October 25, 2011 Cell phones in class
A group in my Teaching Writing & Language class did an article presentation today on technology in education. Normally I would just daze out for their allotted 10 minutes, but this one managed to grab my attention from the get-go. Their presentation consisted of a Prezi slide with a bunch of alternating twitter statuses… Huh?
The premise of the presentation was that as the group was going through their material, just before they had a point to make, somebody would text the bullet point from their phone and it would show up in live time on the slide. They also encouraged our class to try it and we could post comments or questions about their presentation while it was happening. Consider my mind officially blown.
This led me to wonder about how effective cell phones in class would be. In this case, using twitter in prezi, could be an interesting way to conduct class discussions. Or maybe when a teacher is lecturing students can text questions to the slide that the teacher can address when they have a chance.
One of the concerns with a tool like this would be the appropriateness of the texts. Most of these programs have the ability to set a content rating and will block any explicit comments, but that can’t stop a student from posting something that is G rated and completely irrelevant to the discussion. The other concern we talked about is when students have their phones out how do you know if they are participating or just texting? This could probably be solved mostly by copying down each of the students’ usernames; so you can see if they’re on their phone but nothing is coming up on the screen.