My most successful post so far has been “10 reasons we should allow mobile phones into schools“. Practically every day there are hits for this post, which makes me think that there is a real interest “out there” for getting these useful machines into schools.
But I am concerned that the phones, just like the computers that preceded them in the classroom can be used for passive reception rather than creative invention.
So I went back to look at the facilities available on my (now) ancient Galaxy Ace phone to see how they could be used for creative/collaborative activities and not just as things to read or view that were created by others.
Here is my list:
(1) The camera could be used to create photographs for others to use in group projects or individual photographs could be made freely available for others to use or change under a class/school “Creative Commons” agreement by everyone.
(2) The recording device could be used to supplement multi-media presentations and again kept as a resource for others to use.
(3) The calculator could be used to create problems for others or for solutions to real life problems that are part of projects and not just as a quick answer to teacher-set exercises.
(4) Use of online communities to collaborate across school/town/country and internationally. I have access to the Google + Communities that has the opportunities to create and use “Hangouts” for communication. I would expect the children to take the lead in the creation and management of these communities as well as
setting the ground rules for online behaviour.
(5) Use of apps such as “Google Maps”/ “Google Earth” to explore areas, landscape and set problems for others to investigate.
(6) Use the News App to investigate developments in the world. Create a bulletin board with discussion about what is pertinent news, how is it presented and what is included/left out.
(7) Develop their own apps/ games. This is a key thing for taking an active role in using and improving use of the phones. Investigate apps currently used. Develop critical skills about use, entertainment value possible development.
(8) Use a blogging platform (such as WordPress) to create and maintain their own blogs.
(9) Use YouTube to investigate and use video as evidence as well as information. Share links with others.
(10) Use the video facility to create their own videos and animations for personal use, to upload for others to use or for public viewing.
These are just 10 things that could happen using my ancient phone. With the increasing power of phones as well as their lowering cost it seems that it is just a matter of time before schools allow these powerful learning instruments inside of them on a regular basis. When this happens it is of crucial importance that they are used in an active/creative way and not just as a means to quickly access Google and watch some videos and maybe take some photos.