course, texting charges might apply, depending on our students’ text plans. My advice: have students do it via wifi on campus—no charge.
I have found other similar tools online, but Poll Everywhere seems to me the best choice for us: it has a Canadian access number, they offer free simpler, suited-for-educators poll packages, and they produce a polished-looking result. Also, their website stresses user security: they don’t sell anyone’s phone number or send any spam later whatsoever. User beware, however, and don’t take my word for it. Always read the details.
Students can use smartphones/tablets to record interviews and send them via wifi to a website which automatically turns them into podcasts that they can listen to (and their classmates can also access) at anytime.
Ideas, from The Innovative Educator:
I’ve looked at a few different Phlogging websites/services and iPadio gets good rating from educators. Again, user beware: do your own thorough do diligence.
FREE BRITISH COUNCIL APPS TO CHECK OUT ON THE APP STORE**
•MyWordBook •60 Second Word Challenge •Learn English Elementary