Cell Phones and Other Mobile Devices in the Classroom

Use to Promote Thinking and Inspire LearningKey Word!
Ubiquitous existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : widespread
  • Mini computers at our finger tips
  • Students do not have to power down when they enter our schools.
  • It is a tool to compliment good teaching.

(slides1-8 intro, 19-22instruction)

Pros and Cons > Socrative Quiz

Scan to Wiki laurienwiki.jpg


  • They give students a chance to collaborate with each other, or connect with peers in other countries.
  • They can be used for high-tech alternatives to boring classroom lectures, letting kids take part in interactive assignments like classroom polls.
  • They can serve as notepads or as an alarm for setting study reminders
  • They can be recording devices, letting students record impressions during field trips and create audio podcasts and blog posts.
  • Still a distraction
  • Harder to regulate
  • Listening to music (multitasking does not increase concentration or help productivity)
  • Texting
  • Availability for younger students.
  • Students need full understanding of Digital Citizenship
  • Students need to understand that the cell phone place in the classroom is a privilege and is to be used responsibly and productively. Otherwise the privilege is taken away. Peer pressure. It is not a time to catch up on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Students need to be taugt productive apps and ways to use the phone as a tool.

Classroom Management:(Every campus and grade level may have their own methods and permissions)
  • Think about changing classroom desk set up or changing it during usage of devices to match the landscape to the activity so that you can move around your classroom for conferencing with individual students and "eyeballing" technology usage.
  • When you want your students' complete attention, require them to place devices face down.
  • Use consistent "key phrases" to control usage issues in the classroom. (i.e. - "face down," "hands on your heads/reach for the stars," "Shut down, 5 minute warning," "100% eyes")

  • To make sure you can see what students are doing on their devices, require that they be kept flat or only slightly elevated. If students are at desks or tables, devices should not be placed in their laps. All phones can be required to be on desks during class and in "Airplane Mode."
    • Airplane mode disables the wireless features of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
    • When you enable airplane mode from the Settings screen, an airplane icon (external image 305975_2.png) appears in the status bar at the top of the screen and the following wireless connections and services are turned off:
      • Cellular (voice and data)
      • Wi-Fi
      • Bluetooth
      • GPS
      • Location serviceS
      • When you want your students' complete attention, require them to place devices face down.

  • Have a basket for device deposit when necessary. Students can see them and monitor it too!
  • Specify allowable uses, dates, times, places.
  • Upon entry and departure of class please ensure cell phones are turned off and stored in your backpack.
  • Admit to your students that this is a very fluid, evolving process and new to you as a teacher but that you are willing to accept and adapt technology usage as a tool in the classroom. Also let them know that because this is new, there may be new rules and usages brought into your classroom environment as the year progresses and they have a responsibility to follow the guideline

Examples of Classroom Expectations:
  • On days when we are using cell phones for learning please ensure they are set to silent.
  • Only use phones for learning purposes related to classwork.
  • When phones are not in use on a day we are using cells for learning place them face down on the upper rightside of your desk.
  • If you notice someone in the class using their cell phone inappropriately, remind them to use proper cell phone etiquette.
  • If at any time your teacher feels you are not using your cell phone for class work you will be asked to place your phone in the bin in the front of the room with a post-it indicating your name and class.


Lesson Ideas:

  • Start with one project.
  • Do something that most students can do on their phones—perhaps start with text messaging or QR codes
  • Include students in the planning—they know what their phones can do. Most students have cameras in their phones; that would be a good place to start, too.
  • Begin with a survey. (Poll Everywhere; Socrative, Google Apps)
  • Polls,GPS,CalculaTors,Maps,Timelines,Timers,Rulers,Images,Recorders...